Kenyan Runners Are Best- See Their ‘So Called Endurance Diet’- Ugali

Kenya’s sprinters are seen as the best on the planet. Specialists have proposed many explanations behind the East African country’s predominance of the game of marathon running. This has a lot to do with the extreme situations in which numerous Kenyans are brought up, across the board early introduction to running as a methods for transportation, and with their long legged, ectomorphic body sort that is regular among Kenyans.

And afterward there’s eating routine. Barely any specialist contend the customary Kenyan eating regimen, which is kept up by a large portion of the nation’s best sprinters, is the main reason they run so well


Ugali is simply a dish of maize flour (cornmeal) cooked with water. Kenyan runners eat this for dinner almost every night. Generally, it’s mixed with a chicken or beef stew and vegetables.When made correctly it actually taste better than it sounds.

All in all, my personal experience and my research convinced me that several features of the Kenyan diet are key contributors to the success of that nation’s runners and should be emulated by runners everywhere who want to perform their best. Here are my top five ways to eat and run like a Kenyan.

Apart from Ugali, Kenyans eat very few processed foods. The most highly processed food available in the kitchen of my host family in Nairobi was a jar of peanut butter, sukuma wiki (collared greens), ndengu (stewed mung beans), and chapati (a tortilla-like bread made with wheat flour), all homemade.


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Eat a starch with every meal.

Virtually all Kenyan meals are centered on a starchy whole food. Among the most popular breakfast foods is uji, a porridge made from fermented millet and often flavored with lemon juice. This is typical of the Kenyan diet.

Because it is starch-based, the Kenyan diet is very high in carbohydrate. A 2004 study by Onywera found that elite Kenyan runners get 76 percent of their daily calories from carbs. Although we have been taught to fear carbs here in Africa, it would behoove us to overcome this fear and learn the difference between cornmeal and corn syrup if we want to run more like the Kenyans. A diet centered on starchy whole foods provides a winning combination of high-octane fuel and satiety and thereby promotes high performance and a lean body composition.

Eat meat infrequently.

The typical Kenyan runner eats meat or fish three or four times per week. While in other countries a tedious argument rages between Paleo dieters, who believe people should eat more meat than anything else, and plant-based dieters, who believe that every bite of animal flesh takes a day off one’s life, Kenyans may have found the sweet spot between these extremes. Recent science, including a massive 2013 study involving more than 400,000 men and women, lends support to the idea that eating a small amount of meat is healthier than eating either none or a lot. The practice certainly agreed with me.

Eat snacks and dessert…of fruit.

Kenyans rarely eat desserts or sweets. I did see rural Kenyan schoolchildren munching on raw sugarcane, but that’s closer to eating an apple than it is to drinking a can of soda. Indeed, when Kenyans do crave something sweet they are more likely to reach for a papaya or a banana than a candy bar or cookie. Most of the unscheduled feedings (i.e. snacks and desserts) that Kenyan runners partake of consist of fresh fruit.

Sugar hysteria has gotten so far out of control in the United States and elsewhere that fruit has been lumped together with other sweet-tasting things and labeled “unhealthy.” In fact, fruit is one of the healthiest food types in nature. Research has consistently shown that higher fruit intakes are associated with favorable health outcomes.




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