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pleiades's avatar

Morning Runners: What do you eat for breakfast and how long do you wait until the run?

Asked by pleiades (6538 points ) June 8th, 2014

I’m looking to do a 6am run, your answer to the OP will help me sift through some options! Thanks!

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12 Answers

LDRSHIP's avatar

Are you asking if I eat after or before I run?

livelaughlove21's avatar

I know a few morning runners, though I’m definitely not one of them. One eats something light, like a protein shake or yogurt/banana, about 30 minutes before running. The rest seem to eat after their run.

zenvelo's avatar

It depends on whether you’re talking about a workout run or an event, and how far/how long you plan to run. Most people can run first thing in the morning with nothing more than a glass of water, go for up to an hour, and eat afterwards.

If you are going more than an hour or so, eat first 30 to 45 minutes ahead of time, but just enough to carry you through, not a full meal.

If you are in a race or distance event, eat 45 minutes to an hour before your start so you have fuel to run at peak performance.

GloPro's avatar

I don’t run, but I do the 7am workout several times a week. I eat a banana or an apple pre-workout, and eat a protein heavy meal for breakfast. If you are running instead of pumping iron then you may not need that protein breakfast.
As always on these types of Qs, I’d listen to @livelaughlove21.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@GloPro Aw, thanks. blushes

“I eat a banana or an apple pre-workout, and eat a protein heavy meal for breakfast.”

Sounds perfect! I work out at 5AM three days per week (lifting days) and I usually have a Quest bar beforehand, then my post-workout protein shake about an hour after my workout, and then I have oatmeal when I get to work at 8:30. Lifting day means almost 700 calories before lunch – my favorite days of the week. I only do cardio twice a week and I work out at night, so I make sure that I have my dinner at least an hour before exercising or else I’d feel sick. My dinners are typically pretty heavy. I also avoid drinking water during that hour too – I can’t stand that sloshing sound when I’m jumping.

I used to lift without eating first since it was so early, but I found myself getting nauseous toward the end of my workout due to my blood sugar levels dropping (not a diabetic). The Quest bar definitely helps. Cardio is a different story, though.

filmfann's avatar

When I used to run, I did it before eating.

pleiades's avatar

@LDRSHIP Before your run, how much time do you have between the exercise and your breakfast ;)

gondwanalon's avatar

We are all different. Experiment to find out what works best for you. Try a PowerBar® energy bar or energy gell that is made to be eating before exercising (I can’t handle it). Some people can eat a lot before they run. I’ve seen people eating all kinds of things just before a full marathon like: pan cakes; cherry pie; bananas: donuts; hot cocoa; coffee; bagels; Baby Ruth candy bars, etc. But I have always got my best running on an empty stomach. If I eat anything more that just a few small nibbles of toast I get acid burring in my stomach that is just unbearable.

Good luck!

rockfan's avatar

I eat 2 tablespoons of unsalted peanut butter mixed with strawberries, blueberries, flaxseed, and a sliced banana.

LDRSHIP's avatar

@pleiades Oh ok. I don’t eat anything in the morning before a run. If anything drink some water.

However for a PT test or for little extra kick, I sometimes take a bit of organic energy shot or a drink called spark. It has vitamins and amino acids, with caffeine few other things. Nothing too crazy. I always put like half a scoop which is 60mg of caffeine. Just enough for boost yet not to the point where I am spazing out.

Other than that, I just am sure to drink plenty of water throughout everyday and morning of I will drink some. Being hydrated and not just chugging gallons of water day before.

I’d say you have to experiment. For me I push myself hard on most runs as I am going for time and to improve. Throwing up is very likely for me. Not to mention the burps, possible stomach/cramp and what not. Ugh!

But that also depends on how long I wait between eating and a run. Thinking like 2–3 hours and I am ok. Depending on the meal. That’s just my body.

PS Since changing my overall diet and doing better with water intake. I find I hardly use the energy mix or organic shots in the morning. I have however did some experimenting with L-Arginine with L-Citrulline and I think it helped to a degree. Again though just personal experience and experimenting. By no means am I advocating, however do some of your own research! It can be enlightening! ;)

Quakwatch's avatar

If I eat before I exercise in the morning, I feel sick. At most, if I am dead tired and it is early, I will drink a shot of espresso and a bit of water. If it will be a long run, like >7 miles, I will eat a bit beforehand, but mainly I will carry Clif Bloks to eat every 30 minutes to keep from bonking.

LDRSHIP's avatar

What were your results?

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