Best meal to eat before running

Your body requires different fuels depending on the type of exercise and your goals. Learn more about the best meal to eat before running.

The most important thing is to adjust your fuel based on your training requirements for that day. Every day will not look the same.

During more challenging workouts and runs, your body uses carbohydrates (stored in the muscles as glycogen) as its primary fuel source (energy). You can only hold a relatively small amount of carbohydrates, which is why it is so important to keep it replenished.

During low-intensity exercises, such as jogging or walking, the body burns fat as the primary fuel for energy. Therefore, it is not so important to replenish carbohydrates before exercise, and these are not necessary. The important thing is to plan which sessions require fuel with carbohydrates.

How long should I wait after a meal before running?

Everyone has different comfort levels when eating before running, so it’s essential to try what works best for you. Generally, wait 2-3 hours before running after a big meal, which gives your food time to digest completely. 1-2 hours should be sufficient for a snack, depending on how much you have eaten.

If you have the right fuel for your meals, having another snack will often not be necessary before running.

As a general rule, low GI foods are best eaten as part of your main meals while exercising (along with moderate amounts of protein and fat), as their energy is released more slowly into the bloodstream and will provide you with renewable energy.

You can reduce your carbohydrate intake for lower intensity sessions or recovery accordingly. Limiting carbohydrate intake prepares the body to use fat as the primary fuel during exercise and promotes beneficial adaptations in the muscle (mitochondria) for endurance athletes. Combined with a calorie deficit, it can reduce body fat, desirable for many long-distance runners.

Related articles:

High energy foods before running

Best foods for recovery after running


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