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Old 06-17-2008, 01:43 PM
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What to eat before a run?

Is there anything specific you guys eat before you run/ Do you eat protein shakes, or more like a bowl of oatmeal?

I drink coffee, then it usually is something small.. or just coffee.. but I think I may have more energy if i consumed something light but enough for fuel.

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Old 06-17-2008, 01:47 PM
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Something with potassium is always good, like a banana...about 1/2 hour before you run. Potassium helps against those side cramps we get during running.

Meals prior to that should be protein/carb balanced. I don't think coffee/caffinated foods are a very good idea. They boost your sugars, then they drop quickly, zapping your energy. Plus, their diuretics, which dehydrate you in the process. I'm not a fan of protein shakes myself; I would rather get my protein from a natural source...eggs in the morning are a good option. Oatmeal is another good choice, but allow some time between that and running; oatmeal is pretty heavy and takes a while to digest.

Hope that helps!
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Old 06-17-2008, 01:53 PM
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A banana and a little bit of Vector -- I swear by that on the morning of big runs.
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:00 PM
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banana, small yogurt, juice...cereal without lots of processed junk (which is my favourite )....stuff that doesn't require a lot of digestion.
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:01 PM
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^What's Vector ? Is it gel?
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:02 PM
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Vector is a cereal by Kellogg (link)
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:04 PM
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Oh .. haha.. thanks for the suggestions. I like eating a banana idea and I need to eat something else small beforehand. maybe I should drink water instead of coffee, it is a hard habit to break
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:11 PM
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i realize this information is rather one sided and from one source, but here are some highlights.

Resources - Newsletter

USUALLY NO NEED TO EAT BEFORE THE RUN
Most runners don't need to eat before runs that are less than 6 miles. Among the exceptions are those with diabetes or severe blood sugar problems. Many runners feel better during a run when they have enjoyed a cup of coffee about an hour before the start. Caffeine engages the central nervous system, which gets all of the systems needed for exercise up and running to capacity, very quickly.
- From Running Until You're 100 by Jeff Galloway

• Eating an energy bar just 15 minutes before you exercise is as effective as eating it an hour before. Grabbing fuel as you rush to your workout is a good idea that gets put to use.

• Natural sports snacks, like a granola bar or banana, offer a variety of sugars. But engineered foods might offer just one type of sugar. Because different sugars use different transporters to get into muscle cells, eating a variety of sugars enhances energy availability. In a 62 mile (100 km) time trial, cyclists who consumed two sugars (glucose + fructose) completed the course in 204 minutes; those who had just glucose took an 16 additional minutes. The bottom line: eat a variety of foods with a variety of sugars during endurance exercise, such as sports drinks, tea with honey, gummi bears....

• Some endurance athletes do perform better with protein during exercise. For example, when given carbs or carbs + protein during an endurance exercise test, those who were “high responders” to the protein performed about 10% better in the time trial at the end of the endurance test, as compared to the “low responders”. This is just one example of how each athlete has his or her individual response to different fuels during exercise. The best bet: Experiment during training to learn what sports drinks/foods settles best, tastes good and works well for you personally!

hope that helps a bit.
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:23 PM
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Thanks! That helps me too!

Before I work out, I usually try not to eat anything except grab some juice.
So maybe that's why I feel off after big runs (due to eating beforehand). Plus I get some butterflies in my stomach and a big adrenaline rush on race day, so there are some differences that can alter my digestion.
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:24 PM
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Thank you so much Zoki! Yes, I tend to just have some coffee before I go out for a run of 6 miles or less. If I am doing more 8 miles + I want to know what I should consume for energy. That was helpful.. I come in from the run ready to eat something for sure.. and it usually is something with protein.

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Old 06-17-2008, 02:27 PM
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In my last half-marathon, I had a pack of energy gel around the last 3K when I was pretty tired, and it pepped me up a bit.
Maybe you can try that during one of your longer runs and see if it gives you enough energy to sustain you?
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:28 PM
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I appreciate the advice! YEs, I think if I go over 8 miles I could certainly try that. And congrats to you on the half marathon!
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:42 PM
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Wow; I didn't know about the coffee thing. I don't tolerate caffeine well, so I guess that's why I never even considered it.
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dojoqueen View Post
Wow; I didn't know about the coffee thing. I don't tolerate caffeine well, so I guess that's why I never even considered it.
but it is a diuretic, you are right about that. i think it is just experimenting with what your body will tolerate. i do better with a little coffee about an hour before hand. but i coffee.
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Old 06-17-2008, 04:44 PM
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I usually run in the morning if I can and don't eat anything before. But if I'm running in the evening after work, I eat one packet of instant oatmeal about 2 hrs before my run. I'm at a sugar low in the late afternoon and this gives me a boost to make it through my run and to dinner without snacking on other unnecessary things. I swear by it and I never get cramps. My stomach can be extremely sensitive when it comes to food before exercise but oatmeal is perfect.
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Old 06-17-2008, 09:32 PM
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Carbs and lots of water, but start drinking early. Drinking a ton right before the run doesn't help
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:36 PM
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Coffee/caffeine makes my runs SO much better.
I usually don't eat before I do a run of up to 6-7 miles. On longer ones, I do gel or sport beans usually when I start to feel that rubbery muscle feeling. I tend to run in the morning though, so eating anything just leads to potential cramping.
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Old 06-18-2008, 12:22 AM
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coffee and a granola bar. Perfect
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