What should I eat before and after my runs? Most runners have asked themselves this question at some point. Personally, I haven’t been the best at keeping up with my nutrition- because I’m always on the go, it’s hard for me to find healthy things I can eat. I usually end up resorting to microwaveable meals, especially if I’m working at both jobs. However, now that I’m getting into the meat of my half marathon training, it’s going to be more important than ever for me to make sure I’m getting enough of and the correct nutrition to fuel my training goals.
Over the past year and a half, I’ve picked up a lot of tips on what foods to eat before and after runs. The following foods have had the most success for me personally:
Rice Cakes with organic Peanut Butter
This has become my go to before my long runs on weekends. I have a super high metabolism and usually when I wake up I’m already starving. The whole “no food before a long run” thing never worked that well with me. My current favorite peanut butter is Justin’s, which is organic and gluten free. I like the one with honey in it, but they make several different kinds.
“Power” Smoothies from Fit2Run
Ok, so Fit2Run is a Florida chain, but these smoothies can also be copy-cat made somewhere else, or at home. I just find them to be filling enough to fuel me up before exercise and they are also healthy, so that’s always a plus. My favorites:
Long Run (energy): Banana, peanut butter, dark cocoa, apple juice, protein
Speedwork: Banana, double espresso, soymilk, honey
Dragon (post-workout): Dragon fruit, pineapple, peaches, hemp milk, protein, kale
Personally, I drink this about 2 hours before my event to ensure I digest everything properly and don’t get sick. As I said, all this is personal to each person, so do what works for you. And make sure to practice fueling in your training runs- nothing new on race day!
This was relatively new to me, as one day I realized all I had in the house that could be made quickly was a potato. But lo and behold- baked potatoes work wonders for me before a training run! Either sweet or regular, I bake them and put a small amount of butter on them. For some reason, this has provided me with enough energy pre-run to keep me from being too hungry while running, yet also kept me from getting sick while working out.
These have been my snacks so far during training. Of course, I continue to experiment with new foods during training runs so I can find what works best for me. I used to eat pasta and chicken before all my races, but have recently switched to rice and beans, which seems to work much better for me! I’ve also heard some great things about quinoa lately, so I’m adding that to my diet to see how it works out.
What do you use for pre-run fuel? Have you tried anything new that surprised you?
DISCLAIMER: I am not a nutritionist, nor am I certified to give dietary advice. My post is solely based on my own experiences and articles I’ve read. Please consult with a doctor or registered dietitian before making any changes to your diet.