What to eat before and after a run?

Before doing any sort of exercise, you should always make sure you eat the right foods to get the most out of your body. What should you eat? Here we take a look.

Before doing any sort of exercise, you should always make sure you eat the right foods to get the most out of your body. Many people go for a run without eating anything, but this is not good practice. Here we look at why.

Depending on what kind of run you go on depends what you should eat before. Some runners would rather eat something small before their short and ‘easy’ runs, whereas other runners like to eat something substantial so they find the run easier as they will have enough energy inside their bodies to perform and complete the run.

Before a long run you should eat more than you would before a short run, this is because long runs require more energy to complete as you are running for a longer time and trying to stay at the same intensity throughout. However, eating more before a run means you will have to give yourself more time to digest the food, it is recommended to give yourself at least 2-4 hours to digest your food.

You will want to focus on eating carbohydrates as this is a big source of energy that your body will need to complete the run. Foods with carbohydrates in them that are best to eat before a run are;

  • Small bowl of oatmeal topped with a few slices of banana.
  • Plain Greek yogurt with blueberries or banana with peanut butter or handful of dry cereal.
  • A bagel with peanut butter.
  • A banana and an energy bar.

After a run many people are very hungry and start eating any food even if it is bad for you. But your body needs the right foods as you have just used all of that energy you will need to restore it. you also need to repair muscle cell fibres that have been torn apart so more are able to build.

You will also lose several chemicals when you sweat, you lose fluid as well as minerals such as sodium and potassium. These will all need to be replenished and that can only be done by eating the right foods no matter what you HAVE TO eat after a run or any type of exercise.

You should also eat within 30 minutes after you get back from the run, theory has it that eating the right foods decreases muscle soreness as it replenishes torn muscle fibres.

Things that are good to eat after a run;

  • Greek yogurt, banana, and berries or a smoothie.
  • A protein shake with fruit.
  • Bagel with protein, like an egg, and a latté.
  • Low-fat chocolate milk and some fruit.

All of these foods consist of carbohydrates and proteins as these are the two things that will replenish all minerals and chemicals. The proteins will help replenish and restore torn muscle fibres; these muscle fibres have been torn because they have been used a lot during your run.

What do you like to eat before and after a run and what have you found best? Let us know on our Facebook group here.