Dietary Restrictions

Runners come in all sizes and shapes, and so do runners' diets. Every runner needs adequate total calories, carbs, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals—but how you get them is a matter of personal preference. Some runners follow restricted diets such as vegetarian/vegan, gluten free, or kosher.

Dietary Restrictions Tips
  1. Vegetarians

    Vegetarians need to ensure they get adequate total protein, iron, and vitamin B12. Good sources of protein include beans, tofu, nut butters, and high-protein grains such as quinoa. If you eat dairy, Greek yogurt is another great option. You can get iron from beans, oats, raisins, and apricots.

  2. Vegans

    Vegans, who eat no animal products, should consider a vitamin B12 supplement, since vitamin B12 is only found in foods derived from animals.

  3. Gluten Free

    Runners following a gluten-free diets need to find gluten-free sources of carbohydrates. Good choices include beans, potatoes, rice, corn, peas, and fruits, as well as gluten-free cereals, breads, and pastas.

Dietary Restrictions RECIPES

Middle-Eastern Couscous

Makes about 8 small servings, Serving size = about ½ cup


1 onion, chopped
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups couscous
1 apple, chopped
1 pear, chopped
1-2 tsp cinnamon
¾ cup walnuts
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp olive oil

Nutrition Info

Per Serving: 257 calories, 12g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 268 mg sodium, 33g total carbohydrate, 2.3g dietary fiber, 9g sugar, 5g protein, 29mg calcium, 102mg potassium


Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat; add onion and cook until golden.
Add stock and bring to a boil, then add couscous and simmer for 10-12 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
Transfer couscous to medium bowl and add chopped fruits, nuts, syrup, and cinnamon.
Fluff with fork and serve.

Mango Curry Quinoa

4 servings; 1 serving = approximately 1 cup


1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetbable stock
3/4 cup quinoa
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 medium-sized mango, peeled and diced
1 cup seedless red grapes, cut in halves
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3 scallions, chopped
1 tsp fresh or dried mint

Nutrition Info

Per Serving: 265 calories, 9g fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 655 mg sodium, 41g carbohydrates, 5.25g fiber, 8g protein


Bring stock to boil in medium-sized pot. Add quinoa, curry powder, salt, and pepper, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 12-15 minutes until quinoa is tender, but firm. Drain the quinoa and transfer to a medium-sized bowl. Stir in the mango, grapes, nuts, and scallions. Top with mint and serve.

Kale Chips

1 serving = 1 cup


1 large bunch of kale, torn into pieces with stems removed
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Nutrition Info

Per Serving (before toppings): 64 calories, 3.5g fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 50mg sodium, 6.7g carbohydrates, 1.3g fiber, 2.2g protein, 90.5 mg calcium, 299.5 mg potassium


Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the kale on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 12-15 minutes, watching closely after 10 minutes to be sure the kale does not burn. Remove from oven when crispy but still green.
Kick that kale up a notch by adding one of the following topping combinations:
(Remove the kale from the oven after 5-7 minutes, add one of the topping combinations, toss, and continue baking for the remaining 5-7 minutes)
Topping 1: 1-2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese + 1 tsp garlic powder
Topping 2: 1 tsp nutritional yeast + ¼ tsp red Chili Flakes
Topping 3: 2 tbsp large-flake unsweetened coconut + 1 tbsp maple syrup