What To Eat Before A Run

Womens Running Summer

Don’t let hungry thoughts eat into your run!  If you’ve been at work all day or you’re undertaking an early morning run, plan a snack that contains carbohydrates, healthy fat and protein 30-60 minutes before the run.  This time frame is just a guide, it’s important to listen to your body because the way everyone digests food is different.  Chew over the points below for pre-run meal ideas to boost your energy and fuel a great run:

  • Toasted rye bread with peanut butter and banana.  Rye bread and bananas have carbohydrates which are important for endurance, and peanut butter is high in protein.  In addition, bananas contain potassium, which decreases when you sweat a lot.

  • Greek or natural yoghurt with fruit, e.g. berries, kiwi fruit, mango.  Yoghurt contains carbohydrates to keep you energised and fruit has natural sugar to give you an energy boost.

  • Protein fruit smoothie.  Blend one cup of water, one cup of frozen berries and a scoop of protein powder for one minute.  Liquid pre-workout snacks are easy to digest and the water content will hydrate you, for better performance.  Furthermore, adding a small amount of protein reduces muscle soreness and fatigue.

  • Porridge made with almond/oat/organic whole milk.  Porridge is a good choice for long runs because it gradually releases sugar into your bloodstream.  Try toppings like bananas, berries, honey, desiccated coconut, nut butter, nuts, raisins and seeds to keep it fun and interesting!

  • Dried fruit and nuts (not the chocolate covered kind!) travel well and can be stored in a Tupperware box, for convenient snacking.  Dried fruit has healthy sugar for an energy boost and nuts will prevent your insulin levels from dropping mid-workout.

  • Two fig rolls or slices of malt loaf with butter (not tasteless low fat spread!).  They are a delicious, convenient source of carbohydrate and fibre that are easily digestible – a fantastic on the go snack.

  • Coconut water or low sugar sports drinks.  Both beverages provide fluids and electrolytes to help keep you hydrated.

  • Homemade flapjacks or granola bars.  There are so many options in the shops marketed as ‘healthy’ snacks, but if you’ve ever looked at the nutritional information you could be in for a bit of a shock! Why not try making them yourself, so you know exactly what you’re eating?  Try a Google search to find a recipe that inspires you!

  • Half a sweet potato with agave nectar or butter and cinnamon.  Sweet potatoes are amazing powerhouse foods which are full of nutrients to fuel your body.

Ultimately, your nutrition sets the foundation for what you do.  Keep it simple!  If you want to eat well, you don’t have to be crazy and diverse.  Between training and nutrition, regardless of where you want to go in your running career, you will be in the right situation to achieve your goals.



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