As a runner trained in a degree with nutrition, carb intake has been something I have looked into many times before.
I have even spent a couple of months doing a low-carb diet and with the recent interest in low carb and keto dietary eating patterns, this is still a common question.
What should a runner’s carb intake be?
In general, for most people who are doing 30 minutes to 2 hours of exercise or physical activity daily, carb intake of 3g to 6g of carbs per kilogram of body weight daily is adequate.
Be mindful that it’s very important to remember the bulk of your carbohydrate intake should come from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Carbohydrate sources that are lower in nutrients such as starches and refined or added sugar should be avoided for most of your general diet and sports nutrition should be utilized only during or after long and hard training sessions when carbohydrates are going to be used immediately for running fuel or for glycogen resynthesis.
Let’s break down some numbers:
Remember that I said 3g for lower activity and 6g for higher activity
1 gram of carbohydrate equals 4 calories.
1 pound equals .45kg
130pounds = 58kg, 140=63, 150lbs = 67kg, 160=72, 170=76, 180=81, 190=85, 200=90kg
So for someone at 150 pounds, a carb intake of 200 to 400 grams / 800 to 1600 calories daily will be appropriate depending on your activity level.
If you’re considering percentages of your calories, roughly 50-70% should be carbohydrate depending on your dietary eating preferences.
If you want to learn more about pre, intra, and post run carb intake visit this page!