Providing energy and hydrating your body impacts your running performance and helps maintain energy and endurance levels during morning runs. What to eat and drink before running in the morning?
Maintain a healthy diet that consists of an appropriate balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates to keep you strong and energetic throughout a run, regardless of mileage.
Eat one serving of protein 30 minutes or less before the morning run. During the day, aim to consume half a gram of protein – for every pound of your body weight per day. For example, a person weighing 140 pounds should consume 70 grams of protein. Healthy protein sources include nuts, beans, lean poultry, and fish. If you run for more than an hour, add a single serving of carbohydrates, such as wholemeal bread, fruits and vegetables, and heart-healthy fats, including avocados or seeds, to your pre-workout meal. Healthy combinations include:
- Peanut butter and banana on a slice of bread.
- Low-fat yogurt with a handful of almonds and berries.
- A half-full wheat bagel with a few pieces of lean turkey breast.
Sports drinks are a mixture of water and electrolytes and easily digestible simple sugars, which give you the energy needed to run for a long time. If you are going for an easy run in the morning, there is no need for drinks that contain electrolytes or extra calories. But if you plan to run for an hour or more, drink a sports drink before the run. Drink 16 grams of water two hours before the run to hydrate your body. Although it is essential to refill water or a sports drink before the run, staying hydrated is vital, so drink 8 grams every 15 minutes with exercise.
For optimal energy, eat within three hours of the run. That is not necessary when running in the morning. If your stomach does not tolerate solid foods, make a smoothie of fresh fruits such as bananas, skim milk, and 100 percent fruit juice, which will give you the energy you need without feeling full. Eat a banana if you are hungry.
Too much water before running in the morning will make you feel bloated, but it will also dilute the electrolytes in your body, which can lead to muscle cramps, hyponatremia, and muscle weakness. In addition, do not eat high-fiber foods such as black beans and bran right before you run. High-fiber foods contribute to gas and other stomach problems that make running uncomfortable.