What To Eat Before A Run | Pre Running Nutrition Tips

choosing what to eat before you run and

choosing when to eat before your run is

something that troubles many runners out

there hands up if you've had to make

that emergency loo stop mid run yep I

have been there or maybe you simply run

out of energy during a long run yes I

have also been there but I have learned

from my mistakes so today I'm going to

bring you some tricks that I have

learned to help you know what to eat

before you next let's hope your trainers

and head out the door before we get

stuck into what to eat before your run

we probably should address when to eat

before your run how long before your run

can you or should you eat well I need to

start this with a bit of a disclaimer

because there is no one answer for all

for me for example I can manage a pretty

light and very plain snack about 20

minutes before a steady run where as

Mark says he can manage fairly weighty

snack in his words 15 to 20 minutes

before heading out the door but then I

know people who need one sometimes even

two hours of time after eating before

they go and run we are all so different

it's something that you don't want to

guess you need to actually work out and

really there's only one way to find out

that is through trial and error so

there's a bit of a rough and ready

experiment next time you've got a steady

run try eating a medium sized snack say

90 minutes beforehand and see how you

get on if your stomach's entirely fine

then next time you do it take 15 minutes

off that and so have your same snack say

75 minutes before you're running you can

keep reducing that until you find that

fine line where you know that's the

window that you can need to digest your

food if you struggle though at 90

minutes then add on 15 minutes and so on

and hopefully this way to

experimentation you will find that

perfect window but it does obviously

have an effect of what you eat but more

on that in a moment and if you are

taking on food before your run its

presumed because you need it for fuel so

you need to allow your body at least

enough time to turn that food into fuel

and to start with your body will start

digesting and it needs the Bloods then

take that into your muscles and into

your bloodstream take that energy that's

been made but as soon as you start

exercising the blood is restricted to

your stomach so basically digestion goes

on pause so bear this in mind when

you're thinking about how long before

you want to eat before you

and then also it is the quantity of food

you're eating and the type of food that

will affect this too

and that leads us nicely on to what to

eat fatty foods protein and fiber aren't

as easily absorbed as some foods and

therefore can actually cause a

uncomfortable stomach when you're

running as they're gonna sit heavy in

your stomach other than getting absorbed

but that doesn't mean they need to be

avoided or together just have them in

small quantities or plenty of time

before you go for your run so that leads

us where the carbohydrates which can be

easily absorbed but also give you long

lasting energy so let's take a look at a

few examples we've got things like pasta

bread potatoes rice fruits and even

starchy vegetables and some of those

more simple carbohydrates and some more

complex and it's things like pasta and

rice which it depends if you go for a

brown rice or brown pasta that then

comes on to a complex carbohydrate and

as a result of that it means it's going

to be longer-lasting energy but does

take longer to break down and digest

compared to simple carbohydrates such as

white bread or white pasta and that's

got the advantage that your body can

take the energy from it much quicker

because it's in a more simple form and

taking that to another level of even

more simple carbohydrates you've got

things like sports drinks sweets gels

those kind of things which are also then

great for actually taking you on during

a run because it's really easy for your

body to absorb however prior to your run

ideally you want to have some complex

carbohydrates as they will give you that

slow release of energy throughout you

just need to make sure you've got enough

time beforehand so you can fully digest

it so let's look at some examples and we

start off with a small snack you could

use something like a banana which is

great for carbohydrate and even gives

you the added bonus of potassium for

example and then you've got oats and say

you can have that in the form of

porridge but yes the notes does have

some amount of fiber but lots of people

actually find it quite easy to digest

and it will give you that slow release

of energy you can even go for some

homemade energy bars of some sort or

granola but just be aware of the fat and

protein in the nuts and the fiber in the

dried fruit so that might need a little

bit longer to digest but they're also

great snacks to keep you topped up

throughout the day


and then for medium-sized snacks you

could simply have some toast with nut

butter make sure you pull out peanut

butter I'm definitely an almond butter

kind of person but you could top that

off with some banana to give you a

little bit more energy or even some jam

or jelly depending on where you're from

with that one and then there's bagels

which are probably a little bit more

substantial and a bit more filling you

could top that with some nut butter or

cream cheese to give you a little bit of

extra protein or maybe some yogurt with

granola which will tick all those boxes

as well and these are great snacks to

have an hour or so before your run or

even as a light lunch and then the

largest knack or meal is obviously going

to need much more time for digesting

like we alluded to earlier which for

most people was a good few hours

beforehand but it's these meals that you

can start to really get those more

substantial carbohydrates such as your

pastas and your potatoes in whether

that's in a spaghetti bolognese pizza or

a stir-fry for example however there are

situations when you do want to consider

fueling before your run and one of those

is your early morning run so before

you've had breakfast your body will have

naturally fasted overnight so your

glycogen stores might be slightly

depleted and even if this is a shorter

run it's still a good idea to have a

light snack beforehand but make sure

something that's really easy to digest

because if like us you're probably going

to be squeezing it in trying to get that

run done before you get to work and then

you've got the longer run and that's

obviously gage require a lot more energy

throughout it so you want to make sure

you've had a small or medium sized snack

long enough before so you've digested it

but also consider taking some food or

some fuel to take on during that run and

then you've got the interval style

sessions where instead of using a

combination of fats and carbohydrates

your body's going to move to using more

predominantly the glycogen from that

carbohydrate as you're working extremely

hard and yes the session might be short

but you're still going to be burning

through that energy so again for this

try to factor in a small or medium snack

enough time before finally if you are

one of those people that's prone to

digestive issues it's a good idea to try

and avoid spicy foods obviously you want

to stay away from alcohol before a

session but also coffee as well as the

foods we touched on a list or anything

that's got too much protein or really

high in fat or fiber and if you do this

hopefully you'll be able to go for a run

without that sudden panic of needing to

find a bush and coffee is one of those

topics that actually comes up a lot

because yes it can give you a kick and

give you that boost for your training

session but it can have some other less

desired side effects on your stomach if

you're not used to it eating after your

run is just as important as eating

before you run so try to get something

in within the 30-minute window after a

long or a hard session you want to try

and keep those blood sugar levels nice

and stable and start that recovery

process so carbohydrates are needed to

top up those depleted glycogen stores

you also want to have some protein

that's going to help with that repair

process for your muscles and the

recovery and not forgetting hydration

it's important to make sure you take on

plenty of fluids and if it's been a

really hot session or you've sweated a

lot then you'll want to consider some

electrolytes as well


we haven't addressed the topic of FATA

adaptation or using fat as fuel in this

video because that is a whole nother

topic but you will find that some

athletes are better fat add up to than

others and therefore won't need as much

of their glycogen stores as some and as

a result some people might need to eat

more or different foods before going for

a run it really is a matter of trial and

error and working out what style of

athletes and what style of fueling works

for you and on that subject yes

today we've covered a selection of foods

that are suggestions or things that work

for us here at GT n that we find give us

enough energy for our runs and also a

relatively easy for us to digest but we

are also different so please do let us

know how you get on eating before around

what sort of foods you like what works

for you or maybe things that you found

have not worked for you as well equally

we want to hear from you so make sure

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