Blog o bieganiu sBIEGACZA - porady, ćwiczenia, diety dla biegaczy
  • Polski
  • English
Facebook runnerssphere Szukaj
> What to eat before running to make training effective?

What to eat before running to make training effective?

Publish date 10.10.2022

You can read it in 7 minut 252 views

What to eat before running to make training effective?

Do you think that exercise, training, and running alone are enough to achieve the figure of your dreams? Unfortunately, I have to tell you that no. To achieve an athletic figure, strong muscles, and a sculpted abdomen (which is many people’s goal), you also need to take care of what you eat. Not only throughout the day but also before running. 

You want your workout to be effective. Therefore, it’s a good idea to eat something that will satisfy you – that you won’t feel hungry while running -, and that won’t be heavy on your stomach. This is an important point, and unfortunately, many runners ignore it. 

That’s why in this article I’ll give you a hint about what to eat before running to make your workout effective, and when to eat a meal before a workout. 

When to eat before running? 

You need to keep in mind that eating before running is extremely important. Not only should you ask yourself “what should I eat before running” but also “when to eat.” Here’s a hint:

  • Running in the morning – you can eat a small snack e.g. banana, yogurt, or energy bar 30 minutes before going out running.
  • Between meals – sometimes you want to go running between meals e.g. in the afternoon. If you are feeling a little hungry then you can eat a snack 30-60 minutes before running. 
  • After a big meal – it depends on what you eat, but give yourself around 2-4 hours before you go for a run. 

This is basic information, however, it still all depends on what food to eat before running you choose. Keep reading and you’ll learn more specifics. 

Food to eat before running – what and how many hours before training

As I wrote earlier, the optimal time when you should run after a big meal is about 2-4 hours. It’s worth adhering to this so that you don’t feel discomfort and your run is good, relaxing, as well as fun. After all, training is not only hard work and duty but also fun. Remember this.

There are times when you suddenly get hungry. You have eaten, but moments before running your stomach demands food. Earlier you did not feel like eating, but now you are sure to be consuming something. What to do in such a situation? 

Of course, it is best to eat some snacks. It is better to eat something small to improve your performance. And here the question arises:

What should I eat before running, when I have a given amount of time at my disposal?” 

I WILL TELL YOU! 🙂

CARBOHYDRATE

Yes, this may come as a surprise to some – maybe to you too. All because when you hear the word “carbohydrates” you immediately think of higher weight. However, that’s not quite the case. 

As it turns out, no matter how many hours or minutes you have before running, a good snack when you’re hungry, is those with slowly digestible carbohydrates. Why exactly?

  • You will burn more fat, 
  • you will improve your performance during exercise,
  • you will have a greater increase in blood sugar and fatty acid levels at the end of your workout,
  • They are excellent before endurance training.

Why is this the case? What’s so unusual about slowly digestible carbohydrates?

This is because they cause a slower rate of glycogen oxidation from muscle – this means compensating by obtaining energy from fats. 

You talk about slowly digestible carbohydrates. What about fast digestible carbohydrates? Should I avoid them before training?

Of course not. It is a fast digestible carbohydrate that you can safely eat before training. You have about 30 minutes left before you start running, and you’re hungry? Choose fast digestible carbohydrates. They will allow you to replenish your glycogen without feeling that you have a heavy stomach during your workout. 

Wait wait wait…I think I’m a little confused about when and what I can eat when it comes to carbohydrates.

Yes, it can be a bit confusing, so I have a little summary for you.

What to eat before running - banana

Products with slowly digestible carbohydrates:

  • 4-2 hours before your workout, 
  • Your blood sugar level changes significantly and you have about 60-30 minutes to run.

Products with highly digestible carbohydrates: 

  • You want to eat something fast and you have 60-30 minutes left to start running,
  • You want to replenish your energy reserves when your workout lasts more than an hour. 

FATS

These you should limit and avoid before training. All because fats slow down digestion. When running, your body should focus on burning calories and fat, not on the extra digestion of food. You may experience stomach pain because of this. What’s more, you may feel uncomfortable during your workout, and you certainly don’t want that. 

FIBER

Fiber needs to be treated in the same way as fats and should not be consumed and limited before training. 

PROTEIN

When to eat protein before a workout? When you know you are planning an intense or long workout. This will help you regenerate your muscles faster. What’s more, protein is a satiating nutrient, so you won’t be hungry for a long time. In addition, you won’t be hungry right away, which helps when you want to lose weight. 

If you choose protein for your diet then try to choose products that are low in fat and cholesterol. 

What to eat before running in the morning?

Morning workouts are popular among runners – after all, there’s nothing better than starting the day with a run and recharging yourself for the day. Some people don’t eat a meal before going out and do so when they return. However, for those who can’t imagine leaving the apartment with an empty stomach or feeling bad without a meal…what should they eat? 

If you want to learn more about fasting running – yes or no – click HERE

Before I get to the specific foods you can eat you must remember to wait 30 minutes to 1 hour after eating before running. Therefore, you should get up early – wake up, eat, wait a minimum of 30 minutes and go out for a run. 

Food to eat before running in the morning 

In the morning, there is no time to prepare complicated meals. Moreover, what you eat should be light. Ideally, let it be a small snack. 

