Two Surprising Canned Foods Runners Aren’t Eating But Should

Runners are hip to knowing it’s important to fuel their bodies right. Gotta fuel the beast if you expect it to perform. It’s become pretty common knowledge to seek out protein-rich foods for muscle repair and growth and even Sesame Street can tell us we’re supposed to eat our fruits and veggies.

But canned foods, those can sometimes get a bad rap. Like the Foodie Snobs may not even walk through the canned aisle, right? 😉 JK. It’s true the SOME canned foods can be loaded with sodium and fresh foods may seem like the better choice. However, canned foods really have come a long way in terms of getting ‘healified’; runners can easily find lower sodium options on the shelves. And hey, bottom line it for you: canned veggies last forever and a day, they’re often cheaper, and a canned veggie if it’s eaten is FAR and away better than no veggie at all!

run for pancakes

Yea, runners LOVE food!

Though let’s talk about two AWESOME foods for runners that are canned but probably aren’t even on your food radar at all. I’ll amend that…these guys aren’t exactly canned but rather tinned.

TINNED…yea, I know, cut to the mental image of people hunkered down in a bomb shelter, ‘those’ kinds of situations are when tinned foods are called for. 😉 Just kidding. Actually, runners need to start stopping their carts front and center in the tinned seafood section.


I’m a huge seafood fan and love anything and everything from the sea, but if your face scrunched up at reading oysters…unscrunch that runner face of yours. Oysters are loaded with iron, which is incredibly important for runners. Iron is one of those things where if your levels start to dip your energy takes a nosedive. Symptoms mimic that of overtraining, you could be beating your head against the wall in frustration wondering WHY your workouts are tanking, your easy runs NEVER feel easy, and no amount of cutting back is making you feel better.

That kind of over fatigue kills not only your workouts but your mental outlook, it’s not fun slogging along feeling like you’re running with bricks on your feet. One of the first things to do if you start to experience prolonged tiredness like this is to check your iron because you may be anemic.

Runners never want to get to that point and experience being anemic so it’s important to be eating iron-rich foods. [I also recommend that you supplement in addition to those foods.] Oysters are a great source of iron (zinc too) with 6.1mg for 6 medium oysters, or 88grams of oysters.


That’s right, these little fishies are a perfect catch for runners! (sorry, I couldn’t resist) Sardines are an excellent source of protein and they have the healthy Omega 3 fats. All of this means they’re restoring your muscles, they have an anti-inflammatory effect, are heart-healthy, they’re also helping build that mental muscle…yea, runners are smart like that. [Omega 3 Fatty Acids help boost brain healthy among many things.]

fish on treadmill

Don’t swallow a live fish though, please.

Like most other foods from the sea sardines are also low in calorie, making those calories give you lots of bang for your buck in terms of the protein count. One sardine fishy has 25 calories and 3 grams of protein.

Now sardines come tinned in a few different varieties: in water, in oil, and in mustard. I recommend picking the water or mustard options, and from there get swallowing! Just kidding, of course I’ve got no problem eating a raw fish but there are lots of ways to creatively add your sardines to meals, added to a delish pasta sauce is one option.

So there, Foodie Snobs of the world be darned, there IS reason to park that card right in from of the canned/tinned food section! Runners should do it most definitely. 🙂

It’s COMING!! If you’re in the Roseville, CA area be sure to come out to my big Ezzere Launch Party Runner Night on Monday, April 7th! All the details are HERE!! Lots of runners, prizes, shirts, fashion, and more. 🙂

1) Do you like seafood?
2) Have you ever tried oysters or sardines?
3) Do you buy/eat many canned foods? What are your healthy canned food finds?

Related posts:

10 thoughts on “Two Surprising Canned Foods Runners Aren’t Eating But Should

  1. I love canned seafood. I don’t eat them all the time though. Just once and a while I’ll pick up some canned oysters, and crab. Another canned food I get are beets. Great article and good luck with your launch party this Monday!

    • yes, beets! another great canned find, thanks! 🙂 and double thanks for the well wishes on my launch party, one day i’ll have to throw an event closer to your neck of the woods. 🙂

  2. Mum loves her canned fishies and oysters, but me, I’ve never been able to do it. This vegetarian chickpea does stop by the canned food aisle for other runner-friendly foods though: lentils, tomatoes (especially canned cherry tomatoes – yum yum), baked beans (weeknight guilty pleasure), beetroot, corn…and of course – chickpeas!

    • even though u pass up the canned fishies i have NO doubt that u’re eating plenty of runner friendly foods…heck, i SEE the delish gorgeous gourmet you’re cooking up over there on the daily. 🙂 i love that our healthy canned foods list is growing and when u bring up baked beans i have to smile because growing up my mom would make ‘beanie weenie’ with the baked beans and cut up hot dogs…now talk about fine dining, right? 😉 funniest part is as a kid i LOVED beanie weenie and my bro and i would cheer every time she made it. haha.

  3. Sorry, oysters and sardines just make my stomach turn:( I wish I liked more seafood but I just cant do it. I can handle salmon or flounder and that’s about it. As for canned veggies- I just tend to go with the frozen kind. But, like you said- any veggies are better than no veggies!

  4. Oysters, sardines, mackerel all high in omega threes an very low in toxins due to small size and short life. Tomatoes have benefits canned and stewed that fresh can’t give you. Chickpeas are a nearly perfect good. My favorite overall is Chia, though not canned… Canned grapefruit are too die for.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *