Morning Run Routine

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What to eat before running in the morning

For morning runners, the most common dilemma is determining what to eat before running in the morning. Nothing is better than getting those endorphins flowing early in the morning, no matter what time of day it is. The early bird catches the worm!

You will appreciate your early morning runs even more if you know what foods will give you the most energy and stamina. Are you prepared to learn how to run in the mornings while properly fueled?

So, let’s get started!

What to eat before running in the morning

When considering what to eat before running in the morning, you need to look for something that is high in carbs and low in protein. It is all dependent on how hungry you are, how long you have to digest meals, and how long you are jogging.

For example, you probably won’t need to eat if your run will take 45 to 60 minutes and will be of low intensity. A little snack can help alleviate the symptoms of anorexia by making you feel fuller for longer periods, even if it’s just one banana.

If you are planning to run longer than 60 minutes, a meal containing 30-60 grams of carbohydrates will provide the energy you need to get through the first half of your run. There is no one-size-fits-all optimum meal to eat before a run, but there are rules. 

Best Running Food
Source: Unsplash.com / Jannis Brandt

What not to eat before a morning run

High-fiber foods

Many foods high in carbohydrates contain fiber, which our bodies cannot easily digest. High-fiber foods are generally difficult to digest, yet they are fantastic for maintaining the health of our intestinal system.

So, if you have a high-fiber breakfast before jogging, you might feel bloated, heavy, and uneasy. Because of this, pro runners tend to lower their fiber intake in the days preceding up to a major race.

Giving up a high-fiber meal before a run means avoiding things like:

  • smoothies or drinks with fruit
  • beans
  • bananas with peanut butter on brown bread
  • cereals with high fiber content, such as muesli or bran flakes

The important thing to remember is that if any of these items are a success for you, then excellent! Think of yourself as a monster who eats fiber, and keep doing what you do!

High-fat meals

It is crucial to consume enough fat because it is a macronutrient that is necessary. But before your morning run, think about consuming less fat. 

Fat takes a bit of time to digest and might stay in your stomach for a lot longer than foods high in carbohydrates, making you feel sluggish and uneasy. Try avoiding the following foods before going on a morning run:

  • toast with eggs and avocado
  • cheese on bread
  • sausage sandwich
  • oily fries

Too many carbohydrates and sugary foods

Although sugar is an excellent pre-run fuel source, it can also trigger a blood sugar surge and subsequent carb crash. Imagine a sugar surge followed by a severe energy slump.

It indicates that you should not overindulge before a run. Eating 4 glazed doughnuts, 6 chocolate chip cookies, or adding 10 sugars to a cup of coffee are bad ideas. After a grueling workout or on a day off, treat yourself to a delicious treat.

Why are carbs important before a morning run?

There isn’t any other macronutrient that produces energy as quickly as carbs when discussing what to eat before a morning run. Regarding converting food into energy, carbohydrates are more efficient since they need less oxygen. 

Running at a high intensity requires carbs, or glucose, to be available. The body can burn carbohydrates more quickly and effectively as fuel. Especially when you eat them before your morning run.

You need to fuel an hour of jogging with 30-60 grams of carbs before eating, followed by another 30-60 grams afterward. Many runners turn to gels, candies, or sports beverages to fulfill these carbohydrate requirements.

Early Morning Run
Source: Unsplash.com / lucas Favre

Simple carbs to eat in the morning before running

Here’s a list of several carbs you can eat before a morning run as they’re simple for the body to digest:

  • juice or sports drink
  • cereal
  • piece of toast or half a bagel
  • baked oatmeal
  • half of a fig newton bar
  • low fiber granola bar
  • graham crackers
  • banana
  • gels
  • oatmeal

Is eating before a morning run even necessary?

The simple response to this question is no. But, the length and intensity of your morning run are huge determinants.

Most runners can maintain their energy levels for roughly one hour on an empty stomach, especially if they had a satisfying dinner the night before.

Of course, each runner will have a different experience.

Some runners may need some pre-run nourishment to get going, while others can record longer times for fasting workouts because of their efficient running economy.

When can I eat before my morning run?

Depending on the length of your run and the time you have to digest your food, you may want to eat earlier or later in the day. Aim for a smaller, more simple carbohydrate-rich meal 30-60 minutes before your run to help fuel your body for the workout ahead.

When trying to get the most from your workout, you should get up early and allow yourself 60-120 minutes of eating before heading out for a run. Consequently, you might wish to double or significantly increase your serving size. You should serve extra fruits on the side.

Pre-run meals and snacks can benefit from a little “staying power” if a little peanut or butter is placed on them, so it is a good idea to experiment and use caution. These choices are also comparable to breakfast on the morning of a race.

Conclusion

So, what to eat before running in the morning? Many people find it difficult to get out of bed early enough to exercise before the day begins, much less make time for breakfast. For runners, the old saying that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is especially relevant. A morning meal not only aids in post-workout recovery but also aids in weight loss and maintenance.

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