Here are some suggestions:

  • banana,
  • yogurt,
  • smoothies, 
  • milkshake, 
  • dried fruit such as dates, 
  • cereal bar, 
  • energy bar, 
  • oatmeal, 
  • cereal with yogurt. 

What to eat before running in the evening?

Running in the evening is another matter. Here you should have no problem eating a full meal 2-4 hours before training. Maybe you think you can’t last that many hours without eating, and you’ll be hungry before training. 

That’s why it’s better to eat a balanced meal than to eat just snacks. That way, you won’t be as hungry after your workout and you’ll eat a smaller portion. 

Food to eat before running in the evening 

  • chicken with vegetables,
  • risotto with vegetables, 
  • chicken with pasta,
  • macaroni salad with chicken and vegetables, 
  • spaghetti with tomato sauce. 

What to eat before running a 5k 

5 kilometers is not a big distance. Therefore, you don’t need to eat a big meal before going out to train. Just eat some light snacks such as a banana, or an energy bar 30 minutes before you start training

What to eat before running 10-20k

This is a long stretch for a runner, so you should eat a good and balanced meal to have energy for running. However, remember to eat your meal at least 2 hours before going out to train. 

Your workout may last so long that you need an extra source of energy. That’s when it’s a good idea to have e.x. an energy bar with you. It certainly can’t hurt to have it on hand – you can even pass out from lack of energy as well as strength, so such a small snack can help. 

Fun fact: Did you know that if you need an extra source of energy, all you have to do is rinse your mouth with a sports drink? Then you will increase your body’s performance. 

Runner’s “NO”, when it comes to eating before running 

  • Not for fat and fiber. We’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth a reminder. These two ingredients cause the stomach to slow down. This can make running heavy and uncomfortable. 
  • Not for new products. Don’t try new foods before running. You never know how your body will react to them. It’s better not to have problems on the trail when you are away from home. 
  • No for stodgy meals. Before running, avoid fast food or dishes that are pronounced. They will make you run hard and you won’t run as much as you planned. 

I hope I’ve answered your most burning question (what should I eat before running), and now you know how many hours beforehand you should eat a meal and what should be on your plate. Follow these rules, and you will have a comfortable, relaxed, and enjoyable running experience. 

Hungry for more? If so, visit our TIPS tab and discover the secrets of runners! 

They may appeal to you:

07 02.2024
Recovery supplements for runners – what will help you after a workout?

Recovery supplements for runners – what will help you after a workout?

Running is one of the most popular forms of physical […]

15 12.2023
Best fruits and vegetables for runners – what should you include in your diet?

Best fruits and vegetables for runners – what should you include in your diet?

Running is one of the most popular forms of physical […]

09 11.2023
What diet for stronger joints – what should you eat?

What diet for stronger joints – what should you eat?

Have you heard about how running can damage your joints? […]

27 09.2023
Light meals – not only before running. Find out 10 interesting suggestions

Light meals – not only before running. Find out 10 interesting suggestions

It is important to eat a proper meal before running. […]

10 07.2023
Keto diet and running – is running on a diet without carbohydrates possible?

Keto diet and running – is running on a diet without carbohydrates possible?

I bet you’ve already heard a bit about the keto […]

04 07.2023
Anabolic window – what is it, what to eat up to 2 hours after running, and why?

Anabolic window – what is it, what to eat up to 2 hours after running, and why?

You’ve probably already heard a lot about what you should […]

15 06.2023
Vegan diet for athletes – what to eat to have the strength and energy for daily workouts?

Vegan diet for athletes – what to eat to have the strength and energy for daily workouts?

Numbers of people who are into vegan diets are more […]

19 05.2023
Healthy eating habits – what should you change in your daily diet?

Healthy eating habits – what should you change in your daily diet?

You should introduce healthy eating habits into your life not […]

05 05.2023
Nutrition mistakes made by runners – what you should know?

Nutrition mistakes made by runners – what you should know?

Every beginner runner focuses on the basic things to prepare […]

28 11.2022
What to eat after a workout at night to wake up rested and recovered? – 8 meals 

What to eat after a workout at night to wake up rested and recovered? – 8 meals 

Are you not a morning bird and don’t want to […]

28 11.2022
Running but not losing weight – why doesn’t running get results?

Running but not losing weight – why doesn’t running get results?

Running is a sport for which you don’t need extra […]

17 10.2022
How much to run for weight loss – 10 pounds, 20 pounds, and more!

How much to run for weight loss – 10 pounds, 20 pounds, and more!

The reason why someone started running can be very different […]

14 10.2022
Running after eating – how long should you wait before training?

Running after eating – how long should you wait before training?

The title of this article is sure to make those […]

14 10.2022
What to eat before a running race – 3 days, 1 day, a few hours

What to eat before a running race – 3 days, 1 day, a few hours

Are you a runner and recreational running alone is not […]

12 10.2022
What to eat after running – morning and evening

What to eat after running – morning and evening

Some people think that it only matters what you eat […]

10 10.2022
What to eat before running to make training effective?

What to eat before running to make training effective?

Do you think that exercise, training, and running alone are […]

X

Join our newsletter

stay up to date with tips for runners

Sign me up