Should Runners Follow an Anti-inflammatory, Alkaline, or Microbiome Diet?

If you’re a masochist, there is no shortage of diets for runners to try. And today we’re answering a big question: Should runners should follow an anti-inflammatory, Alkaline, or Microbiome diet?

diets for runners

Over the years, the American diet market has matured into a behemoth. There’s an ever-growing number of formal, branded diets that promise a wide variety of benefits (an Amazon search yields more than 60,000 diet books).

You might recognize some:

  • The Atkin’s Diet
  • Paleo
  • Ketogenic
  • The South Beach Diet
  • Intermittent Fasting
  • The “Bulletproof” Diet
  • Whole30
  • The Soup Diet (yes, this is real)

Most diets claim to deliver one big goal. For some, that’s making the body more alkaline (the opposite of acidic). Others promise to help you lose weight, reduce inflammation, improve gut health, increase mental clarity, burn fat, and generally just “upgrade your life.”

But are they real? Do these diets for runners deliver on their promises? And they worth the hassle?

These are critical questions because our nutrition and fueling is paramount to our success as runners. And as the saying goes, garbage in means garbage out.

The days of believing that “the furnace will burn anything if the fire is hot enough” are over. We now know that nutrition plays a leading role in how energized we feel, how well we recover from hard efforts, and our general health and longevity.

Without good nutrition, we’re setting ourselves up for failure.

But do we need a specific diet? To get a clear answer, I invited Registered Dietitian (and certified running coach) Claire Shorenstein to the podcast.

Claire Shorenstein on Diets for Runners

Claire Shorenstein RD

Claire Shorenstein is a RRCA certified running coach, Registered Dietitian, and host of the Eat for Endurance Podcast. She has a private practice in New York where she puts her Master’s degree in clinical nutrition to good use.

We first met back in 2015 at the National Endurance Sports Summit at Princeton Univeristy where we both participated on a panel about fueling for endurance running. Since then, I’ve seen her name pop up in Runner’s World, Salon, Food & Wine, and other big media outlets.

She joins us for a two-part discussion. Part 1 focuses on three specific diets: the alkaline, anti-inflammatory, and microbiome (or gut health) diets. We talk about the goals of each diet, how they claim to deliver results, and whether or not it’s a good choice for runners.

Part 2 is about diets and eating for endurance. We talk more broadly about eating healthy, the rules that we each follow (and break regularly), and why runners should think twice about following a strict diet.

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Thank You InsideTracker!

Our show is supported by InsideTracker. Today, more than ever, it’s essential that we’re making the right decisions to keep our bodies healthy. To help us be resilient, prevent over-training, and optimize our running to get the most from it.

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