Hey there, runners!
Whether you're hitting the track for a casual jog or gearing up for a marathon, the right nutrition can make all the difference in your performance and post-run feel-good vibes.
Read along for tips on how to fuel your run and keep you going strong!
Eating BEFORE a Run
To ensure you've got the energy to conquer those kms, we need to focus on carb loading and getting your meal timing right!
Carbohydrates are your body's preferred energy source.
Before a run, we want to opt for complex carbs like whole grains, fruits, and veggies to sustain your energy throughout your run.
A small serving of porridge with a sprinkle of berries or a banana with a dollop of nut butter is a perfect pre-run meal for a moderate run.
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➡️ Timing is everything
Aim to have a snack or small meal about 1 to 2 hours before your run. This gives your body enough time to digest and convert those nutrients into energy.
Eating DURING a Run
Longer runs might require a little extra boost along the way – energy gels and fruit chews will be your best friend. Stash them in your pocket for on-the-go energy.
These handy sachets are like mini power-ups! Packed with easily digestible carbs, they're great for mid-run energy boosts, especially during those marathon training sessions.
Studies have shown that using running gels and fruit chews during races like half-marathons (21 km) and marathons (42 km) can really help your performance .
Eating AFTER a Run
You conquered your run! Now it's time to replenish that fuel and treat your body to some much-deserved TLC.
➡️ Prioritise a balanced meal or snack
Eating a meal rich in protein, carbohydrates and fats is important post-run to replenish, repair and recover!
The size of your post-run meal may depend on the distance of your run, but generally, a longer run will require a substantial meal whereas a shorter run may require a smaller, balanced meal.
A carbohydrate-rich meal helps to replenish those energy stores, while quality protein helps to recover your muscles, plus some healthy fats to aid in recovery and reduce inflammation!
Replace lost fluids by sipping water throughout your run. And after, quench your thirst with water and electrolyte-rich beverages to restore your body's balance.
Want to find the perfect pre/post running snacks? Join Eat With Us today.
Specifics with Hydration
But how much is enough? Here's the scoop.
Before a run
Aim to sip about 500-700ml 1 to 2 hours before your run. This sets you up without overloading your bladder.
During a run
For runs lasting less than an hour, you can leave the rehydrating for later! For runs lasting an hour or more, mixing water with an electrolyte drink to replenish lost minerals can be beneficial.
After a run
Post-run, keep sipping water to rehydrate! Mix in electrolytes to ensure you are well hydrated no matter the distance.
A good rule of thumb is to aim for at least 500 ml for every 0.5 kg lost during your run.
Tailor Nutrition For Different Distances
Whether you're a sprint lover or a marathon enthusiast, your nutritional needs may vary. Here is a basic guide:
Sprints and Short Runs (0-5 km): A light snack, like a banana or a piece of toast can provide the necessary energy without weighing you down.
Middle-Distance Runs (5-15 km): Moderate efforts require a balance of carbs and protein. Go for a hearty sandwich with salad and chicken, or a small bowl of oats with some nut butter.
Marathon Training and Long Runs (15 km+): These endurance challenges call for extra care. Focus on carb-loading a day or two before your run, and during your run, supplement with energy gels and hydrating snacks.
There you have it runners!
Now you're armed with the latest evidence-based recommendations to fuel your runs and make each step count.
Need ideas for pre & post-run fuel?
If you're ready to fuel your runs the right way, join our amazing app, Eat With Us! Explore 1000s of pre and post-run recipes at your fingertips.
For more tailored support on your running journey, we recommend reaching out to a sports Dietitian if you are in Australia! Find one here: https://www.sportsdietitians.com.au/#find-sports-dietitian
 Patterson, Stephen & Gray, Susan. (2007). Carbohydrate-Gel Supplementation and Endurance Performance during Intermittent High-Intensity Shuttle Running. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism. 17. 445-55. 10.1123/ijsnem.17.5.445.