An Efficient Running Diet!!!

For a month now, I’ve been thinking about switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet.  For my purpose I have become more and more aware of how much our diet affects how we feel and run. I am now more convinced that our body does not easily digest meat and can run a lot more efficiently if we give it simple but nutritious foods. 


Scott Jurek is a living testimony of how effective a non-meat based diet is. In his case he is a vegan. As I have discussed in my past post, Scott is a seven time Western States 100 miles champion and a two time Badwater champion. Asides from his training, his diet is what helped him to get to where he is. He gives an in depth look at his journey into ultramarthoning in his book Eat and Run.


I am mainly writing this post to get your opinion. I am not a vegetarian, yet. I am curious about your diet. I guess my two biggest questions are, what is your diet? Do you believe it has worked for you or are you also looking for something that can improve your lifestyle and overall health? 


26 comments on “An Efficient Running Diet!!!

  1. I treat my stomach like a kid on a jungle gym. I eat good, fun food all of the time. Bacon is its own food group in my world and I feel awesome at 42. No WAY I’d even think of a vegetarian diet. No chance.

    • Hahaha That’s awesome, if that’s working out for you, I am happy! I just want to experience this optimal health that I hear about. With that comes a huge sacrifice.

      • Why must you sacrifice? I know vegetarians and vegans who are vastly less healthy than I am… One of my wife’s friends is probably pushing 200 pounds, is losing her hair and always has black bags under her eyes… In fact, most vegetarians I know don’t look healthy at all. I know I don’t want that.

        Honestly, if I eat well (and bacon is included in well), then I feel good. If I eat crap, I feel like it. The rest is 90% mental as I see it.

  2. I tried to go Vegetarian. My body is uber sensitive to influxes of hormones. Soy has estrogen in it. It was not a fun venture. I hate eating animals. I love them more than life itself. I’ve watched so many documentaries about how our food is “treated” or killed that have just completely pissed me off.
    But I can’t live my life crying every day about little things. So I just enjoy almond or soy milk in small quantities. I know that there are other ways to be a vegetarian, but after a few failed food strikes, I have decided that cutting myself off from major food groups harms me more than it benefits me.

  3. I am a vegetarian who is mostly vegan and I am an athlete (runner). Making these changes to my diet has made me infinitely healthier and reduce so many body issues I used to have. One of the things to keep in mind is that if you go vegan or vegetarian, you may have a few weeks where your body feels worse (its a by product of various changes occurring), but it doesn’t last.

  4. I’m a vegetarian and have been one for 4.5 years (and hope to transition to veganism soon). While I was a vegetarian before I began running, running seriously has definitely made me examine and improve my eating habits for the better. I love that I eat healthier and make much more conscious food choices now, although I definitely notice when I put something a little less “natural” in my body. I would say in making your decision, look at all the information that’s out there to make sure it’s the right decision for you. A great resource is There’s also a lot of documentaries on the subject, I would recommend starting by watching Forks Over Knives.

  5. I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 20 years. I never really liked meat that much. I do supplement with dairy-based protein powders and I eat Greek yogurt just about every day. I haven’t read Scott’s book yet.

  6. I always question people who say they feel so much better after going vegetarian or vegan because of the change in diet. It could be any number of changes or could be a placebo effect, but since the dietary change is fairly drastic and obvious people give credit to that. In general, the body is very well equipped to extract energy from a wide variety of foods, but becomes better dealing with things it knows. That’s the reason people embarking on a vegetarian diet have issues to begin with, as do vegetarians who decide to go back to eating meat.

    My personal diet guide is to eat things made out of stuff my great-grandmother would recognize as a food ingredient, avoiding the things I’m actually allergic to, but that’s my own diet choice. I treat diet the same way I treat shoes…. find stuff I like that doesn’t hurt me, and eat that!

      • Again, it kind of depends and can get really complicated. Is it diet, or better training? Even in really well-designed studies it can be difficult to tease out of diet is responsible for the change, and when you’re talking about anecdotal evidence it gets even harder. There’s a thing I call the GNC effect: Someone who spends a lot of money on GNC supplements is going to make sure s/he gets his or her money’s worth, by keeping up with training, upping hours, etc. Someone who changes their diet is invested in that change and has a hard time looking objectively at what else they’ve changed. I’m not saying going vegetarian or vegan is bad, or even useless. All I’m saying is that the evidence really isn’t in that a standard western diet, with respect to training (as opposed to long-term things like heart disease, cancer, etc… the evidence is pretty strong on that score) is bad, either.

  7. I think it is a very personal thing – diet. I have, over the last 12 months, eliminated all grains and the majority of dairy from my diet. And started eating meat after not eating it for about 15 years. I think I feel better. My digestive system seems a lot happier. I do eat copious quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables – lots and lots of colors. Whatever you choose, you have to give it at least a month preferably 3 before deciding whether or not it is working. Good luck.

  8. Why don’t you try it and find out if it works for you ? I was vegetarian for 13 years, just turned vegan-wouldn’t have it any other way. Dead meat in your gut can not be good for you !

  9. Do what is best for you. I rarely eat red meat, I do eat poultry. Being vegan doesn’t necessarily add years to your life, either. Dead meat (like mel says above) doesn’t just sit in your gut, it provides important nutrients. However, most of those can also been gained elsewhere. A friend of mine just had a veggie-friend drop dead of a heart attack at 42. I’m not saying all veggies will die at 42, I’m just pointing out that when it’s your time, it’s your time. Some things can prolong our lives, but not always. Genetics wins in the end?

  10. I agree with Sandra, do what is best for you. I’d say try vegetarianism/veganism and see what your body tells you. You’ll now what is right for you after you try it. I’m a pollo-pescetarian (the only meat I eat is poultry and seafood). I would have a very hard time being vegan…I love my eggs and cheese. I don’t drink milk though…I use unsweetened almond milk and love it! Good luck finding what diet works best for you. 🙂

  11. Pingback: Eat & Run | Musings of a Polytech Girl

  12. There are multiple diets that I have heard and have researched that various athletes, in particular runners, use. What I have come across is what are that every body reacts to things differently. Bodies are able to adapt to pull the necessary nutrients from the foods we eat, the question is where do the leftovers go and how are they used. That is what harms a person.
    Personally I am not a vegetarian or vegan nor do I plan to be any time soon. I do get my dosage of vegetables whenever I eat, I just also eat meat as well. I don’t like to over indulge though unless it’s the one day after a meet where I relax and recover. Then I give myself a grace period to work those foods in and back out of my system and refill with what I am accustom to. For certain no sugary drinks. Just water. Milk at night to strengthen bones and orange juice in the morning (except on race day) to kick start my day. Other than that, peanutbutter, oatmeal, wheat products, turkey, spiniach etc. It is all in moderation as long as you are eating right, the training, if done smartly, will prove itself.

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