Bone Building Food Plan for Runners

March 2, 2023

Healthy Bones for Healthy Runners

Make Bone Building part of your food plan. Endurance runners are at risk of bone stress injuries, and a high percentage of midlife females are also at less a risk of losing bone mineral density, leading to a risk osteopenia or osteoporosis, which in turn increases the risk of bone injuries.

Women should be concerned about bone health at every stage of life … what you do now will pay dividends in older age. Today we’ll share our suggestions for a bone building food plan which can become part of your everyday nutrition.

The KEY Imbalances which drive Bone Mineral Density loss are inflammation, low protein intake, poor glycaemic control, hormonal imbalance (stress hormones/sex hormones) and compromised digestion, so following food plan to support these imbalances is key.

We’ll cover:

  1. What you need to consider for an optimal bone building food plan
  2. Our suggestions for meals and snacks
  3. Tips to ensure you promote optimal absorption of structural bone building nutrients

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Bone Building Food Plan For Runners


What is the personal motivation to include bone building nutrients into our food plans.


How a LOW GL and anti-inflammatory food plan including bone building nutrients support the underlying reasons for poor bone health.


Following a healthy everyday nutrition balance plate will support a low GL food plan which may be enhanced by choosing foods containing bone building nutrients.


Protein requirements for mid-life women. Ideally being 1.2g-1.6g protein/kg/body weight per day. You do not need to calculate every gram of protein but please ensure you eat adequate protein at every meal and snack and it’s best to spread your protein intake across the day. Our MANTRA is “eat protein with every meal and snack”. Another tip would be to add a protein shake into your daily plan to help you hit your protein targets.


Requirements for Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin D.


Tips on how to assess your food intake of key bone building nutrients.


A bone building food plan relies on taking every opportunity to add foods rich in calcium and magnesium as well as some key trace minerals such as: boron, manganese, selenium, silicon, strontium, zinc and copper.


Our favourite food choices to maximise calcium content.


Bone Building Breakfast Choices.


How to add magnesium rich foods.


Bone Building Meals – for lunch and dinner – focusing on soups, salads and vegetables alongside calcium rich protein choices.


How do you make or choose a soup which is in line with your health and training strategy? To help you solve the dilemma we created our Free TOP 10 Soups for Runners EBOOK! Download our fabulous free ebook TOP 10 soups for runners


Optimising absorption of bone building nutrients.

There are some foods (phytates and oxalates) and drinks (caffeine, soft fizzy drinks, alcohol) which may affect your ability to absorb and retain nutrients. The most effective thing to do is to minimise your intake of these classes of foods and if you do eat them, it’s best to consume them away from your bone building meals and snacks.

We also review and interview with Dr Deanna Minich on the Funktional Nutrition Podcast and Dr Minich’s paper Is There Such a Thing as “Anti-Nutrients”? A Narrative Review of Perceived Problematic Plant Compounds


Key Takeaways (see below)


Bone Building Food Plan for Runners


  1. When it comes to food planning to support bone health begin with your everyday healthy food plate – consists of ¼ plate protein, ¼ plate complex carbohydrates (whole grains ideally/root vegetables/fruit), ½ plate vegetables and salads.
  2. Think PROTEIN AND PLANTS to maximise your calcium and magnesium intake
  3. Get you Vitamin D status tested – Vitamin D is vital to maximising the bioavailability of calcium and magnesium.
  4. Include Soups, Salads and Smoothies throughout your weekly food plan as that’s an easy way to maximise variety and diversity of foods and nutrients.
  5. Minimise caffeine, alcohol and fizzy drinks.
  6. We have focused on the key bone building nutrients today, but remember they best work together and require a range of micronutrients for optimal function. Having lots of variety in your food plan will help you get the widest range of nutrients. If you need more specific advice please book a complimentary work with us call.


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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.

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