Food to avoid before running

Preparation is the key for runners of all calibers, and what you eat before runs is crucial for your performance. Learn more about foods to avoid before running and what to eat.

Proper filling of the run helps to minimize fatigue and speed up recovery. Here are some guidelines for energizing your run with suitable meals and snacks.

Pre-Run meal

It is essential to fill up two to three hours in advance, especially if you are a distance runner. Distance running includes events such as 10 kilometers (6.2 miles), half marathons (21 km or 13.1 miles), and marathons (42 km or 26.2 miles).

A pre-run meal becomes less critical if you run less than 60-90 minutes.

The pre-meal keep you from feeling hungry before and during the run, and the other is to maintain optimal blood sugar levels for your training muscles. The meal should contain a lot of carbohydrates, moderate protein, and minor nutrients that slow down digestion, mainly fat and fiber. Be sure to drink 17-20 ounces (500-590 ml) of water with your meal before running to ensure you are adequately hydrated.

Here are some examples of a pre-meal:

  • Five scrambled eggs and one whole egg with two pieces of white toast with jelly and a banana.
  • A cup (225 grams) of low-fat cottage cheese with a cup (150 grams) of blueberries and a slice of white toast with a tablespoon of honey.
  • A medium-sized white bagel with two deli turkey and mustard (if desired) with 30 grapes.
  • A medium-sized baked potato with sour cream and 3 ounces (85 grams) of grilled chicken breast with a dinner roll.
  • One cup (200 grams) cooked pasta with 1/2 cup (130 grams) marinade sauce with 3 ounces (85 grams) chicken breast and a slice of lightly buttered bread.

Food to avoid:

  • Foods high in fat: Sauces and creams, and foods with a lot of butter or oil.
  • High-fiber foods: Whole grains, beans, and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower.

Pre-Run Snack

A snack before running taken 30-60 minutes before running gives the body fuel quickly. It is only necessary to have a snack before the run if you plan to run for more than 60 minutes, but it is also fine if you prefer to do it regardless of the length of the run.

A snack before running consists mainly of carbohydrates and is much lower in calories than a meal before running.

Remember, too much food in the stomach can lead to indigestion, nausea, and vomiting.

Examples of pre-snacks include:

  • A banana or orange
  • A sports energy bar
  • Half an English muffin with honey or jelly
  • 15 biscuits, such as salt or pretzels
  • Some dry cereals
  • Drink 5-10 ounces of water to stay hydrated.

It is important to limit foods high in fat and fiber and avoid dairy products.

For some people, consuming too much lactose can cause stomach problems, such as bloating, gas, or diarrhea.

Intra-Run Snack

For runs longer than 90 minutes, refuel with carbohydrate drinks, gels, bars, or other convenient options to delay fatigue.

Related articles:

High energy foods before running

Food for recovery after running


About the author


Add comment