What To Eat Before Early Morning Run – Whether you’re putting in those miles before work or you’re just a morning person, pumping those endorphins is a great way to start the day.
Knowing which foods nourish your body best will make those early runs all the more enjoyable, leaving you feeling energized and ready for the day.
What To Eat Before Early Morning Run
Often the best way to have energy for a long morning run is to eat a good meal the night before.
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It doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, most of your regular home-cooked meals will fit.
Of course you want to eat until you’re full, but be careful about food! Eating yourself into a food coma can compromise your quality of sleep, meaning you wake up in a sleepy state and not in the mood to run.
Most runners can run for up to an hour on an empty stomach without their energy levels dropping, especially if they’ve had a good meal the night before.
Some runners may need a little fuel before going, while other elite runners may be able to do more times for fast workouts due to their efficient running efficiency.
What To Eat Before And After Your Workout
If you choose before you run in the morning, you just want your food to digest properly.
You don’t want to be hungry or stuffed, you want your stomach to settle, and you want to have enough energy to get the most out of your run.
This balancing act may seem like an art form, but it’s pretty easy if you follow these basic rules:
With the majority of people drinking coffee, and the majority (83%!) of coffee drinkers enjoying a cup in the morning, coffee is a cornerstone of many of our mornings.
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For those of you who can’t even stand to get up in the morning without drinking a cup of coffee, we have good news!
In addition to its general deliciousness, coffee is a stimulant, meaning it speeds up the rate at which signals are sent from the brain to the body.
Caffeine has also been found to reduce your perceived exertion, meaning your workout will feel easier and therefore you can go harder.
Amber O’Brian, a doctor at the Mango Clinic, says it can’t take much. “A single cup of coffee is enough to set you on a productive run. Just one cup of coffee increases your speed and endurance needed to run with minimal or no side effects.
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But be careful! If you are sensitive to the effects of coffee, a cup of coffee in the morning can give you the jitters, or worse, gastrointestinal distress.
Piling on food can make you feel heavy and uncomfortable, so think about a snack, not a full meal.
You should prioritize foods that are easy to digest – no one wants to wake up hours before the morning run just to digest your breakfast.
Mackenzie Burgess, registered dietitian, suggests “eating a snack that is high in carbohydrates, low in fiber and low in fat. This is easiest on the stomach and allows for faster digestion before exercise.
On The Run Boxed Breakfast — Select*d
And for those runners who really struggle to get in the morning, a sports drink or an energy gel are great options for a simple pre-run boost.
Slower, easy miles with a low rate of required exertion (RPE) require less energy and are much easier to do on an empty stomach compared to sprints with higher RPE hills or, say, long runs.
If your morning run is a light jog that lasts less than an hour, feel free to go for it on an empty stomach.
But if you want to push yourself on your morning run, it’s important to refuel. Consider one of the breakfast or snack options described above.
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It’s great for keeping our intestinal tract healthy, but high-fiber foods are notoriously difficult to digest.
This means that eating a high-fiber breakfast before a run can leave you feeling bloated, heavy, and generally uncomfortable.
That’s why it’s common for runners to call for fiber in the days leading up to a big race.
But of course, if one of these foods works well for you, great! Consider yourself a fiberglass-chewing monster and keep doing what you’re doing!
How Long Should You Wait To Workout After Eating?
Fat takes a while to digest and can sit in your stomach much longer than carbohydrate-rich foods, making you feel heavy and uncomfortable.
Carbohydrates are an excellent source of fuel, but too much sugar can cause a blood sugar spike, followed by a carbohydrate crash.
What this means is that you don’t stuff your face with sugary treats before your run. It’s not a good idea to eat four glazed donuts, six chocolate chip cookies or put 10 sugars in your coffee.
Still looking for more inspiration? Check out this easy and cheap Energy Balls recipe for an ideal snack before your morning run!
The Best Foods Eat Before A Morning Workout, According To A Dietitian
Maria Andrews is a runner, adventure enthusiast and UESCA certified Ultramarathon Coach. When she’s not running in the woods or planning adventures, she’s spending time with those closest to her, cooking up a storm, or working on Marathon Handbook’s sister website, yogajala.com 🙂
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I’ve often done many of my runs quickly, for no other reason than not wanting to get up earlier! However, while speaking with Alex, we discussed the importance of fuel for your run and the impact of fasting.
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There is a lot of research that shows that fast running can be beneficial for some runners, that you can get a little more fat. Which means your body is a little more used to using fat for fuel. However, if you are a middle distance runner who uses mostly carbohydrates during their event, you do not need to be fat adapted. For those of us who are marathon and ultra runners, we will use a lot of fat during running. We also use carbohydrates, but during a marathon and especially in ultras, where the intensity is much lower and you run longer, you also start using fat for fuel.
The basic theory behind running without breakfast is that if you fast at night when your muscle glycogen stores are depleted, then get up and run, you start running with your tank/glycogen stores half empty. Once you’ve used up your stores while running, the body keeps you going by using fat reserves.
Remember that everyone is individual. And while fasting running can work well for some people, others may not do so well. Exercising fasted adds stress to the body because you are asking it to do without fuel. Not only can it affect performance, but for those who are more prone to colds or have a weaker immune system, or those who have a lower weight, fasting training can be very harmful.
Ideally, if you train sober, this is a maximum of twice a week. At low intensity run no more than 60 minutes. When you do hill reps, speed workouts or a long run, your body needs more carbohydrates for fuel, and if you don’t have them ready to use, yes, you will probably get through the session. But you probably won’t get your best results and could have an impact on recovery.
What To Eat Before Running In The Morning
Of course, this is very individual and will take some trial and error to determine what works best for you. Ideally, you want to be able to digest your food before you go for a run. So you want to avoid high fiber foods, too much fat or protein because they slow down digestion. So you want to choose mainly carbohydrates, the type and amount is determined by how much time you have before your morning run.
While a dietitian usually recommends choosing whole grain options, you may want to choose higher GI foods for your run. These are carbohydrates that are easily digestible, such as white rice, white pasta or white bread. Something like half a white bagel with jam, a ripe banana, muesli bar or smoothie. This will help raise your blood sugar before you cut and go for a run.
With more time to digest, you can be a little more adventurous
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