Every meal you eat is important, but the food you eat before a run is essentially your fuel. Exercising on an empty stomach is a bad idea because you won’t be able to train 100% and your blood sugar levels can drop, which is very dangerous. Plus eating the wrong food before a workout can cause cramps, dizziness, or nausea, and who wants to deal with any of that? The best pre-workout foods should contain some sort of complex carbohydrate and protein. Here are some great foods to eat before your run that will help prevent fatigue while keeping your energy levels up! Check out the best food for running below.
1. Bananas: Bananas are one of the best pre and post-workout foods. Loaded with easy-to-digest carbs and potassium, bananas aid in muscle function and keep your nutrient levels high. A medium sized banana should provide you with enough nutrients to last throughout your workout.
2. Whole Wheat Bagel with Jelly: The perfect combination of simple and complex carbs to provide you with enough energy for your whole workout! Keep the jelly light and try to stick to a true serving of 1-2 tablespoons. You can also swap the jelly for honey to get the same result. Again, drizzle the honey rather than drenching your whole wheat or multi-grain bagel with it.
3. Oranges: Easy to take on the go and they provide more than 100 percent of your daily Vitamin C! Stick with the fruit and not orange juice so you can skip the huge source of concentrated sugar and an upset stomach.
4. Greek Yogurt: It contains a large amount of protein and carbs, and a lot less sugar than normal yogurt. Plus, it’s super easy on your stomach, which is ideal before an intense workout. Add fruit or whole-grain cereal for even more nutrients!
5. Avocado with Crackers: Eating an avocado a few hours before your workout provides healthy fat that will give you an energy boost when your carbs are running low.
6. Oatmeal: It’s filling, gives your body tons of energy, and is made up of mostly all carbohydrates. Mix in fruit or nuts for added nutrients.
7. Berries: Berries, especially blueberries, are loaded with nutrients, antioxidants, fiber, and are low in sugar. If your stomach is still growling, add a piece of string cheese! They are less than 100 calories and a great source of calcium.
8. Water: Don’t forget to hydrate! Water improves your performance, making it easier and more effective and also acts as your body’s cooling system. If you’re working out for more than an hour or sweat a lot, a Gatorade may be preferable to water. Sports drinks provide your body with fluid, sodium, and carbohydrates which are a great choice.