What to eat before a run in the morning is one of the most often requested questions. We’ve all experienced those stomach-churning runs where the car or home is miles away. The goal is to choose foods that give you peanut butter while also keeping your tummy happy. Let’s talk about what to eat before a morning long run to keep you on track.
The ideal things to consume before a morning long run are those that are easy on the stomach while still providing enough calories to keep you going. Easy-to-digest grains, lower-fiber fruits, and nut protein (for a total of 200–300 calories) are some of the greatest meals to eat.
Here, we’ll go over what you should have for breakfast before your morning long run, as well as what works well as a meal the night before. Because what you put into your body must both nourish you and keep you feeling well.
What You Should Eat Night Before a Run in the Morning
We’ll get into the breakfast you should have before setting out for your morning long run, but what (and when) you eat the night before race day matters a lot when you’re running around daybreak. We’ll start there because it’ll be the first.
(By the way, some individuals will always be able to get away with not bothering about what they eat or time their big run perfectly.) They are, however, in the minority.)
What to eat the night before a morning long run to feel energetic and ready to conquer all those kilometers.
The Best Dinner for a Long Run the Night Before
So, okay, we’re simply talking about “what to eat the night before a long run” since that’ll be the last thing you eat before your big run. You won’t need any more nibbles to get you through the night (including dessert, unfortunately).
Consider having these four items on your plate when making a meal menu that works for you:
(Skip the fatty steak the night before a big run!) Lean Protein
Carbs that are easy to digest – dress them up with oil and spices, but be careful with dairy — some people tolerate it well, while others do not.
Fruits and vegetables cooked veggies have less fiber and are therefore simpler to digest.
A little healthy fat – this may come from the chicken, a dressing, etc.
Finish off your meal with a tiny handful of your favourite fruit if you really must have something sweet (believe me, I understand).
Here are a couple of my favourite dinners that may work for you as well.
Dinner Idea #1:
Chicken, sweet potato (with ghee or butter), and avocado-oil-and-garlic.
Dinner Idea #2:
Pork chop (with most of the fat removed), roasted white potatoes and carrots on a sheet pan Tilapia with lemon, white rice, and green beans.
Dinner idea #3:
If you’re a vegetarian, feel free to substitute a protein that you know works well for your body and is easy to digest.
For dinner, I like a heated meal, but a salad with protein, greens, tomatoes, avocado, cucumbers, and nuts/seeds may also be delicious. Soups with the appropriate proportion can also be successful.
With a little trial and error, you’ll figure out what feels appropriate to you, but start with my suggested parameters and you’ll be OK!
Meal Timing the Night Before Long Run
So, when should you consume this nutritious and well-planned meal of yours?
Instead than providing you a certain time to eat it, such as 6:30 p.m., it’s far more practical to work backwards from when you expect to go for your run. Plan to finish your lunch approximately 12 hours before you begin your lengthy run. This implies that if you’re leaving at 6:30 a.m., your meal should be finished by 6:30 p.m. the night before.
Doesn’t worry whether it’s 30 minutes earlier or later than that; just stay within that range? This will allow you plenty of time to digest your supper (and ideally eliminate any remaining waste) before heading out for your lengthy run.
What You Should Eat in the Morning before a Long Run
You want to make a blend of easy-to-digest grams of carb and a little protein for your morning meal. A 3:1 ratio is an excellent place to start, but it isn’t needed to be perfect.
By the way, this is a mini-breakfast. You won’t need the entire meal because you’ll be eating carbohydrates during your lengthy run. Around 200–300 calories is ideal.
(I KNOW many of you are already thinking about coffee before we start about food.) Yes, you are welcome to enjoy your coffee — I have a post on it here.)
White bread or a gluten-free whole grain like oatmeal can provide you with easily digestible carbs. Fruits fall into this group as well, but limit them to a minimum and/or choose the reduced fibre varieties. When it comes to protein, you should try to avoid meat as much as possible. The way to go is with nut proteins (egg whites can work well, too).
Here are some pre-run snack combinations to try to answer your question what to eat before a run in the morning (along with a glass of water):
Mini-breakfast #glycogen store1: One piece of white bread with peanut butter and a dollop of jam
Mini-breakfast #2: 1/2 bagel with peanut butter and 1/2 banana
Mini-breakfast #3: RX bar (my favourites are Peanut Butter Chocolate, Chocolate Sea Salt, and Vanilla Almond; if you want to try them all, grab a sampler pack).
So that’s what I eat before each and every long run. It has served me well for the past three years, and I have no plans to change it. I seldom eat the full bar… For me, 5/6 of it is about right. RX bars are composed entirely of whole foods, providing you with the protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates you require before a run.
The dates in RX bars, however, are a high-fiber fruit, so keep that in mind. Choose something different if you know this won’t sit well with you or if it doesn’t work the first time you try it!
Finally, I know that many runners enjoy eating oatmeal (not the sweet packet variety) before their long runs (try mixing in some nuts and a bit of fruit).
What Foods Should You Avoid Prior to a Long Run?
There is a poor meal to consume before a long run for every fantastic food to eat before a long run. I’m sure you already have a food in mind that makes your stomach knot even when you’re not jogging (or gives you a lot of gas)…these are the foods you should avoid.
Before any lengthy run, high-fiber and high-fat meals should be avoided. This is due to the fact that they might upset sensitive stomachs. The objective is to avoid having to look for a restroom!
If you have habit of doing pre workout before morning running then you should read this guide is pre workout good for running?
Avoid the following meals for your mini-breakfast and maybe even the night before:
— bagels and whole-grain bread You may have been taught to choose healthy grains over white grains (whether it’s bread, rice, or pasta), yet they might make you feel bloated and lethargic on a run.
—high-fat animal proteins like red meat and bacon – I’m not sure who thinks this is a good choice before an early morning run, but I have to say it (for all the bacon fans out there)
—fruits rich in fibre – (these are OK in small quantities)
—green vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts – while healthful, they are not a good choice before a lengthy run.
The musical fruit, –beans…
Is there anything further to say?
—spicy meals — this might cause heartburn and stomach irritation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Boiled eggs are a wonderful pre-run snack since they are easy to digest and high in protein. You can also explore “best protein powder for runner” to meet your protein demand. According to studies, eating 20-30 grams of simple carb protein before exercising can boost muscle protein synthesis for many hours
It is often advised to eat before running. This provides the nourishment your body requires to workout safely and effectively. Stick to mild to moderate running if you want to exercise on an empty stomach. If you start to feel lightheaded, take a rest.
Eating a banana before doing out will help you achieve your potassium needs, which are important for muscular function and cramp prevention. Potassium is abundant in bananas, making it a crucial element for muscle contractions. Muscle cramps can also be caused by a lack of potassium.
It is not harmful to have milk before running; in fact, it is beneficial. Milk is high in fluid, electrolytes, and energy, making it a fantastic choice to drink before running, particularly over longer distances when your body needs more glucose to power muscles. You can do the experiment by drinking milk before a run and then check the difference in the value on running pace calculator.
There is a lot to say on what to eat before a run in the morning but any endurance activity necessitates attention pre- and post-run nutrition.
3–4 hours before a long-distance training run or event, refuel with high-carb, moderate-protein meals.
Stick to a light, high-carb snack in the 30–60 minutes before a run. If your run lasts longer than 90 minutes, make sure to refuel with sports drinks or other refreshments.
To provide enough time for digestion and absorption, keep fat and fibre intake low in the pre-run meal and snack.
During training runs, experiment with different snacks and beverages to find what feeding plan works best for you.