Well, what you eat pre-running is often going to determine how long you run. While running on an empty stomach may not be the wisest idea, fueling yourself up with the correct nutrition is essential. If you are a morning runner then you probably don’t want to eat a heavy meal so early. By meal, I don’t mean stuffing yourself with food, but rather try a light snack that will provide you with some essential nutrients to power your running.
Just remember that the foods you eat should be low in fibre. High fibre foods like vegetables and salads aren’t recommended before a run, as they take longer to digest. Heavy to digest protein rich foods like chicken, fish can also cause gastrointestinal discomfort. Meal Timing & Snack Ideas If you plan on running for 15 to 30 minutes then it is suggested that you eat a light snack 30 to 60 minutes prior. But what should you eat? Try fruit, just a piece of single fruit is said to be a runner’s favorite pre-run snack. Not only is it yummy, but it’s also the easiest to digest, light on the stomach and loaded with potassium. Fruit rich in Vitamin C (like oranges) also help prevent muscle injuries and replace collagen in muscle fibre. Also stick to eating whole fruit rather than having juice so you don't lose out on nutrients.
Another option is half a slice of toast with milk or curd: it’s light, plus it’s also got your necessary carbs and proteins. If you plan to run for a longer period of time, say, 30 to 60 minutes, then you may need a heavier snack to keep you energized for longer.
Try cereals like oats, wheat flakes or muesli coupled with some cold or hot milk. Another easy and quick snack is toast with eggs. Not normally a morning snack, but you could try hummus with pita bread; a perfect combination of protein and carbs to keep you satisfied during the longer runs. Another option is Greek or Natural yoghurt with some fruit. Yoghurt is easy on the stomach, and fruit like berries are great anti-oxidants.
Just be sure to consume this meal 60 to 90 minutes before you run. Some important things to remember; low fibre, low fat, good protein and carbs. Experiment with these snacks yourself and then decide which one keeps you energised and what doesn’t work for you. Also remember to keep yourself hydrated: before, during and after your run. Happy running!
Get Started with Fitness: