Nutrition For Runners
To Eat or Not to Eat
Eating before a run is a tough one to decide...do I want to spend the hour of running burping up weetbix or do I want to die a little half way through because of lack of energy? Eating before you run is a very individual thing for runners, some runners can eat a full buffet breakfast and go for a run with no digestion issues and some people cannot even tolerate half a cup of coffee in their belly without feeling sick.
The problem with eating is the chance of getting a stitch, heartburn or indigestion or plain not liking the idea of food sloshing around in your tummy as you run.
The problem with not eating (especially for the morning run) is the whoozy feeling you get when your blood sugar levels drop about midway into your run and then you have to summon every ounce of energy to get you home.
You do need to remember that if you don't eat before a morning run, that your body may have not had fuel for up to 10 hours and it needs something to get it through a run, especially if you are going out for longer than an hour.
If you need something the best things to eat or drink, are a glass of juice, full of sugar but will get you through the blood sugar drop and beyond and a lot easier to digest.
Things like toast, banana, coffee are good or some people have told me a spoon full of honey gives the energy you need without the indigestion.
Things to steer clear of are bowls of cereal, the milk sloshing around your stomach does not give a good feeling and most good cereals are designed to digest slowly so it could take a couple of hours for it to go down.
Anything greasy, like bacon and eggs is likely to cause stitches.
It's best to have something as a glass of water isn't enough, if possible eat an hour before you run, but that is not always ideal if you like to run at 6am, that's where I find the glass of juice handy, I just down it and off I go.
A couple of jelly beans or sugar lollies are always good but not very palatable in the morning.
The best thing is to use a trial and error method, that is what I did over the years and that is how the juice became my preferred choice. Try different things each morning before you run and see how the digestion and energy levels go. Best to go with small portions of anything, ie half a slice of toast, half a banana etc, it will be just enough to get you through but not enough to cause the digestion problems.