How to Eat to Fuel Your Runs

 

Running on Empty

Depending on when you’re running and what kind of a run you have planned, its sometimes OK to go without fueling first. For example, if you are planning a short 30-45 minute easy run, first thing in the morning, you may be better off getting some extra Z’s, rather than waking up early for a breakfast (and having time to digest before heading out). Your blood sugar level is influenced by what time you ate dinner the night before.  If you ate around 5pm, you may want a small portion of simple carbs, for instance half a banana. If you ate dinner at 8pm, and had a snack before bed, that may not be necessary. If you have not run on empty, in the past, bring a small bar with you to avoid feeling light-headed or dizzy. 

If you’re planning a workout or a long run, plan to eat at least an hour or two before, to avoid any potential gastrointestinal distress. This allows time for digestion. 

Pre Run Meals

When it comes to eating before a run - simple is best! Aim for foods that you’re familiar with and are easy to digest. Foods that contain mostly carbs with a bit of protein, work well. A piece of toast with peanut butter and banana, or oatmeal with maple syrup and banana are great options. If you usually drink coffee or tea, that's fine to have before a run - just go easy on the lactose, as this can upset your stomach!

Post Run

Post run, aim for a healthy meal that contains both carbohydrates and protein. Repleting your protein is vital within 45 minutes after a workout, so that your body builds muscle. Some examples of well-balanced meals include: eggs with fresh sautéed veggies; a salad with lots of colorful veggies, some whole grains like farro or quinoa, and a protein of your choice; fish with rice and greens if you’re running in the evening. Make sure to add a bit of healthy fat in too - like ½ an avocado or a handful of nuts or seeds. The combo is up to you - the key is focusing on using whole foods. Fat is very important for proper brain function.

Below you'll find some of our favorite fuel sources!

Hydration

When it comes to hydration, it’s always important to make sure you’re getting enough water. Aim for about 2 liters of water a day, and drink throughout the day. If you’re sweating a lot (especially in the summer months), its also important to make sure you’re replacing your electrolytes. Rather than loading up on sugary drinks like gatorade, opt for a more natural option like water with a little fresh lemon juice and a pinch of salt, or NUUN electrolyte tablets. Hydration can also come from your food, so eating plenty of hydrating fruits and veggies, like cucumber and watermelon, is another great way to make sure you’re staying plenty hydrated.

Animal Protein

Wild or Organic Salmon

Grass Fed Beef

Organic Chicken

Eggs

Beans and Legumes

Chickpeas

Black Beans

Lentils

Nuts and Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds

Sunflower Seeds

Chia Seeds

Hemp Seeds

Almonds

Walnuts

Nut and Seed Butters

Peanut Butter

Almond Butter

Tahini

Whole Grains

Farro

Quinoa

Polenta

Brown and White Rice

Whole Grain Bread

Whole Grain Pasta

Rolled Oats and Steel Cut Oats

Fruit

Bananas

Berries (Wild blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries)

Oranges

Avocado

Vegetables

Spinach

Kale

Broccoli

Chard

Bok Choy

Sweet Potatoes

Potatoes

Beets

Carrots

Mushrooms

Drinks

Coffee

Green Tea

Water

Hydration

NUUN Electrolyte Tablets

Water with Lemon and Salt

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