What To Eat Before A Run

What To Eat Before A Run

Avoid heavy meals because they can cause stomach cramps and other digestive problems. Your body needs some time to digest these foods before you start running. 

Drinking water before a run helps prevent dehydration and keeps you well-hydrated throughout the race too. 

In today’s article, we're going to show you what to do when you run. You should drink lots of water before running because your body needs it.

Just know this before we start - don't eat anything while you're running, or you might get sick!

Why Should You Eat Before A Run?

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What to Eat Before a Run

Running is a cardiovascular exercise, so the heart pumps blood and oxygen throughout the whole body. That blood carries energy as well as oxygen.

Foods that give us energy help the body get ready for running. Carbohydrates are the most important macronutrient to eat before a run. These are foods that burn fast in your body to give you energy. 

You’ve probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Therefore, you should have breakfast before a run in the morning.

Your first meal should be something light, such as a banana or toast with peanut butter. Then, you can have a protein shake.

After this, you should eat a carb-rich snack, such as pasta salad. This will give you enough energy for the rest of your day.

What To Eat Before A 5K

Ensure meals are minimal before short or intensive runs. If you're going to lace up to do a shorter session, your fueling process is simple.

You'll be eating very little, if any, prior to starting. Since your workout will be less than an hour, you'll have plenty of glycogen left over to give your body the energy it needs to perform. Your body will draw on this energy as needed during the workout.

Having enough glycogen is vital for runners. Complex carbohydrates should be included in their diets. Foods such as oats, quinoa, vegetables, and fruits are great choices.

If you’re running late in the day, breakfast, lunch, or dinner should have already filled up your glycogen stores, so you may not need to add anything else.

What To Eat Before Running In The Morning 

A light snack before a short morning workout will help you get ready for exercise. You should try something that won't sit in your stomach like an actual rock. Something that will be easy to digest will also help you feel more energized during exercise.

Does A Morning Coffee Help Or Hinder?

Coffee is a cornerstone of many people's mornings. It's also a stimulant drug. It speeds up the rate at how signals fire from the brain.

This leads to the release of adrenalin - the stress hormone that gives us that coveted caffeine buzz. Caffeine helps you perform better during exercise by increasing endurance and decreasing perceived effort.

However, there are some things you should never do before running such as heating a heavy meal that makes you feel bloated and uncomfortable.

What To Eat Before A Half-Marathon 

What To Eat Before A Half-Marathon

Experiment with different meals to see what works best for you before a long run. For runs between 60 and 90 minutes, you're probably in a gray area.

Some runners prefer to eat nothing before running. Others prefer to eat something light before running. Runners who are doing more intense workouts or longer runs need to consume more calories before running.

A banana, some dates, and a smoothie are all great ideas for you in this case. You can add peanut butter to the banana if you want more energy.

Put almonds into the dates, and you'll get a great pre-run snack. As long as you build up your energy reserves, you’ll be raring to run! 

Before You Run A Marathon, Here's What You Should Eat

Long runs necessitate pre-fueling. What to do before a long run is outlined below. A runner has a plethora of pre-run nutrition alternatives! You should definitely eat something before a run that lasts longer than 90 minutes.

  • Two hours before the run: Eat oatmeal or granola, avocado toast, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
  • 1 hour before the start: Something easy to digest such as an energy bar should be fine. You could also include eight to twelve ounces of a sports drink with electrolytes to ensure proper hydration. 
  • 30 minutes before the race, eat some fruit, and drink some water. During the run, you shouldn’t eat anything but a banana or piece of fruit can be consumed if required.

You should eat about 30-90 grams of carbs per hour depending on how hard you're working. If you're running slower than usual, you may need less. If you're doing hills, you may need more.

Do You Need Supplements?

Energy drinks are overpriced and contain unnecessary ingredients. Sports gels are also overpriced and contain unnecessary chemicals.

Chews and protein bars are also expensive and filled with ingredients that will not help you very much. You should consume foods that provide real nutrition instead of empty calories.

Remember To Enforce Healthy Eating Habits A Considerable Amount Of Time Before Your Run

You should practice what works for you. Race day is coming up, and you need to be prepared. Your body might feel hungry, but your stomach shouldn't be full.

Eat something before running. Longer races require more time to digest food. You should eat early enough to avoid stomach upset during your race.

What You Should Eat After Exercise?

Knowing what to eat for muscle recovery is just as important as knowing what to eat before a run. Post workout snacks should be high in protein to help build muscles. Protein helps repair damaged tissues after exercise. Carbohydrates provide energy to muscles during exercise.

Fat provides energy to muscles but also slows down the absorption of proteins. Eating too many carbs can lead to stomach aches, however.

Hydrate before, during, and after workouts! Dehydration causes loss of performance, muscle soreness, fatigue, and increased recovery time. We suggest that you call in the pros if you're looking to get fit.

We recommend hiring a registered dietician or other qualified healthcare professional to help you achieve your goals.

Final Thoughts

After reading this article, you should now have a better idea on what to eat before a run.

Although it may seem like a complicated ordeal, as long as you follow the steps associated with the run you are going on, you are sure to have the correct fuel for the run. 

Also, check out this guide on cardio workout for runners to help you boost your stamina, improve your core strength, and reduce impact on your legs.

Kevin Harris