Question about Running

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I’m super new to running so what would you suggest eating before and after a run or what do you do. Any help would be great. Thanks!
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  • runrunveg
    runrunveg Posts: 4 Member
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    For me (and I currently run about 6 miles 5x/week), I do best either eating a light snack about an hour before running or running 3-4 hours after a larger meal. Personally, if I run on an empty stomach (especially if I am trying to lose weight and am on a calorie deficit generally), I risk feeling weak and lightheaded after the first couple miles. But if I try to run on a full stomach, I sometimes feel sick or get acid reflux or cramps. But not everyone has those issues, so if you are new to running, you might try what works best with your current routine before rescheduling your day around your run.
  • mada2u1984
    mada2u1984 Posts: 109 Member
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    Thanks all for your advice and input. It’s great to have a place where I can get some answers from people’s personal experiences. Blessings to all
  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,689 Member
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    It really depends on when you are running and how far. If you're a morning runner, a cup of coffee and maybe a banana will do for a short run, then eat breakfast afterwards. If you run later, then eat a meal and wait at least an hour before running. I wait two hours if I'm doing a long run or hard workout. You don't need to eat anything afterwards unless it was a long run or hard workout (i.e. speed intervals, tempo run, etc.) I usually just time my runs so I'm eating a meal an hour or so later (lunch or dinner).
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,885 Member
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    If you are super new then you likely aren't running long enough to need anything. I prefer running on an empty stomach and normally do if I am running less than 90 minutes (runs longer than that tend to be on weekends, so I have a different schedule anyway).

    If not running first thing in the morning, just make sure the run is not too soon after your last meal, and whatever you ate in that meal should be sufficient -- I used to run 6.5-10 miles home from work (6.5 was straight home, but I could add to it to get a longer run) and whatever I had had at lunch hours earlier was fine.

    If you don't feel comfortable running in the morning without eating something first, go with something easily digested. When I was marathon training I used to have greek yogurt and a banana before my weekend long runs, and for my last half I had some orange juice and a banana. I also find that I benefit whatever I have in the morning (or nothing) from having had starchy carbs the night before.
  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,522 Member
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    It takes a lot of experimenting to find what works for you. The main thing I've learned is that I need to drink about 16oz of water before a 1-hour run-- preferably with electrolytes added. I don't like carrying water unless I'm going to run for well over an hour.

    For such longer runs, I'm good with eating toast, butter, and jam beforehand. I have a running buddy who can't eat anything more than a sports chew beforehand or he feels sick. So, you'll have to figure out what works for you!

    Best of luck and have fun!
  • mada2u1984
    mada2u1984 Posts: 109 Member
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    Thanks again everyone for your own personal stories of what works for you. I appreciate it very much. Knowledge is power and I feel very informed. 🙏🏼
  • dewd2
    dewd2 Posts: 2,445 Member
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    At least 90% of my morning runs are fasted. I find it is easier on my stomach. Some of my longer runs are also fasted but that is to help develop my ability to use fat as a fuel. On days I eat before a morning run it is always light. This morning I grabbed a Smores granola bar and a cup of tea. My normal food before a marathon is a Lender's bagel and a cup of tea. Recently I've been experimenting with a packet of Kodiak Cakes instant oatmeal and a cup of tea (as you can see I can't function without my cup of tea :D ).

    My advice is to try different things and see what works for you. Also be sure to try the same foods many times and during different weather (hot weather tends to make my stomach churn).

    Also, once you start getting into longer runs you may want to start experimenting with gels and/or carb drinks. Again you should try many different ones to see what works for you.

    Good luck.
  • ChickenKillerPuppy
    ChickenKillerPuppy Posts: 297 Member
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    If I run in the morning I run on an empty stomach. If I run during lunch I had a breakfast of egg beaters, some apple, and 1/2 an English muffin probably 2.5 hours earlier. I always have a hard boiled egg white (no yolk) and a piece of apple as soon as I get back from my run. Then I usually try to eat my next meal (either breakfast or lunch) ASAP, which means after I shower (breakfast) or shower and walk back to my office (lunch).
  • H_Ock12
    H_Ock12 Posts: 1,152 Member
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    The nonpregnant version of me runs up to a 10k fasted...as long as I do it on the morning. For evening runs, I eat my normal lunch and then dinner when I get home from running after work. Marathons require carbs, red bull, and coffee beforehand and Gatorade and snacks during. Pregnant version has to have food on the stomach because there are few things worse than running with indigestion.
  • mada2u1984
    mada2u1984 Posts: 109 Member
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    Thanks for sharing 🖤
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,840 Member
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    I like having an orange before a run of up to an hour. I need a little something else when going much past an hour, usually sports gummies. In summer frozen orange slices before a run are delicious! I can’t run fasted, I’ve tried and after a couple of miles I feel like I’m gonna die :) but I am usually running the day after a hard lifting workout so I don’t have much stored muscle glycogen.

    What your body needs in the way of fuel will probably change as you train more. In general anything that doesn’t make you feel like vomiting is good, and if you suddenly feel like someone cut the fuel line to your legs, you need more carbs!
  • CaveGoose
    CaveGoose Posts: 3 Member
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    Also keep in mind that nearly every fitness tracker over estimates the amount of calories burned. A big mistake of new runners is thinking, "I ran 3 miles, I can eat a couple of donuts." A 5-mile run is about 1 slice of sausage pizza.
  • mbaker566
    mbaker566 Posts: 11,233 Member
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    CaveGoose wrote: »
    Also keep in mind that nearly every fitness tracker over estimates the amount of calories burned. A big mistake of new runners is thinking, "I ran 3 miles, I can eat a couple of donuts." A 5-mile run is about 1 slice of sausage pizza.

    my garmin is pretty accurate and if i run multiple apps at a time, is the lowest calorie estimate.
  • mada2u1984
    mada2u1984 Posts: 109 Member
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    Thank you, everyone is so helpful and willing to help with the success of people reaching their goals. Blessings and gratitude
  • LoveyChar
    LoveyChar Posts: 4,336 Member
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    Someone told me they fasted for twenty hours before longer runs and I tried it and it worked for me and I felt lighter and faster. However, I can eat something small and still run and be fine. If I eat something large, a full meal, I will feel sluggish but I don't usually feel ill. I've only gotten ill once while running (burping gas) and I've been at it awhile now, but it wasn't how much I ate, but rather what I ate (beans).
  • littlegreenparrot1
    littlegreenparrot1 Posts: 694 Member
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    LoveyChar wrote: »
    Someone told me they fasted for twenty hours before longer runs and I tried it and it worked for me and I felt lighter and faster. However, I can eat something small and still run and be fine. If I eat something large, a full meal, I will feel sluggish but I don't usually feel ill. I've only gotten ill once while running (burping gas) and I've been at it awhile now, but it wasn't how much I ate, but rather what I ate (beans).

    Please bear in mind that this is very individual. I run before breakfast in the mornings, and have done so for a long time.

    I'm currently training for a race and my morning mileage is going up. Turns out that once I get past about 5 miles I start retching if I haven't eaten. Have been experimenting with a small piece of fruit, couple of spoons of yoghurt and it seems to help. It can't be much though as have to go out immediately. I

    The only thing to do really is try a few things and see how you feel.
  • ssorg9
    ssorg9 Posts: 30 Member
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    I usually go with oatmeal about an hour before a run and nothing until my next planned meal. Since I am dieting, I do a small gala apple post-run in addition to the oatmeal.