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Fuelling The Ageing Runner
Nutrition For Life Stage Episode 223rd September 2020 • She Runs Eats Performs • Runners Health Hub
00:00:00 01:08:19

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Fuelling the Ageing Runner

Ageing is a natural part of life’s cycle but as runners we want to age in the most healthy way possible. In today’s episode we will be discussing the physiological effects of ageing including changes to the cardiovascular system as well as the digestive and endocrine system. We introduce stories of some inspiring older individuals who are still enjoying an active life in their 70s and 80s before moving on to discuss key nutrients and foods to consider to ensure YOU stay on top form.

Show Notes


An outline of this episode: the physiological changes of ageing in runners, how these changes impact on the nutritional requirements of the ageing runner, what a runner can do nutritionally to support healthy ageing. 


Considering the physiological changes of ageing and how they would be pertinent to a runner? Discussing aspects including reduced muscle mass, digestive health and cardiovascular decline.  


Thinking about biological age versus metabolic age before moving on to discuss potential reasons for weight/fat gain as we age.   


Delving deeper into cardiovascular decline with age and how it impacts on overall health and running performance. 


Discussing the Female Factors:

  • Fat gain linked to peri/menopause
  • Low oestrogen and bone health


Giving a shout out to inspiring older active individuals. Looking at people who are still running or still active in their 70s and 80s. 


Focusing on the physiological changes of ageing and how they affect a runner's nutritional needs. Thinking about their energy and protein needs as well as the potential for nutrient deficiencies including zinc, iron, calcium and vitamin B12. 


Considering some nutritional recommendations to help prevent nutrient deficiency in the older runner whilst also discussing the impact of changes to the digestive system and medications as risk factors for nutrient deficiency. Moving on to food recommendations for specific nutrients including: vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium and iron. 


Giving a quick shout out for zinc, a mineral that is often depleted in the elderly, but it is really important for the immune system and tissue repair. 


Key Takeaways:

  1. There are many age-related physiological changes that occur, which could affect a runner and their performance including reduced muscle mass, reduced BMD, increased fat mass.
  2. Although these physiological changes are inevitable, remaining physically active and eating a healthy diet consistently could slow the decline and limit the effects.
  3. The overall energy intake required for an individual reduces as they age so it is important to adjust the diet accordingly.
  4. Daily energy intake will still be dependent on the amount of exercise performed on a regular basis so it is important to work out what YOUR needs are for your age and activity. Remember Aileen and I offer 1-2-1 consultations if you would like some expert advice on this.
  5. Don’t ignore any symptoms you are experiencing, Work with a professional and have some tests completed to determine if you may be insufficient or deficient in any key nutrients. 
  6. Keep on running as it will not only help limit the physiological effects of ageing, but it will also support your mental and emotional wellbeing as you age.   

Related Episodes

Endurance Running and Immune Health

Bone Health for Running Part 1


The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and

advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment.

If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact

your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.

Aileen Smith and Karen Campbell met at as nutrition students (Institute for Optimum Nutrition, London) and became lifelong friends and nutritional buddies! Both have a love of running and a passion for nutrition, delicious food and healthy living.

Together they host RUNNERS HEALTH HUB. A place for like-minded runners who are looking for simple ways to support running performance, energy, endurance, and general great health.

We are excited to be able to share our expertise, experience and short cuts with you. We hope you'll join us again. If you'd like to know more about us and She Runs Eats Performs please check out our TRAILER.

If you're ready to make learn more about how you may introduce easy nutrition into your running and training plan join our Easy Nutrition For Healthy Runners Online Programme for short videos, recipes, downloads and LIVE training and Q&A.

As a THANK YOU to you as one of our valued listeners, we have a special offer for you use COUPON CODE POD to get 33% discount off the full price which brings the price to £199.

If you’d like help from Karen and Aileen to design a personalised sports nutrition plan for your running - please contact them at

Happy Running!

Aileen and Karen 

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