Pre-/Post-Run Food

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    Apr 08, 2009 7:00 PM GMT
    I enjoy running in the early morning, just a little after I've really gotten out of bed, and before I shower or start to do anything for the day. Generally I'll just roll out of bed, throw on my shorts, and head out for a half hour or 45 minutes. Should I be throwing anything into my stomach before the work out however? I don't ever eat anything because I don't want a meal sitting in my stomach while I'm trying to pull off a few miles. Also, when I get home, I generally drink a tall glass of water and make a smoothie or eat a granola bar. What do you guys do in this situation? Any suggestions?

    Thanks!

    -Paul
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    Apr 08, 2009 7:21 PM GMT
    I don't like running with a full stomach either. If I eat something solid, it's usually a bagel. But most of the time, I mix up a carb drink.

    But it all depends on what your goals are. If you're just trying to stay lean and you can finish your runs without feeling beat up, it's probably safe to continue what you're doing.

    If you're running to improve your stamina/endurance, then eating something light beforehand might be good. Piece of banana perhaps?
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    Apr 18, 2009 2:02 AM GMT
    This is the reason I pretty much gave up on morning runs. I'm unfortunately one of those people who has to wait an hour after I eat to run, so I did at one time wake up extra early to be able to do this, but I eventually just changed my run time.

    I always find I need something in my stomach before a run, especially if it's in the morning. Your body really does want something in your stomach when you wake up, as it hasn't had anything since the night before. I have run a couple times without eating anything in the morning, and I found I just didn't have as great a run.
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    Apr 18, 2009 6:26 AM GMT
    I usually eat a really small piece of fruit, a crisp bread or something like that before going for a run (about 30mins before) in the morning. I find it a lot easier then ;)
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    May 12, 2009 9:32 PM GMT
    I usually have a slice of white bread or two with a tall glass of water.
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    May 13, 2009 12:27 AM GMT
    Something really small, and water. Maybe a granola bar?

    You don't really need food for a shorter run, just something to avoid that empty feeling. For a longer run, it's a good idea to have a good meal in you an hour or two earlier.

    There's a roughly 30-minute window after a workout where food is absorbed better. That's the important mean, especially with regard to recovery so you're ready for the next tone.

    Nat
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    Jun 11, 2009 2:12 AM GMT
    if it's an energy issue, you can try a small cup of iced coffee or a supplement with caffeine. this should keep you going until you can put something substantial in your stomach without having to worry about cramping.
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    Jun 11, 2009 3:48 PM GMT
    Having anything in my gut makes me feel like barfing. After my run, I'll eat a handful of nuts or an apple.
  • blahblah7

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    Jun 20, 2010 5:39 AM GMT
    running cross country & track for four years of high school, i know what you're talking about. early morning meets meant that i wasn't interested in eating much & didn't have time to eat & let digest. my general rule of thumb was this:

    pre-run: banana about 45 mins before a run and water (sometimes granola bars too)
    post-run: orange slices, gatorade, & lots of water.

    bananas are great sources of potassium & i've always found them to be helpful in my running. there's some say that they help reduce cramps, etc but i'm not sure i'm sold on that.

    if it's an energy issue, you should look into running at a different time of day or running with friends. keep a dialogue going with them while you run to push yourself without really realizing it. i'm not a big supporter of coffee before a run but hey, to each his own.
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    Jun 20, 2010 2:23 PM GMT
    I'm a huge fan of the clif mojo bars for energy. After a run I'll typically drink a sports drink with a scoop of glutamine as well as well as something high protein. While running, most major muscle groups are firing...I'm surprised that people aren't as strict about protein consumption after running as they are after the weight room. Of course it depends on how long you're running...my runs are typically at least 30 minutes...sometimes up to two hours if training for a race.

    Happy trails all