Ever wonder what to eat before or after a run? Believe it or not it is equally important as your planned run. Your nutrition can make or break your run.
The foods you eat provide your energy for your runs. If you are planning for a long run >1 hour or a speed/tempo workout then you need energy. Aim for 400-500 calories before these runs. If the runs are done in the morning leave yourself ~2 hrs to digest. If you can’t do that then make sure to eat a high carbohydrate dinner the night before and have a small carbohydrate snack in the morning to increase your glycogen storage for that run.
Pre-run food should be high in carbohydrates and low in fat and fiber. Here are a list of snack ideas:
- Bananas with peanut butter
- Honey on toast
- Oatmeal with fruit
- Graham crackers with nut butter
- Apple with Nutella
- Veggies with hummus
- Blueberry muffin
How to time your post-run meals? In theory you should eat as soon as possible to rebuild glycogen storage. If you can not eat a meal within 30 minutes then pack a snack for your post-run. If you go without eating after the run for hours then it can leave you sore and sluggish for your next run.
Post-run foods should be high in carbohydrates and protein. Carbohydrates will replace your glycogen that was used during the run and the protein will help rebuild your muscle fibers that were beat up during the run. Here are a list of post-run snacks:
- Protein shake/bars
- Chocolate milk
- Banana with Greek yogurt
- Hard boiled egg with w/w crackers
- Trail mix
- Pretzels with salted pistachios
- P & J sandwich on w/w bread
- Avocado on w/w pita bread (side note: avocado’s are an excellent source of magnesium and potassium… great for reducing muscle fatigue)
What are some of your favorite pre/post run snacks? Please feel free to share what gets you through your runs.