Foods to Eat Before Running

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Good nutrition is a part of any fitness training. It must be observed at all times to keep the body in tip-top shape. When you’re running, the amount of calories you consume will depend on the intensity of your workout. A one-mile run burns approximately 100 calories. But this depends on your build and your pace.

Of course, you want to eat the right kinds of food so you don’t feel faint during and after working out. But don’t use running as an excuse to eat anything you want. To keep the body in shape, you have to exercise discipline and control. It’s best to work with a nutritionist or dietitian to develop a meal plan that suits your needs and lifestyle. If you’re running to stay fit, we recommend the following foods:

Vitamin C-Rich Fruits

When you’re running short distances, go for foods that are easy to store and won’t bruise easily. We recommend high vitamin fruits like oranges, grapefruit and apples. Vitamin C repairs damaged muscles, it also strengthens the bones. Even better, vitamin C stimulates collagen production, which is important when you’re working out. Because oranges, grapefruits and apples are loaded with fiber and are low in calories, they will tide you over when the stomach’s grumbling.


Applesauce is very easy to digest and low in sugars. However, applesauce contains no fiber so it isn’t as filling. But scoopable snacks like applesauce gives a hit of carbohydrate. It’s good enough to fuel the body for short distance running. Applesauce also satisfies 10% of your daily need for calcium. To keep it healthy, stick to applesauce brands with very little fat.


Yogurt is an excellent pre-run snack. It’s loaded with calcium, antioxidants and probiotics. It’s also very filling especially if you add a handful of berries. Again, to keep it healthy, stick to low-fat varieties or plain yogurt instead of flavored or frozen yogurt.


Cereals are the perfect snack for short and long distance running. That’s why endurance athletes nosh on cereals before a run. Whole grain cereals contain simple carbs, which the body converts to fuel. If you’re running for long distance, you need foods that are quickly turned to fuel to maintain your strength. Also, cereals are rich in fiber. It will fill you up without the unwanted calories.

However, if you’re sensitive to gluten or whole grains in general, cereals might not be the best option. As long as you can tolerate it, go for cereals. Get cereals that yield fewer than 2 grams of fiber per serving.

Dried Dates

Dried dates contain natural sugars that are quickly converted into energy. This fruit snack is also loaded with potassium, which aids in proper muscle function. Just a couple of dates is enough to meet 10% of your daily needs for potassium. Dried dates also contain fiber and carbohydrates. These nutrients are essential when you’re running or working out.

Sweet Potatoes

One of professional bodybuilders’ best kept secret is eating boiled sweet potatoes for carbs. A medium-sized sweet potato will meet your daily need for vitamin A by 230%! Vitamin A keeps the vision clear and the immune system strong. Sweet potatoes are also packed with soluble fiber. Soluble fiber prevents obesity, constipation and cardiovascular diseases.

Just heat a small potato in the microwave. Wrap it then take it with you. Give yourself an hour to digest sweet potato before running.

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