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How Many Calories Should A Runner Be Eating

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Diet is the most important part of your running performance and stamina building. However, deciding on how much calories to intake is a very tricky question. In this post, we have tried to answer exactly that question…

How many calories should a runner be eating?

As a runner, you should consume 19-21 calories per pound of your body weight. However, this varies based on the distance your run and the strenuous activities that you do throughout the day. This number is sufficient if you are running 1 – 1.5 hours a day. If you are trying to lose weight, then you may consume a bit less like 15-20 calories per pound of your body weight.

Does the caloric need change based on your age and distance?

Yes, your caloric requirement changes as per your age.

The main reason being, your body slows down with age.

So, the caloric requirement also reduces.

Here is how many calories you need as per your gender and age: 

calorie requirement for women

calorie requirement for men

How many calories should I eat if I run 3-6 miles a day?

If you are running 3-6 miles per day, then you are categorized as an active person.

The caloric requirement of an active person is way more than that of a sedentary person.

Your body is a more efficient machine and needs more calories to compliment your active lifestyle.

However, the amount of calorie needed is based on your age and gender.

In the above picture, you will find exactly how much calories you need for running based on your lifestyle.

How many calories should a cross country runner eat?

It depends on the runner as everyone varies in shape, size and the amount of activity they do.

As a general guideline, have 19-21 calories for every pound of your bodyweight.

Also, more than 50% of your calories should come from the carb, 15-20% should come from protein and the rest should come from fat.

You can create your individual diet plan using ChooseMyPlate.

However, one thing you must remember is never to restrict your calories.

If you do that you will never be able to perform at an optimal level.

You may also like: 17 Insanely Actionable Tips to Improve Your Running Endurance Today

How many calories should a distance runner eat?

The general guideline is the same as above.

However, don’t try to consume your calories from fried snacks or any other junk food.

They are empty calories and will do more harm than good.

How many calories to eat while running?

You should have 100 to 250 calories per hour of running.

This is excluding the first hour of running as your breakfast should be sufficient to fuel you through that.

You can consume that amount of calories from:

  • 1 to 2 running gels.
  • 16 to 40 ounces of sports drink.

Here is a guideline of calories that each brand of sports gel contain per sachet and the amount of water you need to take with it:

Energy Gel Water Requirement

How many calories should I eat after a run?

Just after your run, you should have calories equivalent carbohydrate (in grams) half of your body weight.

Let me explain,

If you weight 150 lbs you can safely consume 75 grams of carbohydrate just after the workout.

75 grams of carbohydrate will provide you with 300 calories which are enough for just after your running.

However, do this within the first 30 mins of your workout.

Your body is very receptive of carbohydrates at that time.

And after that, you should have a full meal within 45 min of your running.

Related Questions

How many calories does trail running burn?

Trail running will burn 110 calories per mile for an average runner.

Basically, trail running burns 10% more calories than road running.

For road running, you will run 100 calories per mile, so it is 110 calories for trail running.

Also, if you are an advanced road runner and want to take your performance to the next level, go for trail running once a week.

This will improve your performance, improve your cognitive functions and will also burn more calories.

How many calories do you burn in a mile of running?

Generally, you should be able to burn around 100 calories by running a mile.

But this is a gross generalization. It depends on a lot of factors like your age, your body weight and the speed at which you are running.

If you want to find out the actual number, here is the simple formula:

Calories burned per mile of running = 0.75 * Your body weight in pounds

If you weigh 200 lbs then,

Calories burned per mile of running = 0.75 * 200 = 150 calories.

if you are looking for a running calorie chart to improve your calorie intake, here are the exact calorie details that you can use to create calorie burning running workouts.

if you are looking for a running calorie chart to improve your calorie intake, here are the exact calorie details that you can use to create calorie burning running workouts.

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