What/when to eat before a run....

  • suedeheadscot

    Posts: 1130

    Jun 23, 2013 11:44 AM GMT
    As some of you know, I have been getting the "dry bokes" while running at more pushing times (uphills/in heats). Someone did mention to me at the running group I am in that you shouldn't eat at least 2 hours before a run. Is this true? I did have a bowl of pasta at 5.15pm last time, when starting to run at 7pm, thinking the pasta would give me energy.


    - Do you time when you eat before you run?
    - Do you also watch what you eat? Someone said to me all she had at 4pm was a bowl of cereal and nothing else. (Take it she must have had a bigger lunch...)

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    Jun 23, 2013 12:52 PM GMT
    I wait at least 2 hours after eating before I run. Any sooner than that, and I risk feeling nauseated. I don't eat anything specific to run. I'm only running about 3-4 miles right now. It doesn't require me to load up on carbs.
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    Jun 23, 2013 7:18 PM GMT
    It varies from person to person when and how much food can be handled prior to a run. Experiment a bit and find what works for you. The two hour thing is the general rule of thumb but some need more, others have iron stomachs and can go with less.

    Good chance you can eat whatever you want but in smaller quantities up to two hours before. I'm usually good to 45 minutes as long as I keep it light but will usually just have a energy bar if I'm eating that close to my run.

    also note that dairy takes longer to digest and that some people have to make adjustments in their nutritional timing if the meal has it.

    And lastly, when it comes time to race, don't skip breakfast if it's a morning race! For some silly reason many people do and then wonder why they didn't have the energy to race. That two hour thing makes it difficult though, so some will get up early, have breakfast and go back to sleep. Others will just have a bowl of cereal (possibly without milk) or a bagel with peanut butter.

    All of that being said about racing, note that some people get so nervous before a race that they can't hold down a meal. The aforementioned energy bars 1-2 hours before race time seem to work a little better for people with this problem.

    You know your body best, so find what quantity and timing works best for you.

    Good luck with your training!
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2613

    Jun 24, 2013 12:33 AM GMT
    I can`t eat anything within two hours of a run. Even a cup of milk will give me stomach cramps! I need a well digested meal before I go as I can`t run on an empty stomach, either.

    I usually have a complex, unrefined, low GI snack or light meal: porridge, weetabix, shredded wheat, muesli, etc.; with added fruit and nuts, yoghurt, or honey. I have something similar afterwards, but with some protein, yoghurt, milky drink, fruit smoothie, crackers and cottage cheese, cereal bars, dried fruit and nuts, etc.: later, a full meal with protein, carbohydrate, vegetables, and so on.

    Ironically, once I`m running, I can eat something light like fruit if the run is long or hard!

    I have sometimes experienced nausea after particularly hard runs. It comes slowly on about half an hour after completion, and then fades in the next hour or so. I read somewhere it`s to do with your body redirecting blood from the gut and digestion to where it`s immediately needed ie the muscles, and, relatively speaking, it becomes starved of oxygen and food and loudly complains! One solution is to make sure you eat enough before running, and then drink plenty of water before, during, and after the run to minimize this effect.

    I think this 'dry boking' may fade as you get fitter and you can cope better with the great effort involved in distance running

    But we`re all different, so need to work out what is best for us individually.

    I hope that`s some help!
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    Jun 24, 2013 12:35 AM GMT
    I ran 10 miles the other day and ate a peanut butter and jelly smmich a few minutes before.

    Hope this helps.icon_neutral.gif
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    Jun 24, 2013 12:48 AM GMT
    I hate running with food slushing around in my stomach. I'll eat a light and easily digestible meal about 90 minutes prior to a run. Something simple like a bagel with peanut butter. And maybe some type of protein/energy bar. Then chase it with coffee or green tea.
  • suedeheadscot

    Posts: 1130

    Jun 24, 2013 9:20 PM GMT
    Thanks for everyone's advice. Lincsbear - can I just say that I have now been running for 4 years so the dry bokes should actually have passed by now if that was the case! It just seems to be with hills as well - its weird! Not to mention embarrassing.

    I will experiment a bit more on Thursday when I am out with the running group and get back to you....

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    Jun 25, 2013 8:12 AM GMT
    Nuts and berries and a thick protein shake. ... Sounds naughty almost icon_wink.gif
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    Jun 25, 2013 8:17 AM GMT
    moose123 saidNuts and berries and a thick protein shake. ... Sounds naughty almost icon_wink.gif

    Similar, same here. Nuts, berries, no protein but I add 1/4 cup of Carnation Evaporated low fat milk, the stuff that comes in a can. (Not sweetened condensed milk.) Gives the smoothie a creamy flavor.
  • Rhi_Bran

    Posts: 911

    Jun 27, 2013 8:54 PM GMT
    Things you never want to consume two hours or less before a run:

    Anything dairy based
    Peanut butter
    Chinese food
    Citrus fruit

    Those are just based on my personal experience.