It’s a dilemma familiar to any runner: should you eat before running or not? It would be nice to know one way or the other, but there are no pat answers to this question. Whether and what you should eat before going for a jog will depend on your personal preferences and other factors specific to you, not to mention the intensity of your run and how long you leave it between runs.
As a general rule, you should avoid foods before a run that are difficult to digest. This is all the more important the shorter the interval between eating and running, and how intense your planned run will be. In other words, opt for foods that are low in fats and fiber, and don’t eat a large helping. Your body will digest such foods slowly, which can lead to indigestion when you get shaken about during running.
Got less than an hour before your run and don’t want to miss out on an energy boost? Then go for a banana, an Protein Bar or a rice cake with peanut butter. What if you have more than 3 hours between your breakfast and your run? In that case, we have 4 recipes that will get you there with plenty of carbohydrates, but low fat and fiber.
Overnight Oats provide you with a large helping of carbohydrates, protein and a moderate amount of good fats. To minimize the fiber content, swap out the blueberries for a banana.
Avocado on toast always does the trick if you have a bit of spare time between breakfast and your run. The avocado in this recipe provides a lot of unsaturated fats. These are important for your whole body, but they’re digested relatively slowly.
You can pick up rice cakes anywhere, and they’re quick and easy to prepare. They’re just the thing for a pre-run boost. Instead of ham and cream cheese, we recommend topping them with low-fat turkey breast and high-protein cottage cheese.
More than anything else, the right choice of food before a run comes down to personal preference. We recommend choosing food you like and then adapting these choices based on how it works for you. Try out different recipes and experiment with how long you leave it between eating and running to find out what your stomach can tolerate and what it can’t. Getting the right nutrition before your run – and at any other time – provides the best possible foundation for achieving your running goals. And remember to keep yourself well hydrated.
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