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What to Eat Before a Run

You'll Have the Best Run Ever by Avoiding These Foods

Whether you're tackling your first 5K or training for a marathon, it's important to fuel your body in order to kick some butt during your sweat session. While exercising on an empty stomach isn't the best idea, fueling up the wrong way before a run can cause stomach cramps, dizziness, and headaches. Check out the chart below to learn some good choices for noshing before lacing up those sneaks.

2 Hours Before

What to eat: 300- to 400-calorie meal containing carbs, protein, and healthy fats:

What to avoid: Fibrous veggies and high-fat foods that are hard to digest:

  • Broccoli, onions, and a large serving of beans
  • Cream-based soups, burgers, fries, and ice cream

1 Hour Before

What to eat: 150-calorie snack containing easily digestible carbs and a little protein:

  • Whole wheat toast with nut butter
  • Banana and a small handful of cashews
  • Whole grain crackers and hummus
  • Small bowl of cereal
  • Half a fruit-and-nut bar
  • Cheese stick and carrots

What to avoid: Large meals and foods that are difficult to digest:

  • Spicy foods
  • Pears, apples, and melons

15 to 30 Minutes Before

What to eat: Small serving of easily digestible carbs:

  • Half a banana
  • Applesauce
  • A few saltine crackers
  • Raisins

What to avoid: Large serving of protein and carbs or high-saturated fat and high-fiber foods:

  • Pasta
  • Bagel and cream cheese
  • Fried foods
  • Granola or energy bar (high in calories and fiber)

Hydrating is also essential, so drink about 15 to 20 ounces of water one to two hours before working out. Sip another eight ounces 15 minutes before.

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Taylor15388973 Taylor15388973 3 years
This is such a great post! I've been running for awhile now, and over time I've felt really good about my improvement. I started out slow, with a steady jog. Then as I got more and more comfortable with a jog, I upgraded to a run. Now that I've got a very steady run down, I am wanting to enhance my performance. I do a really solid five to seven miles every day, and I am very pleased with my results but I want to do more! One of my friends is a religious runner. She suggested a bunch of food similar to the ones on this list that she eats to help her running performance increase week by week. I never thought about food being so impact to a run, but I guess we will find out! Power Plus Fitness
Dianna15282554 Dianna15282554 3 years
So, you have something from the 2hrs ahead category AND something from the 1 hr ahead category? Not one or the other?
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