CAN DO Crab
Canned crab meat is a great way to reel in muscle-friendly protein, bone-building phosphorus, and the mineral zinc. In fact, just three ounces provide nearly a quarter of your daily need.
"Zinc is necessary for many functions that are essential to runners," says Dimmick, "including protein metabolism and immune function." The best brands of lump or white crab meat will have a firm texture and a clean, light flavor—and no fishy scent. Jumbo lump crab meat comes from the large muscles that drive the crab's swimming legs, giving it a meatier texture and earning it a more expensive price tag worthy of the occasional splurge.
Crab and Black Bean Tacos: Whisk 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 teaspoon curry powder, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne. In another bowl, stir two 6-ounce cans crab, one 15-ounce can rinsed black beans, and one cubed mango. Spread on tortillas. Top with baby spinach and curry yogurt. Eat taco-style.
15 Best Foods for Runners
CAN DO Salmon
Canned salmon is one of the richest sources of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA.
"These fats decrease heart-disease risk and improve bone strength," says Dimmick, "which may help runners avoid stress fractures."
They're also an excellent source of protein and vitamin D. Some canned salmon comes with the bones, which are soft and edible and provide calcium—but boneless varieties are available for the squeamish. Either canned pink salmon or sockeye is a good bet. The former is less expensive, while the latter contains 65 percent more vitamin D and 35 percent more omega-3s. Both are mainly harvested from sustainable wild stocks in Alaska.
More: Learn Why Omega-3 Is One Type of Fat You Should Eat More Of
Avocado Salmon Cakes: Mix two 6-ounce cans salmon, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, 1/3 cup milk, 1 shredded zucchini, and 2 teaspoons curry powder. Stuff into 8 greased muffin cups. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes. In a food processor, puree 1 avocado, 1/2 cup yogurt, juice of 1 lime, 1 teaspoon wasabi, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Serve salmon cakes with avocado sauce.
CAN DO Sardines
Sardines provide a dose of omega-3s, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.
"Studies show vitamin D may enhance athletic performance and even help prevent diabetes," says Kimball. A 2012 study suggests getting plenty of D can help reduce your risk of catching a bug.