The Best Foods To Eat To Fuel Your Run
Sometimes you don’t have much time to devote to meals and snacks. Don’t over-think it. Here are some quick, easy, fail safe foods to fuel your run.
It’s not always necessary to fuel up on lots of carbohydrates to fuel a running session. Most of us have plenty of energy ready to use, thanks to our body’s glycogen stores. All that’s needed is a top-up. That energy can come from any macronutrient. The trick is learning which food types give you as an individual the most energy and vitality.
Smoked Salmon Omelette
If you find that you function best on protein and fats (and many people do), try a breakfast high in these two macronutrients. You don’t actually need carbohydrates directly before a run – it might be worth trying a meal of protein and fats to see how you get on. Something like an omelette with salmon, or scrambled eggs and some nuts, will give you the energy you need (from the calories), plenty of nutrients, and the fats and protein your muscles and brain need to fire up and function soundly.
Scrambled Eggs On Rye Bread
If you feel you do need a little carbohydrate, try a middle ground by pairing protein and healthy fats with a small amount of wheat-free bread. Wheat can cause gut and digestion problems, the last thing you need before a run. Scramble 2-4 eggs in a little good-quality butter or coconut oil and serve with a small slice of wheat-free bread (toasted if you like) such as rye or pumpernickel.
Yoghurt And Banana
If you fancy a cold, sweet snack to fuel your run, you could try plain unsweetened yoghurt (or Greek yoghurt, or cottage cheese) for a protein hit, and some sliced or mashed banana for sweetness. The fruit will provide plenty of carbohydrates in the form of fructose (fruit sugar). Add in a small amount of fat from slivered nuts or seeds if you find you digest them well.
Oats And Berries
Oats/porridge remains a staple pre-run food for many runners. Whilst it really isn’t necessary to eat mounds of carbohydrate-dense food for even the longest of runs, some people prefer to, and some simply like oats! And that’s fine. If you’ve found, through trial and error, that carbohydrates lead to better running performance, then oats are a good choice. Try making them with water (as milk can cause digestion problems), and add some fresh or frozen berries for sweetness. You could even stir in a scoop of protein powder to boost the protein content of the meal and to ensure you’re getting all the amino acids your muscles need.
Caffeine has been shown to have a positive effect on running performance, focus and mental clarity. If you tolerate it well enough, and don’t find it causes you any stomach issues, consider a small black coffee (espresso or filter) before your run.
Whatever you choose to eat to fuel your run, remember to drink water with it. What are some of your favourite snacks or meals to eat before running?