Do you usually feel out of energy when you run? Before you lace up and get out there, it’s important to fuel your training with the perfect ingredients for optimal performance.
These simple tips will help you energize and get the most out of your workouts!
When to eat
When you begin your run, you shouldn’t feel neither hungry nor stuffed. In fact, eating before a run can cause cramping and not eating at all can lead to low energy levels while working out.
In general, after eating a big meal, you should wait 2 to 4 hours before running, and 30 minutes to 2 hours, if you just had a small snack. This is approximately the amount of time needed to fully digest your food.
What to eat before a run
There’s no ideal meal you should eat before hitting the road. Whether you’re a beginner or an athlete, you should always trial what works best for you. But when it comes to fueling up for a run, carbs are perfect allies.
For energy boosting meals before a run, choose something:
- high in carbohydrates
- that includes fluids
- lower in fat, fiber, and protein
- that has a reasonably high glycemic index score (GI). High-GI foods are absorbed faster and less strain is placed on the gut.
It might sound complicated, but it isn’t. Check out the chart below to learn what you can eat before get out of the door:
- 2 hours before: 300- to 400-calorie meal containing carbs, protein, and healthy fats. Examples: cooked quinoa and grilled chicken; peanut butter and jelly sandwich; greek yogurt with fruit, nuts, and granola; or a cheese and veggie omelet with toast.
- 1 hour before: 150-calorie snack containing easily digestible carbs and a little protein. Examples: whole wheat toast with nut butter; banana and small handful of cashews; or a small bowl of cereal.
- 15 to 30 minutes before: small serving of easily digestible carbs. Examples: half a banana; applesauce; or raisins.
Which foods should be avoided
In addition to high-carb meals, you should always eat familiar foods, that you tolerate well and don’t feel too ‘heavy’ in your stomach.
Therefore, you must avoid rich, very fatty, spicy, or high-fiber foods, alcohol and drinking too much caffeine. These foods are well known causes of gastrointestinal distresses such as diarrhea and bowel upsets.
Want to add more tips to the list? Share your experience and comments below.