What to Eat and Drink Before Running
What to Eat Before Running ? That’s a question new runners ask themselves : a good preparation is very important to run in the best conditions.
You are new runner, or you are trying to run again. But there is an important condition first : what to eat, and when to eat ? To avoid stomach cramps and the dreaded “wall” (when energy levels plummet) here are our best tips about food and running.
When to eat ?
First, just don’t eat before running. Just dont’. Your body needs energy to run and digesting take a lot of energy. So make sure that you eat at least 2 hours before you run. Or even 3 hours. Or even not at all. Some runners like to eat with an empty stomach. Is it a good idea ? I know i have a hard time running on an empty stomach, so what I usually do is eat lightly 2 or 3 hours before my afternoon run. If you like running in the morning, then you probably are one of those people who can run on an empty stomach. If you feel like it, go for it. Listen to your body.
But… you need to eat if you plan on running a lot
For the 10-kilometer (6.2 miles), the half marathon (21 km or 13.1 miles) and the marathon (42 km or 26.2 miles), you just need to eat. Your Body will need the fuel. So eat 3 or 4 hours before. If you’re running less than 60 minutes, a pre-run eating session isn’t that important.
What to eat ?
Your meal needs to be high in carbs, but not too much protein and low in nutrients (fat and fiber). Those will slow down digestion. Eggs, banana, low-fat cottage cheese, blueberries, white toast, honey are good fuel for running.
You can also try turkey and mustard, grapes, baked potato, some pasta. But avoid creams, fried foods, butter or oil. Broccoli and cauliflower can also slow you down.
Your body will need water since you will sweat. It is recommended to drink 17–20 ounces (500–590 ml) of water with your pre-run meal, so again 3 or 4 hours before. I also like to drink half a glass of water few minutes before running. Because water pumps up your metabolism by 20% for a bit after your drink water.
Just before you run
30 to 60 minutes before a run, you can add some quick snacks to help you maintain your energy. But it has to be very small : fruit (banana or orange), 1/2 of a, energy bar, dry cereal and drink 5–10 ounces (150–295 ml) of water. Forget drink such as diet coke, coffee or Red bull. they won’t help you. Avoid also dairy products, cheese and cream.
If you go out for a long run, you might need a snack. Find some food with Glycogen that will help boost your blood sugar: Sports drinks with electrolytes, which you lose in sweat, Energy gels, Energy bars, Dried fruit, or even… candies. You will also need to drink 17–34 ounces (500–1,000 ml) of water per hour.