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How To Fuel Properly Before a Run

stretching before a run

Running can burn a lot of calories. Hitting the pavement without proper fuel in your system can thus be dangerous.

It is not enough just to eat before your run, however. You need to make sure you are ingesting the right nutrients. Below are some tips for your pre-run meals and snacks.

1. Try Supplements

Supplements are a convenient way to fuel up as you head out for your run. They give you nutrients in a pill or drink form. According toLe-vel Thrive reviews, Thrive’s capsule, shake and patch give you the energy you need for runs and daily activities.

2. Eat Carbs (Within Reason)

You have probably heard about the importance of loading up on carbohydrates before a big run. That is because carbs give you the energy you need. That doesn’t mean that you should eat a big bowl of pasta, however. Instead, try eating foods with simple carbohydrates, such as bananas, approximately one hour before your run. Potatoes, beans, grains and other complex carbohydrates should be taken two to three hours before the run. 

Still, there is no need to go overboard with the carbohydrates. Unless you are regularly running marathons, carbs should only make up 45 to 65 percent of your daily diet. To figure out the ideal amount of carbs to eat prior to your workout, multiply your weight by 0.5 and then multiply that product by the number of hours before the run begins. You may want to load up on some extra carbs in the week before an endurance race, however.

3. Avoid Fiber

Gastrointestinal issues could have you running for the bathroom during your workout. High-fiber foods are usually the culprit, as they can take a long time to digest. You should thus avoid eating any high-fiber cereals or bars in the 12 hours prior to your run. Leafy greens such as cabbage and broccoli should be skipped, as well.

4. Start Slow

If you are not used to eating before a run, you may need a bit of trial and error to see what works best for you. Start out with simple snacks. After all, you do not want to end up with cramps or an upset stomach. 

5. Hydrate Properly

Hydration is not just important during your run. You should also drink 16 to 24 ounces of water several hours before you begin your workout. Failure to hydrate properly could lead to fatigue and muscle cramps.

While downing a sports drink as you head out the door may be tempting, these drinks often contain excess sugar that you do not need. Unless you are going for a lengthy run or exercising in severe humidity, you can probably skip the Gatorade.

6. Do Not Skip Breakfast

If you prefer morning runs,you may have the urge to skip breakfast so you can sleep a bit later. Yet you are better off waking up 30 to 60 minutes before your run to give yourself a chance to fuel. A small granola bar, oatmeal or a bagel thin topped with jelly should do the trick.

7. Avoid Depletion Runs

You may have heard about elite athletes going on runs without putting any fuel into their bodies ahead of time. While this may work for Olympians, it can be harmful for everyday runners. If you are looking to make your run more challenging, consider adding intensity or mileage instead of skimping out on needed nutrients.

Failing to fuel properly before a run can turn a fun workout into a disaster. Whether you prefer jogging on a trail or running on a track, be sure to eat and hydrate in advance.