How to Eat before&after a run

CheatinLil Posts: 71 Member
edited May 2016 in Fitness and Exercise
My bootcamp instructor told me for bootcamp you should eat protein and carbs an hour before your workout to fuel your workout then within an hour after your workout protein and carbs to repair.
My daughters high school coach said she shouldn’t eat 4 hours before running.

What are your thoughts on eating before and after running. I notice I am not as famished after a run like I am other workouts.

Edited to add: I run about 2.5 - 3.25 miles when I run.


  • BrianSharpe
    BrianSharpe Posts: 9,207 Member
    Anything you eat 1Hr before a run won't be available as fuel (other than high GI simple crabs) within an hour of consumption. In the hour or so after a run you're more receptive to replenishing your glycogen stores so a recovery snack / drink is a good idea (4:1 carbs:protein)

    I'd side with her coach,. 4 hrs out and your body will have started absorbing the nutrients and (more importantly to me anyway) you won't be running with food in your stomach.
  • CheatinLil
    CheatinLil Posts: 71 Member
    thanks Brian :)
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    A 3 mile run does not need any special pre or post run food. Just eat normally throughout the day.
  • Bluepegasus
    Bluepegasus Posts: 333 Member
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    A 3 mile run does not need any special pre or post run food. Just eat normally throughout the day.

    This. I've been running for 8 years and never worried about how, what and when to eat, even when I was training for 10k races. I just go out and run.
  • enterdanger
    enterdanger Posts: 2,447 Member
    I like to run empty. Although I do like a glass of wine right before I run if it's at night. lol...then again, I always like a glass of wine.
  • WickedPineapple
    WickedPineapple Posts: 701 Member
    I think this depends on the person. I can't run within 3 hours of eating otherwise I'll get stomach pain.
  • _Waffle_
    _Waffle_ Posts: 13,051 Member
    I think their coach is correct.. I wouldn't count anything inside of 3 hours. I did 6 miles this morning on just a cup of black coffee. That's all I ever have before a run typically.

    I generally have a protein shake and breakfast after the run.
  • rsclause
    rsclause Posts: 3,103 Member
    I don't recommend a long run or race right after eating. If an early morning race I get up a couple of hours before and have a half bagel or a piece of toast w/ almond butter.
  • filovirus76
    filovirus76 Posts: 156 Member
    To maximize performance, aim to consume at least 100 grams of carbohydrates within the four hours preceding a hard workout.

    Easy workouts I don't think it matters much.

    Personally, I usually eat a banana about an hour before a run.
  • kirstinethornburg
    kirstinethornburg Posts: 300 Member
    I would consult with a personal trainer and nutritionist with that question
  • WakkoW
    WakkoW Posts: 567 Member
    I run fasted in the morning. I wake up, have coffee, go, then go running.

    I only worry about getting nutrition post run when the run is longer than 2 hours. But I usually don't eat breakfast until 2-4 hours after I've done a morning workout (I wait until I'm hungry).
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,304 Member
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    A 3 mile run does not need any special pre or post run food. Just eat normally throughout the day.

    Yeah, pretty much this. I don't run much, but I cycle and I only worry about doing anything different if I'm really going to be putting in some miles or doing a time trial or something of high intensity like that.

    I do usually have a whey supplement and an apple after I lift...figure it can't really hurt anything.
  • RoxieDawn
    RoxieDawn Posts: 15,490 Member
    I eat nothing before (I run 5:30 a.m. fasted) and can run just fine up to 6 miles or 60 to 70 minutes of running. A run for up to 10 miles I take a stingers. I do not eat right after my run (I am not one that gets hungry right afterwards) but I always plan the next meal up to 2 hours afterwards so I refuel then.

    But the coach is pretty much right in this case.
  • KathyApplebaum
    KathyApplebaum Posts: 188 Member
    Everyone seems to vary a bit. Personally, I don't worry about eating unless I'm running for more than 60 minutes. Then I'll eat something light an hour before (like a banana), and about 50 calories of jelly beans every 45 minutes during the run. My husband needs more before and during, while my running buddy doesn't worry about it unless it's a 2 hour run. Try a few things and see what works best for you.
  • superspork2
    superspork2 Posts: 99 Member
    I mean, everyone is different. But I don't think I can make it 4 hours without eating whether I am running or not haha. But I typically run around 3 miles like you, and even though its not a lot, I HAVE to eat before. It's always something light like coffee and banana or a slice of bread and peanut butter. After I just move on to my regular meal. My friends like to run on an empty stomach though, so I'm sure a lot of just personal preference. I am not worried about my body starving while I do my 30 minute run.. I am just hungry :D
  • sympha01
    sympha01 Posts: 942 Member
    I suspect a lot of the sports nutrition-specific meal timing advice really applies more to people who are at a reasonably-high competitive level in their sport. Those of us who work out recreationally, for general health, to stay active etc. aren't going to get a big performance benefit much from agonizing over it, and I doubt it has a significant effect on vanity issues like fat burn or muscle "tone" etc.
  • JeffS435
    JeffS435 Posts: 133 Member
    I think it is different with everyone. When I was younger if I ate before I ran then I would develop cramps easier. Now that I am diabetic, I have to eat a snack before I run so I don't drop too low on my blood sugars.
  • aarar
    aarar Posts: 684 Member
    I think it just depends on the individual, how long you're going out for and what your body is used to and can handle. Personally I eat a full breakfast (well toast, 2 scrambled eggs and coffee) and go out immediately after, regardless of the distance I'm running.
  • TalliFay
    TalliFay Posts: 7 Member
    I've done half marathons on just a banana, it's really up to the individual! If you have a tummy that upsets easily then fast, if you like to have something to eat then go for it. I wouldn't worry about it for a shortish run, do what feels right for your body!