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Christine Luff

Should I Eat Before Running?

By January 11, 2014

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If you're trying to lose weight by running, you're most likely attempting to cut some calories in your diet, too. And it might be tempting to skip meals -- like breakfast -- before your runs, to create an even bigger calorie deficit. Problem is that if you don't have enough energy, your run won't be strong, which hurts both your motivation and your calorie-burning efforts. Eating before a run will help you burn more calories during your runs because you'll be properly fueled and run better, and therefore feel much more confident and energized when you finish.

The basic advice for pre-run eating is to eat a snack or light meal about 1 1/2 to 2 hours before you start running to give your body enough time to digest it. You should eat something that's high in carbohydrates and lower in fat, fiber, and protein. Some examples of good pre-run food include: a bagel with peanut butter; a banana and an energy bar; or a bowl of cold cereal with a cup of milk. Avoid fatty or high-fiber foods, as they may lead to digestive issues, such as runner's trots.

What's your go-to pre-run food?


May 9, 2011 at 10:15 am
(1) Ben says:

Bagel with peanut butter is my favorite before long runs, shorter 5k-10k I don’t always worry as much about eating but I’ve been doing it for a few years and not looking to lose any weight.

Personally I’d suggest against the cereal + milk , I’ve tried that and found it sloshed in my stomach a bit and wasn’t a nice feeling.

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