I get asked constantly what to eat just before a run. This is actually a very difficult question to answer because everyone is so different.
I know people who prefer to run on an empty stomach and those who like to eat minutes before a run. If you’re an eater the general recommendation is to eat something high in carbohydrates and moderate in fat, protein and fiber about 1-1.5 hrs before a run. The reason behind this is to provide your body with carbohydrates for energy and to avoid foods that may cause gastrointestinal distress.
…We’ve all had those fun unexpected bathroom trips mid run right?
What you eat before a run also depends on how long/ far you are planning on running. I think if you are going to be running for 60 minutes or less you really don’t need to eat anything before you run but if you’re going to be doing a long run your body will definitely needs some fuel.
Remember this too varies from person to person. I need food to even run 1 mile and my boyfriend runs half marathons without eating anything.
The bottom line is that you really have to find what works best for you. Experiment. Experiment. Experiment.
Try eating 1 hr before your next 5 mile run and see if you have more energy than usual? Get stomach cramps… maybe try eating something different or don’t eat at all.
Again, everyone is very different and it’s so important to find what works for YOU!
To help answer the very difficult question of what to eat before a run I reached out to my running community for some help.
Here’s what they suggested to eat before running:
- Oatmeal or a banana and tablespoon of peanut butter
- Greek yogurt
- Peanut butter toast
- Oatmeal and a banana
- Avocado/banana every time- I had to ask if he ate just a plain avocado or smashed it onto toast and he said just a whole avocado…OKAY! Super down for any excuse to eat a whole avocado!
- Toast with a little peanut butter and half a banana if it’s a longer run. If it’s a shorter run, (7 miles or less) I don’t usually eat.
- Usually just a banana with peanut butter to coat my stomach
- I like to eat half an avocado and a glass of almond milk. Any more than that and I get stomach cramps
- I like to have Vega pre workout 30 mins before and an hour before I have a green apple with almond butter
- A banana
Not all of these follow the general guideline of being high in carbs and moderate in protein, fat and fiber but like we discussed above every single person is different.
By the way…am I the only one who is very intrigued by eating a whole avocado before a run? I may just have to try that out.
Personally I like to get full before I run. Like really full! I have no idea why and that’s why I asked other people for their opinion because I think I’m a little bit crazy.
Here’s what I eat before a run:
For the marathon training I’ve been doing where I’m running anywhere from 9-22 miles I ALWAYS eat a Bobo’s Oat Bar. For 15 miles or less I only eat about 3/4 of it but for my big runs you bet I’m eating all 400 calories of that delicious bar seconds before I start running.
What do you eat before a run/workout?
When do you eat before a run/ workout?
Any funny stories about maybe trying a new food before a workout and needing a bathroom break?
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