Hey everyone! If you read my post last Wednesday, you know I’m working on how to properly fuel my body for my ever-growing long runs. Fueling during a long run is important, but so is what you put into your body before and after you run! So here’s part two of my advice on fueling: how to fuel before and after your runs!
Running a long run is impossible if you haven’t eaten correctly before your run. Even on my shorter runs I occasionally feel a bit off, and sometimes it’s because of the way I’m fueling my body before and after my runs. I know that food is fuel, yet sometimes I choose something that my body doesn’t need which can cause a run to go bad really quickly. I used to think that a great post-race food was donuts since most of my runs completely burn off all the donut calories (you’ve all done it, don’t lie), but what I forgot is that donuts contain empty calories and really aren’t refueling my body and helping me recover quickly. So what should runners be eating before and after running? Like last week, I have some articles here with great suggestions on how to properly fuel before running and re-fuel once you’re done! Obviously every body is different and every runner out there needs different things to completely refuel their bodies, but these articles have many great suggestions to guide you in the right direction.
Before a Run:
- This article from Active.com has a great list of what items are best to eat based on how much time you have left before your run. Here are some of my favorite suggestions! If you have 30-60 minutes, go for a bowl of cereal (such as Special K or Rice Krispies – something low in fiber and made with simple carbs). If you have 60-90 minutes, try an instant oatmeal packet (my fav!) or hummus with carrots.
- This article from US News was written by a runner and there’s a long list of foods to eat before running based on what type of run you’re doing. Going for a short run (under 1 hour)? Eat a banana, half a Clif Bar, or an english muffin with jelly. Going to be running over 1 hour? Eat 1 cup of whole wheat pasta, greek yogurt, or 2 slices of whole wheat bread with 2 tbs. nut butter. The article has way more food options, plus the amounts of carbs in each snack listed so that you can plan your snacks correctly.
- I really liked this article from FitSugar, which has a handy little chart for planning your pre-run fuel from 2 hours up to 15 minutes, plus it lists foods to avoid eating. That’s super helpful! Did you know you should avoid eating apples, granola, and energy bars right before running? I think I’m going to print this chart out so that I can remember these ideas for next time!
After a Run:
- Here’s another article from US News on how to refuel after running. It’s got options for post-run meals, such as a turkey or chicken sandwich on whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta with sauce and lean meat, or scrambled eggs (I didn’t know about that one!). If you’re not able to eat one of those meals within 30 minutes of your run – which I’m almost never able to do – you can refuel with chocolate milk, a protein shake, or a banana with nut butter.
- I’m loving this article from Active.com because it not only gives advice on what to eat before and after a morning run, it gives post-run fuel recipes! Check it out for recipes for high protein pancakes, a breakfast sundae, and a sweet sandwich!
- And no Wednesday Wisdom post would be complete without an article from Runner’s World! This article is specific to the type of running workout you did and gives tips on why you may be hungry after each run and what you need in order to feel better. I like their tips for people who run after dinner (like me!) and their yummy suggestions of graham crackers and peanut butter as a post-run/pre-bedtime snack.
It’s good to know that some of the foods that I eat before or after running are approved as good fuel! Unfortunately donuts didn’t make any lists, so I guess I’ll have something a bit healthier 🙂
What are your go-to snacks before and after your runs? I would love some suggestions for healthy pre/post run snacks! And just for fun – what is the craziest thing you’ve ever eaten after a run?