Is it Okay to Eat Before Running?

Running is the kind of exercise that anyone can do. Whether they want to save money on a gym membership, want to get outdoors more often, or just like the idea of the freedom that running brings, it’s an excellent way to get fit. But if you are new to running, you might wonder whether to eat before you set off on that run.

The time of your run plays a major role in deciding whether you should eat.

Usually, it is recommended to eat before a run if you run in the morning, as you would not have had a meal for around 8 to 10 hours before the run, and this could result in low blood sugar levels and low energy. Be sure to only eat a light snack (such as fruits, a slice of toast, etc) and allow around half an hour to an hour for your food to digest before running.

If you run in the evenings, it may not be necessary to eat, as you would have had lunch only several hours before. If you feel hungry though, having a light snack is okay.

Long or Short Run

If your daily run usually lasts for more than half an hour, it would probably be a good idea to have something light an hour or so before you head out for your run.

Prolonged running will sap away your energy reserves, so you would be wise to get some energy before you run. If you are only going on a short run, food may not be necessary.

Are Your Runs Intense?

By: Cecilia Heinen

Intense runs that focus on speed or tempo would be best done on an empty stomach, as that much strain on your body will redirect flow to your working muscles, and result in indigestion due to the limited blood flow to the stomach. If you’re going to run for a race, then definitely avoid food for several hours before the race.

It is important to decide whether to eat or not depending on your individual running habits. If you do eat, keep your meal light and easy to digest.

Some foods you may want to avoid before going for a run include dairy, pasta, red meat, and potatoes. Instead, try to eat easily digestible foods like a small portion of oatmeal, a protein shake, toast, or best of all, fruits with high content of carbohydrates like bananas, oranges, peaches, and berries.

Top Photo by Petr Dosek