Article | July 2017

Eat Better, Run Better

Five ways to fuel your run

Training for a half marathon or full marathon demands a lot of energy. Knowing what to eat and when is important to ensure that you get started on the right foot and stay energized during those long training runs.

1. Don't skip breakfast

If you exercise in the morning, make sure to get up early enough to eat first as your blood sugar may be low. If you plan to exercise within an hour after breakfast, eat a lighter meal or drink something to raise your blood sugar. For maximum energy choose carbohydrates, but don't forget protein to keep hunger at bay on those longer runs.

2. Pack a snack

Snacks eaten right before running may not provide you with substantial added energy, but they can help keep your blood sugar up and prevent distracting hunger pains. This is especially true if you plan to work out several hours after a meal.

3. Refuel after you exercise

To help your muscles recover, eat a snack or meal within two hours of your exercise session. Think protein and carbs — a handful of nut and berry trail mix or a banana and peanut butter.

4. Drink up

Drinking adequate fluids before, during, and after exercise is important to preventing dehydration. Water is generally the best way to replace lost fluids. However, if you're exercising for more than 60 minutes, consider a sports drink to help maintain your body's electrolyte balance.

5. Train your stomach

Training your stomach is just as important as training your muscles. You wouldn’t try new sneakers during a race, and likewise, don't try a new nutrition routine during a race. Treat your long runs like the race, and practice consuming different types of foods during your training so that you don't have any unwelcome surprises on race day.

Close up of green smoothie while runner ties shoes in the background

The information provided is for educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice. Always consult your doctor for appropriate health advice and guidance, including prior to starting a new diet or exercise program.