Whether you are an athlete, a beginner, preparing for a half marathon, or an ultra runner in the runner’s world. All you need is an ultimate source of energy to fuel up your system before running. Most runners find it difficult to consume the right nutrition just before the long run. We have developed more dynamic ideas to inculcate in your diet routine, so let us find out what to eat before a long run.
We want to stay fit and ahead of everyone in the fitness game. But are always baffled about what should be our next step. People think that it is only the workout that will help us to achieve the desired body we dream of but the quintessential part is food and diet. It is the 70:30 ratio where you need to focus on 70 percent of your diet and 30 percent of focus on your workout. Just imagine the requisite of eating foods that will quench our body’s requirements.
Most of us simply turn a deaf ear to eating pre-workout meals which is generally very essential to provide us with the spark and power during a vigorous workout or running. As we consume protein shakes as a post-workout recovery meal, eating a pre-run meal is equally important to make our blood flow, indulge in optimal performance, raise our energy levels, and for faster and better recovery of our internal organs and muscles.
Simple and complex carbs are the main things that can keep your engine keep going for a long time. Our body needs perfect pre-run snacks to rise the glycogen stores essential for the long run. Glycogen stores get depleted as long as you run. Eating simple carbs which have a low- glycemic index and do not give a spike in the blood sugar level before 1 or 2 hours of running is recommended. Let us go in-depth, get more ideas, and understand what to eat before a long run.
1. Let Us Understand What is Pre Run meal or Pre Run Snack
Never make the mistake to ignore a pre-run meal. Most runners who are beginners in this field do not have a thorough knowledge of the fundamental of eating the right food before a long run. A hard workout needs a tremendous amount of good food to achieve the desired goals and results.
Pre-run snack is very important and in simple terms, it means eating healthy carbs foods having a moderate amount of protein and high-fat foods is a complete no-no. Pre-run meals are ideally recommended to eat 1 hour or 30 minutes before any workout or running.
A great pre-run snack is key to letting healthy blood flow in our bodies. Optimal food intake should be taken before exercise it is not only beneficial to maximize our performance but also essential to minimize damage to the muscle. Eating small meals that can digest easily should be preferred before running. Eating a big meal on an empty stomach should be avoided if you love to exercise or run early in the morning.
2. What to Eat Before A Long Run
Let us investigate the ideal foods that can provide us with an intensive boost for our long runs. Below mentioned are some recipe ideas and meal plan to make your running fuel up with a lot of liveliness.
2.1. Avocado Toast
Avocado is regarded as the most finest and nutritious food of the globe. Avocados are loaded with monosaturated fats useful in reducing cholesterol thus lowering blood pressure which eventually reduces our heart health. They are a great resource of beneficial fats required for runners.
On the other hand, whole-grain toast is a rich source of fiber and carbs. Top it up with eggs for a source of protein and you are all set to go. An exemplary combination of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Fuel up your morning run with this power-packed delicious and full meal snack which is ideal for long runs.
2.2. Nut Butter
As we all know nuts are an ultimate source of healthy fats and are loaded with omega-3, potassium, zinc, and vitamin E. They all are essential to boost our metabolism and make our exercise last longer with a lot of energy.
Including nut butter like peanut butter, almond butter, walnut butter, hazelnut butter, and pistachio butter along with multi-grain bread topped up with your favorite fruits like banana or berries and your nut butter sandwich is all set to go inside your tummy.
Try to induce organic and sugar-free nut butter in your diet to reap the maximum health benefits from it. Always read the label behind the jar to get a rough idea about the nutrient’s contents.
2.3. Granola Bar
Another quick Muncy to fuel up your evening hunger pangs. They are loaded with oats, nuts such as raisins and almonds, jaggery, brown sugar, seeds, and coconut this small snack is a considerable energy bar to be added to your pre-workout snack.
This will instantly give you a boost to your energy level and is a great suggestion if you are looking for a small meal idea. Light on the stomach, digested quickly and all the nutrients required by your body before a long run is present in it. Grab a granola bar that is free from sugar and a rich source of protein.
A perfect snack to eat before a run if you are busy in your hectic daily routine and tired to prep things for your meal plan. Keep a handful of these quick munchies if you run out of time and eat it before a long run.
2.4. Sports Drink
A quick handy refreshments drink or sports drink is something that we all crave in the hot scorching heat. An absolute thing to have during summer to quench your thirst as well as provide you with all the essential vitamins and minerals which are vanished away in the heat. Light on the digestive system works wonders if you are preparing yourself for a long training run.
