Being fit is more than just exercise.
It takes a lot of work and dedication to both your body and your mind. Fueling both is absolutely essential when it comes to reaching your fitness goals.
Whether you’re running a marathon or just running to clear your head after a stressful day, you need to be mindful of how you fuel your body.
We’ll start by answering a common question.
1. Should You Eat Before You Run?
Ask different runners this question and you will get a myriad of different answers. You’ll meet those who swear by fueling up before they start their run, and you’ll meet others that caution against it. But why the differences in opinion?
Eating before you run helps to increase your blood sugar to prevent hypoglycemia, characterized by lightheadedness, blurred vision and fatigue while running. While nit settles in your stomach it also absorbs acids that can cause discomfort. Most importantly, it could be your last chance to give your muscles the fuel they need for an effective workout.
On the other hand, certain types of foods can cause discomfort if eaten before your run. To avoid distress, it is important to pay close attention to the foods you consume to fuel your body prior to any workout. Which brings us to our next point.
2. What to Eat Before You Run
What foods you should choose to fuel your run largely depends on the intensity of your workout. If your body can maintain an easy, steady pace for about half an hour, you may not even need to eat before you run. Your body should be able to fuel itself on your most recent meal. However, the more intense your workout gets, the more blood flow gets transferred to your muscles, and the more fuel you’ll need.
Ultimately, how you fuel will depend on you and your body because no two people are the same, so your body’s fuel needs won’t necessarily be the same as someone else running the same intensity. Trial and error is a good way to learn what your body needs for its workout. And the same goes for fueling while you run.
3. Fueling Your Run As You Go
There are many popular options for how to fuel your run as you go. Many runners grab sports drinks to hydrate and fuel. Just keep in mind that while they are quick and easy, not all sports drinks are made the same. Opt for one with a six to eight carbohydrate concentration and at least 110 mg of sodium in an eight ounce serving for the best results.
A new way to fuel is gels. Be wary when choosing this option as they can often become sticky and you will likely still need to drink water after you consume one. There are also energy chews, which work like a kick of coffee that will help give you the boost you need.
Fueling With Energy Bars
For a pre- and post-workout fuel that can also be consumed while on the run, try energy bars. These bars tend to be packed with essential carbohydrates that can better address your body’s hunger and energy needs while on a run and replenish what’s lost afterwards. We recommend trying MCTbars as they have all the fuel your body needs for any level of intensity. The MCT oils used in these bars give you the energy boost you’re looking for without the added fats and sugars found in a lot of other bars. Give it a try for your next workout to see the difference for yourself!
Good luck and happy running!