Foods To Eat Before Running For Maximum Energy

Foods To Eat Before Running For Maximum Energy

by Geninna

in Fitness & Workouts


What to eat before running is a common question that people ask. Nobody wants to run on an empty stomach, with food thoughts occupying your head while running. You also don’t want to stop midway during your running routine because you feel hungry and unable to carry on.

Another reason why people ask about what foods to eat before running is because they want to have the maximum energy possible to fuel their run. After all, it’s food that gives us energy for doing all sorts of activities, even breathing. Let’s find out what are the foods to eat before running for maximum energy.

 

Fueling up: What to eat before running

What should be the key ingredient?

When choosing what to eat before running, you should always keep in mind that the main ingredient needed is carbohydrate. And this is according to sports nutritionist James Collins.

Carbohydrate is stored in your muscles and liver in the form of glycogen. The important thing to remember is that the body can only store this form in a small amount which is why you need to keep stocking up on carbohydrates.

To have an energy boost prior to running, snacks with small carbohydrate portions will be adequate and you will notice that these are the kinds of food that will be mentioned. This is because these kinds of food is digested quickly which means these are absorbed faster and there is a source of energy right away.

What to eat before running

Although all of these suggested foods can be eaten prior to running, take note that the effort and time that you devote for running affects the food that you should eat. According to US Health News, there are two main categories of running level, first one is less than 60 mins and at an easy pace, and the other one is intense and more than 60 minutes.

Easy

Choose one from any of these suggested pre-run snack:

  • one banana
  • one peach
  • English muffin with jelly

These food items contain carbohydrates ranging from 13 grams to 27 grams.

Intense

Choose one from any of these suggested pre-run snack:

  • at least 8 oz. of Greek yogurt
  • one banana with 2 tbsp. of peanut butter
  • whole wheat bread (2 slices) plus 2 tbsp. of peanut butter
  • half a cup of quinoa (cooked)

If you’d like just to munch something before running and not focus on whether you want an easy or intense one, these are the suggested food items by the nutrition and health editor of TODAY, Joy Bauer:

  • One medium-sized orange and a handful of almonds
  • One banana and string cheese
  • One granola bar
  • One cup of whole grain cereal with skimmed milk

Other suggested pre-workout snacks include:

  • Honey: Nicola Starkey, Ph.D., swears by honey, as it may boost your running performance.
  • Fruity teacake, banana fairy cakes, exercise shakes: as suggested by James Collins

When to eat before running?

This question may sound redundant because it already answers itself, eat before running. But some of you might prefer to eat two hours before running, while others prefer to eat 30 minutes before. Is there a difference?

Two hours before running

If you’re the kind of person who would like to eat at least two hours before running, there are also options for you.

  •  oatmeal
  • wholegrain bread with eggs
  • bagels
  • blueberry pancakes
  • breakfast muffins
  • fresh fruit smoothie

Thirty minutes before running

If you want to eat at least thirty minutes before your run, then the suggested food options mentioned in the previous section will fit well.

What NOT to eat or drink before running

We have mentioned what you need to eat, but it’s also good to note what you shouldn’t eat before running. Keep in mind that you should avoid eating foods high in fiber before a run because they release energy slow and won’t help you maximize your run. These high in fiber foods include apples, pears, beans, etc.

Also avoid high-fat foods like fries, burgers, and cream-based soup. You also don’t want spicy food, caffeine, and alcohol included in your pre-run snack.

Other things to remember

It’s important to keep yourself hydrated. Consuming at least 12 ounces of water (and not more than 500 ml) an hour before running is suggested. And to bring water with you as well. If in doubt, always remember to eat food with carbohydrates and food that have little fat or fiber.

The minimum waiting time after eating and before running is 30 minutes. This time is about enough for digestion of food and distribution of energy. Do not eat until you’re full. Try to estimate only being full by two-thirds.


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