If you are planning to run more than an hour this drink will boost your energy level, keep you hydrated for a longer period and your body will not be fatigued. It is appropriate for both the short run and the long run. Different varieties of flavors are available in the market to choose from according to your taste and preference but make sure it does not contain any sugar or else it will instantly give a spike in your glycemic index.
Liquid nutrition provides way more quick energy as compared to solid food. A prompt boost of electrolytes before a run is much needed. Do not run dehydrated and sip on some flavorful drink.
Any seasonal fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges, kiwis, pomegranates, berries, and grapes work pretty well. The most effective approach to enhance blood flow in our body. Fresh fruits and juices are the perfect way to fuel up our system and kickstart our metabolism. They contain fewer amount of carbs and sugar to allow you to run faster.
They are easily digested and vital ingredients to inculcate to your sports nutrition. If you want to run in an ultra marathon or want to go for a quick workout session fruits are the best example of nutrition to include in your morning routine or training.
3. Foods That We Should Not Eat Before a Run
Certain types of foods should be avoided by our body before training, running, or long run. high-fiber foods, spicy foods, and oily foodstuffs should be refrained before running. This type of food may induce an upset stomach. Just like how you fill-up the gas tank of your car with the proper amount of fuel you need to fuel up your body and internal organs with proper food before a long run.
Here is a quick glimpse of food to be avoided before a long run or race day.
3.1. Processed or Fried Foods
These foods are high in carbs and can cause upset in your stomach while running. They are quite challenging to be digested and can cause hindrance for you to reach the finish line. Foods such as fries, burgers, pizzas, white rice, chips, and refined flour items must be avoided.
They quickly give rise to high blood pressure and thus lead to bloating and difficulty in the long run. They are mostly high in calories with zero nutrient value leading to weight gain and making you lethargic for the rest of the day. Do not make the mistake to add such foods to your diet before running or else your hard work will go in vain.
3.2. Spicy Foods
Too much amount of spice is not recommended by any doctors. Eating spicy food can lead to heartburn and acidity while running or workout. They generate serious effects on our gut health and stomach which is not advisable for runners.
Keep yourself healthy and fit by avoiding spicy stuffs, or else this will cause you trouble in your training sessions.
3.3. Milk-Based Products
Dairy products are a rich source of calcium and protein which is required by our body after a hardcore running or workout. Do not consume dairy items before a long run. Eat them after you finish your workout.
Milk-based products produce acids in the stomach and working out after having it will result in bloating and upset stomach. It is a complete no for runners and athletes or else it will hamper their training period.
Legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, and kidney beans should be avoided no doubt they are loaded with high fiber, protein, and fats but they can lead to a bloated stomach during training, long run, and the next morning.
They are not easily digestible and it will take a long time to get processed. So we should avoid them before running.
3.5. Smoking & Alcohol
Despite knowing the adverse effects of smoking and drinking alcohol, we all tend to enjoy this without giving it a second thought, and its effect on us as well as our family. A firm no before a long run or race.
If we are running a race or a marathon for the first time we tend to get nervous and in such cases, we drink or smoke. They directly target our internal organs and make our metabolism weaker which leads to dehydration and discomfort.
As you have come up this far you might have got a fair idea about what to eat before a long run and what not to eat. Foods directly have an intense impact on our workout sessions and running. It is always advisable to choose and eat wisely accordingly to our body type and structure.
The above-mentioned food items can be included in your diet and eaten before a long run to stimulate extra power and make your running last longer. Eat early to avoid any discomfort or feel nauseous and avoid eating just before running or strength training.
Let us be extra cautious about our health and food and indulge in happy eating and accepting an active lifestyle.
1. Is it necessary to eat or drink something before running?
Ans- If you are an early riser and do not feel like eating anything before running you can have banana and black coffee. They are light and will instantly provide you with a boost of energy. Never do a running or workout on an empty stomach.
2. Should I maintain a fixed timing for my workout?
Ans- Yes, this lets your body perform better as it will get used to it and will not get confused if you change your diet and workout routine.
3. Should I consume creatine or any other pre-workout supplements before running?
Ans- It depends upon you or for which level of event you are training. Creatine and pre-workout supplements are safe and can be consumed if you are an athlete and work hard. Still, before seeking any new medications check with your doctor.
4. Why do I feel dizzy when I run?
Ans- This is common for beginners as your body is not used to long intense hours of running. Try to keep yourself hydrated and eat a proper balanced pre-workout snack before running. If you still feel dizzy stop running for longer hours and consult the doctor.