FOOD FOR … Metabolism

November 12, 2020

Runners Food For … Metabolism

As runners our aim is to maintain optimal metabolism and metabolic rate to support our running performance as well as our body composition.

Nutrition (and exercise) are central to this goal, so in this episode we discuss FOUR foods known to optimise metabolism and metabolic rate. The FOUR Runners FOOD FOR … Metabolism are; Chicken, Grapefruit, Sardines and Jalapeno Peppers.

We also share some delicious and easy to prepare meal and recipe ideas for you to try out in the kitchen

LISTEN HERE Episode 32: FOOD FOR … Metabolism


Runners Food For … Metabolism


Defining Metabolism and Metabolic Rate in a simple way whilst also considering the 3 key aspects of Metabolic Rate, which include:

  • Basal Metabolic Rate OR Resting Metabolic Rate
  • Thermic Effect of Food
  • Energy used during physical activity


Introducing the first of the 4 foods being highlighted in this episode. Discussing chicken and its nutritional content known to support Metabolism and Metabolic Rate. Protein is the key nutrient here due to its effects on Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). It is thought that the digestion and absorption of Protein can raise BMR by approx. 20%-30%


Moving on to discuss Grapefruit and the phytonutrient Naringenin found within, which is thought to increase energy expenditure, therefore influencing metabolic rate. Also discussing the novel idea of Naringenin being able to express Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT), which has been researched for its thermogenic effects (i.e. heat creation).


Introducing Sardines and their Omega 3 Fatty Acid content, which is the nutritional property thought to support Metabolism and Metabolic Rate. Omegaa 3 FAs influence is thought to be via their ability to suppress lipogenesis i.e. limit the synthesis of “fat”.


The fourth food and its nutritional property linked to Metabolism and Metabolic now being discussed. The Capsaicin content of Jalopeño Peppers is thought to induce thermogenesis therefore increase Basal Metabolic Rate. Capsaicin is also thought to induce browning of white fat (in other words, changing the ‘fat’ so as we know, i(white fat) into thermogenic brown adipose tissue).


Looking at some recipe and menu ideas using the foods discussed:

Runners Food For … Metabolism

Chicken – Roast chicken, chicken bone broth, chicken curry or casserole

Grapefruit – Grilled grapefruit with cinnamon, nutmeg and maple syrup, Grapefruit Granita, Grapefruit salad

Sardines – Sardine pate, sardines on sourdough with watercress, cherry tomatoes, chopped garlic and parsley, sardines with lemon, chickpeas and parsley.

Jalapeño peppers – Add to soups and stews, guacamole, bean chilli, chilli con carne

Our 1- Day Menu Suggestions


Runners Food For … Metabolism

Key nutrients of each food and how they could support your running:

  • Chicken’s key nutrient is PROTEIN, which is good for the muscle building and the repair element of running
  • Grapefruit is a good source of soluble fibre in the form of pectin, which is good for the reduction of digestive distress element of running
  • Sardine’s key nutrient is Omega 3, which is good for the anti-inflammatory element of running
  • Jalapeño pepper is a good source of potassium, which is good for the electrolyte balancing element of running

Related Episodes:

Intermittent Fasting and the Female Runner

Resistant Weight Loss in Runners

Weight Loss and the Mid-Life Runner


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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