Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Running Fuel

In the spirit of eating better on a regular basis, I wanted to share some of my experiences with what NOT to eat before a long run to keep you going strong and not feeling weighed down.  That being said, fueling up is important, just make sure your putting the right stuff in the tank.

Things I've learned to avoid:

  • Protein Bars - Yes, protein is great.  I love protein, but consuming too much before a workout can lead to digestion issues.  Your body basically won't be able to keep your energy levels consistent on a heavy protein intake because it's trying to break down the new food (proteins take significantly longer to digest than carbs) rather than using your body's fat stores as a fuel source.  
  • Nuts - Going back to the protein piece, all your going to do is cramp up.  
  • High Fiber Fruits & Veggies-  Think about why we eat fiber.  Do you want to deal with that during your distance run?  I don't.  Save the salad for after your workout. 
  • Dairy - Every I think a yogurt or piece of cheese is a good idea, it comes back to bite me.  Dairy can actually deplete you of energy because your body slows down the absorption of carbs when it's sitting in your stomach.  
  • Junk Food - While this should go without saying, when I first started running, I made this fatal mistake.  That big breakfast or last night's pizza didn't feel so good at mile 5.  

On the flip side, here a few great options I've found that I absolutely love before a run:
  • Earnest Eats Hot Cereal - It's a delicious combination of oats, quinoa and amaranth and gives you an awesome boost pre-workout.  The Mayan Blend (cocoa, pumpkin seeds and cashews) is my personal favorite, but all three flavors are great.
  • Whole Grain English Muffins w/ Almond Butter and Jam - I know, I know.  I said no nuts.  This is my exception to the rule.  You're pairing it with a fast and slow carb so the little bit of a protein boost in the mix works well.  Get Justin's Almond Butter.  Trust me, it's worth it.  
  • Laughing Giraffe Goji, Cacao & Maca Snackaroons - I love these things.  Think of a coconut macaroon cookie with all sorts of fantastic health benefits.  It's a fulfilling, delicious energy boost that's 100% raw and vegan.
  • Honey Stinger Waffles - They're naturally sweetened, organic and fit easily into your pocket for a quick pick-me-up mid run.  

There you have it, my two cents on how to properly fuel your run for success.  Only one more distance training run before my half marathon... 

No comments:

Post a Comment