What to eat before a morning run - Women's Running

What to eat before a morning run

Author: Women's Running Magazine

Read Time:   |  September 1, 2021

Whether you enjoy the sunrise or like to get your run done before the rest of the house wakes up, it can be hard to know if you need to eat before your morning run. We find out...

We love a morning run – and we’ve got good reason to. Pounding the pavements as the world starts to wake up helps to stimulate your body and brain, boosting productivity and energy for the day ahead. But jumping out of bed and into your trainers always begs the question: what about breakfast?

There’s nothing worse than feeling a banana bouncing around in our stomachs as we run, but it’s also frustrating to feel as though our speed is hampered by a lack of energy. So, we turned to science to find out if and what we should eat before our morning runs.

It all comes down to glycogen (ie, energy available to the body). As a general rule of thumb, if you’re running less than one hour at a relatively easy pace, there isn’t really a need to eat anything as your body should have enough glycogen from dinner the night before to see you through a run. If you do find that you’re hitting a wall, you could add in some fuel such as an energy gel when you’re a couple of miles in.

For runners who are powering through for more than an hour or running at an intense pace, you might need some extra energy to keep you going. If this is the case, eat a small snack around half an hour before lacing up your trainers: this could be a banana or half an energy bar to give you a boost.

Once your run is done, it can be easy to get caught up with the daily to-dos and forget to go back for breakfast, but refuelling is key. A good recovery breakfast should include carbs and plenty of protein, and is best eaten around half and hour after you’re finished.

Women's Running Magazine

NMA’s 2020 Lifestyle Magazine of the Year, Women’s Running provides expert advice on gear and training, motivation from your favourite runners and the latest running news.

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