With participation in marathons and other running events at an all-time high (at least before the COVID-19 shutdown), it’s worth noting that those who run at a faster pace appear to eat better, as well.

An investigation in Nutrition involving 37 male recreational runners who participated in the Barcelona, Spain, marathon found that those who were quicker to cross the finish line generally consumed significantly more calories from fats, particularly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, than slower finishers, as indicated by pre-run food intake data. The faster runners also took in more iron, potassium, magnesium and dietary fiber; had moderately better cholesterol readings; and weighed less. Moreover, they produced significantly lower markers of muscle and heart damage postmarathon, which might be attributed to consuming a more nutritious diet overall. Study authors noted that the faster runners generally ate more nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables than the slower group, contributing to a higher intake of nutrients that support training and athletic performance.

See also: Performance Through Nutrient Timing