Lydia Nader RD on the Biggest Nutrition Myths and Half-Truths for Runners

Nutrition is a favorite and often confusing topic for many runners. We love to run and most of us enjoy the extra fueling that comes with the sport.

Lydia Nader

But how much extra? Of which foods? When to eat them? And can’t we just eat anything we want?

Nutrition for runners is fascinating in that our needs fall somewhere between the general population and the professional athletes. Both of those groups get a lot of attention from researchers but we, recreational runners, are left to draw our own conclusions.

That’s why I love bringing on experts to help us understand the nutrition recommendations that apply for us. You can hear prior podcast episodes on:

We also have a free email series to help you get started with understanding and dialing in your nutrition. Once you’re ready, check out our in-depth program to optimize your diet for performance and weight management.

Helping us sort through nutrition myths and half-truths today is an expert in the field and a runner herself.

Lydia Nader Helps to Dial in Nutrition for Runners

Lydia Nader is a Registered Dietitian with a graduate degree in nutrition and wellness. She coaches athletes on how to optimize their nutrition. She’s a volunteer coach for Girls on the Run and has completed an ultramarathon, and numerous marathons. Lydia’s areas of interest include weight loss, body composition changes, and female health such as amenorrhea and RED-S.

Lydia was also the Endeavorun running retreat’s nutritionist, helping us eat great for the 4 day retreat last month in Boulder. During that retreat she gave a presentation on 10 of the most popular ideas in sports nutrition that we may have to rethink. This episode includes many of those ideas.

Take a look at these statements yourself and see if you think that they are true or false:

  • Sugar is bad for athletes
  • Training for a marathon means I can eat whatever I want
  • I don’t need to eat anything before a run
  • Eating before bedtime makes you fat
  • Plant-based diets don’t provide enough nutrition for athletes
  • Carb loading is necessary for endurance athletes
  • Refueling must be done within 30 min of finishing a workout

We discuss each of these in detail, including nuances such as sex differences. For example, here’s a clip on carbohydrate loading:

Check out the full episode with Lydia to learn something new for your own nutrition.

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Links & Resources from the Show:

Thank You InsideTracker!


Our show is supported by our longtime sponsor 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.

InsideTracker is the ultra-personalized nutrition platform that analyzes your blood and DNA biomarkers along with your lifestyle habits to help you optimize your body and reach your goals.

InsideTracker’s patented system will transform your body’s data into knowledge, insights, and a customized action plan of science-backed recommendations. The data can help you determine whether you’re running too much, not enough, or have some other issues that could be affecting your recovery or performance.

I’ve had my own blood drawn with InsideTracker several times and have been amazed at the valuable information that they provide. Not only are the results very detailed, but they also share guidance for how to improve any markers that are out of range.

If you’re ready to take control of your health and optimize your training, InsideTracker offers a selection of plans that best suit your needs with a limited time 25% discount.

Thank You PATH Projects!

PATH Projects continues to be a great supporter of this podcast! I’m grateful for their partnership and want to share more about their products that I’ve been loving because they so durable and comfortable.

PATH Projects is an online-only retailer of high-quality running gear and apparel. That means there is no retail markup, making their products quite affordable.

In particular, I’ve just started wearing their 3” Sykes shorts and they’re a little different from the 5” Sykes shorts (you can see those in action here). The material is thinner and lighter, which is perfect in a performance short, and they’re obviously shorter. I’m not sure if my wife thinks they’re too scandalous or loves them, but I’m wearing them constantly.

PATH uses new technical fabrics, like the Japanese fiber called Toray Primeflex, to create award-winning apparel for endurance athletes. In fact, their Brim shorts and Tahoe base liner won Runner’s World’s 2018 Gear of the Year award. And the Pyrinees hoodie was named one of the best six sweatshirts for running in the cold by Gear Patrol.

You know you’ll be wearing the best when you select PATH Projects!

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