From Livestrong.com by Jacques Coresault
To become a competitive sprinter, combine top-notch training habits with a diet that will fuel your workouts. Specifically, you should consume foods that will provide your body with the necessary vitamins and minerals for optimal performance and recovery. In addition, you must eat the proper carbohydrates to increase the energy available for your workouts. Be particular with your food choices to maximize your sprint speed..
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are important components in every sprinter’s diet. They provide your body with the necessary nutrients needed to maximize your performance and recovery. In addition, fruits and vegetables are low in calories, which will prevent weight gain to keep your body lean. Any additional fat will likely slow your sprint speed. Therefore, set a goal to consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
Include legumes in your diet to improve your body for sprinting. Not only are legumes rich in vitamins and minerals, but they also contain protein, which is vital for rebuilding muscle after your workouts. Similar to fruits and vegetables, legumes are low in calories and high in fiber, which will prevent weight gain. Make legumes your primary source of protein to improve your lean muscle mass and sprint speed.
Carbohydrates provide your muscles with fuel necessary to run fast. Choosing the proper type of carbohydrates will prevent weight gain and provide your body with a steady source of fuel. Simple carbohydrates, such as white rice, white pasta and white bread, cause a spike in blood sugar levels, which quickly falls soon after. Complex carbohydrates, however, provide you with a consistent source of fuel throughout your workouts and track meets.
Sprinters need a steady source of protein to build muscle and improve sprint speed. Animal meats, such as beef, fish, pork, turkey and chicken, contain protein necessary for increasing lean muscle mass. When including animal meats in your diet, your portion size should not be larger than a deck of cards. Choose lean meats to avoid weight gain from eating fatty meats. Including adequate sources of protein and animal meats in your diet will provide your body with the nutrients to increase muscle mass and sprint speed.
400 Meter Runners Diet
Article from Livestrong.com
Mar 29, 2011 | By Carly Schuna
The 400-meter dash is classified as a sprinting event, so athletes who compete in it do not need to be as concerned about building up endurance as runners who go for longer distances. Instead, sprinters need to address specific nutritional concerns of getting enough protein to build and maintain lean muscle mass and enough slow-burning carbohydrates to keep up their energy for race days.
Eating nutritious foods can yield huge benefits to a 400-meter sprinter. For example, even with regular sessions of weight training, the body won’t be able to build muscle as effectively as it can when such strength training is supplemented with lean, low-fat protein in the diet. Protein-rich food sources include nonfat yogurt, skim milk, lentils, beans, nuts and nut butters, poultry, lean meats and eggs. Nutritious carbs also make a difference. Simple, sugary choices such as doughnuts and baked goods can tank metabolism and won’t provide lasting energy, but whole grains, fruits and vegetables keep blood sugar steady.
Like all healthy adults, sprinters need essential fat in their daily diets, but they may not require as much as non-athletes. The Australian Institute of Sport notes that protein and carbohydrates are the most important nutrients for sprinters, and that women — since they have a higher body fat percentage — especially may want to reduce their daily fat intake to stay muscular and avoid gaining extra pounds. Olympic medal-winning sprinter Maurice Greene remarks that in his sport, protein is the most necessary nutrient, so a proper diet needs to be high in quality protein.
To form a general diet foundation, the British Olympic Association recommends that sprinters follow the MyPyramid plan by eating mainly fruits, vegetables, whole-grain products such as bread and cereal, lean meat and dairy products. Specific items that might feature heavily in a 400-meter runner’s diet include whole-wheat bread, whole-grain pasta, rice, starchy vegetables, eggs, lean poultry, deli meat, yogurt, low-sugar fruit or vegetable smoothies, nonfat milk, lentils, beans, tofu and oatmeal.
On a race day, the Australian Institute of Sport suggests tapering off food intake because energy needs may not be quite as high. An athlete may want to eat a moderately sized meal several hours before racing and a small snack closer to race time or between events; however, it’s important to avoid eating too much to avoid potential digestive discomfort.
Not all 400-meter runners follow the same diet, and what works for one runner may not be successful for another. Men and women sprinters may also have different dietary needs. In addition to working with a coach on nutritional concerns, it’s wise to speak with a doctor or a registered dietitian for personalized suggestions regarding how to eat for the best performance.