Happy Monday, everyone! It was a rainy, chilly weekend in Cleveland (and it doesn’t look like the weather is changing anytime soon) so I didn’t go on run Saturday morning like I had originally planned. But this week, it’s no excuses! It’s been two weeks since my half marathon, and I’m ready to get back to my running schedule, after doing other forms of exercise to give myself a break.
I am by no means a running expert or a dietitian (but my sister is!), so this post on how to fuel your body while running is purely my opinion and from my own experience. Although I’ve done quite a bit of research on nutrition and fitness, different diets work for different people, and I encourage you to experiment and find what works best for your body. With that said, here’s what I eat to help ensure a successful run.
Before I set out on a run, I try to have a light snack about an hour to two hours before. Sometimes it’s hard, especially when I come home from work and am starving, but I find something light is best to avoid stomach issues during my run. My snacks include:
– A waffle with peanut butter
– A half of a banana with peanut butter
– A (very) small bowl of pasta
– A half of a cup of coffee (this gives me a boost of energy to power through and speed up)
I usually only drink water during my runs, unless I’m running above 8 miles—then I’ll incorporate a sports drink (my favorite is Vitamin Water Zero flavors) and/or an energy supplement. My favorite energy supplement is GU Chomps. They give you a boost, clear your mind and give you some energy to push through that high mileage. I find the texture of plain GU gross, and other supplements too hard to chew. I used to always use supplements, and then I learned from research that they’re completely unnecessary calories unless you’ve been running for more than an hour.
After I run, I hydrate with water (lots of water) and protein. A few of my favorite post-run foods include:
– A small protein shake
– Greek yogurt
– Chicken and veggies (this is an ideal dinner after an evening run)
– A spinach salad
Again, my diet is by no means perfect, and sometimes, I admittedly come home from a run and shove chips and guacamole or a few cookies in my mouth before I hop in the shower. But if running has taught me one thing, it’s that it’s important to take care of your body and properly fuel it so it can perform. I have some of my best runs when I pay close attention to my diet and eat cleanly.
What are your favorite snacks to eat before and after exercising?