Pre and Post Run Food

#1
I'm curious to know what is an ideal pre run and post run diet is for casual runners (2-3 miles every other day). I got back into running after a hiatus and body obviously has slowed down metabolism compared to before so not looking to get too much calories in. Just enough to get back in shape.

Thanks!
 
#3
I start a plain bagel an hour before my run and munch down on it till I feel like I have enough in me to be energized, but not so much that my stomach is bothering me on my run. Simple carbs pre run is the way to go.
Thanks, that makes sense. I'll grab a bagel next time before the run. Any advice on post run food?
 

RW Admin

Administrator
Staff member
#5
Hi @haqq777,

@Tom made some great callouts. (y)

I've found there to be a good amount of variation among peoples preferences for pre and post run nutrition. I know I've experimented with different "menus". We recently put together an article on favorite staff nutrition that can give more insight. It is linked here. Also, you can find some in-depth info on recovery nutrition here.

Personally, my pre-run & post run nutrition varies based on what I'm headed out to do. If I am just getting out the door to log some miles, I will often just grab a banana or waffle a little before. Usually, I'll just have some type of electrolyte mix (I favor Nuun tabs) after and ensure I eat not too long after the run.

I hope that helps!

Justin
RW Staff
 
#6
I would say for your situation you could benefit from a high protein post run meal. Maybe something like 2 eggs and a slice of toast with a bit of butter and/or a banana. Since you’re only running 2-3 miles I’d say you could manage with just water pre-run. 👍
 
#8
I always grab a banana before I run!
If it's a race day or I know I'm going longer, I also have a bowl of oatmeal. The oats sit light on the stomach for me.
Post run I usually grab an apple. Apples are water base and it helps rehydrating your body. If the workout was intensive I grab a small can of pineapple juice... pineapple helps the muscles recover quickly.
Also the night before a race I always eat a black bean burgers.
Happy running 😊
 
#9
Hi @haqq777,

@Tom made some great callouts. (y)

I've found there to be a good amount of variation among peoples preferences for pre and post run nutrition. I know I've experimented with different "menus". We recently put together an article on favorite staff nutrition that can give more insight. It is linked here. Also, you can find some in-depth info on recovery nutrition here.

Personally, my pre-run & post run nutrition varies based on what I'm headed out to do. If I am just getting out the door to log some miles, I will often just grab a banana or waffle a little before. Usually, I'll just have some type of electrolyte mix (I favor Nuun tabs) after and ensure I eat not too long after the run.

I hope that helps!

Justin
RW Staff
Thanks, Justin. That is some great reading material. Will check it out! And thanks for the helpful tips. Love having a banana little before the run, great tip (y)
 
#10
I always grab a banana before I run!
If it's a race day or I know I'm going longer, I also have a bowl of oatmeal. The oats sit light on the stomach for me.
Post run I usually grab an apple. Apples are water base and it helps rehydrating your body. If the workout was intensive I grab a small can of pineapple juice... pineapple helps the muscles recover quickly.
Also the night before a race I always eat a black bean burgers.
Happy running 😊
Thanks!

Sidenote: I LOVE black bean burgers! In fact had some home made ones last night :)

 
#11
I would say for your situation you could benefit from a high protein post run meal. Maybe something like 2 eggs and a slice of toast with a bit of butter and/or a banana. Since you’re only running 2-3 miles I’d say you could manage with just water pre-run. 👍
Thanks Cabe, 2 eggs and a couple of slices of toast are my go to after early morning runs (y) - for pre run I usually do empty stomach when it's early morning, but I read at a few places that recommended putting something in stomach a little before that is why got curious.
 
#12
Pre: nothing special, just leave 1.5 hrs since my last meal (if I'm running in the morning, I'd just drink electrolyte water, or maybe munch on an rxbar if I'm a little sluggish)
Post: any protein-dominant meal made with whole foods
Thanks! I usually do morning runs because I just lack motivation by the end of day and get lazy (I know right?) - but I'm pretty similar as in I keep it light before and have some protein foods like eggs etc afterwards.
 
#14
I don't like to have too much in my stomch before a run, so I usually just have an apple or a banana. Post run I will always have another banana, some coconut water, and just an average meal.

For nights before a long run, definitely incorporate some carbs into your diet! Maybe pasta, rice, bread and peanut butter, or oatmeal. Overtime you can definitely feel the difference in energy!
 
#15
Given I've consumed enough carbs the night before, coffee and water before a morning run. I'm fine up to 10 miles with a bottle of water. For runs longer than 10 miles, I'll have a banana and GU before heading out. Chocolate milk following runs 1.5 hours and more.
 
#17
I always run early in the morning and I have difficulty eating that early in the day, so I usually run on an empty stomach, but I take a Cliff Bar or something like that with me to have something to eat as soon as I am finished. My town also recently got a Smoothie King, so I've started getting protein smoothies after my runs, especially on run/gym days. They're delicious!
 
#18
I typically run at 5:00 AM , latest 6:00 so I actually always run fasted. I typically drink around 8 oz of an energy drink pre run. Definitely not recommended but I have done half marathon-20 mile long runs on an empty stomach with just fluids through my run not even gels. I simply don't like the feeling of food in my stomach when I run. Luckily I have never had any issues with feeling light headed and my energy seems to be good throughout the run. When I run martahon's I do wake up super early to maybe eat a bagel several hours before but even a marathon I have run on an empty stomach and maybe 2 gels. I will say that the night prior to a long run I will eat a later dinner and make sure that my carbohydrates and electrolytes are higher than normal. Again no nutritionist here and I'm pretty sure my diet goes against the advice of any nutritionist, but it's what's worked for me as a runner now in my 30's.
 
#19
If I want to get out the door relatively fast in the morning (under an hour after waking up - I usually aim for 45 minutes), then I eat a banana and a small piece of whole wheat bread. I find that's a good compromise between putting something in my stomach for a little energy but not so much that I have to worry about digestion issues. If I'm going to take longer after waking up before running, then I might just eat a little more of the same thing or space it out a bit, or I might eat a bowl of oats. After running, I basically each lunch - no matter what time it is. Full meal balancing protein and carbs with some fruit.
 
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