The start of your 15k is quickly approaching and you’re not sure if the waffles you had for breakfast is going to carry you to the finish line. You made good use of the maple syrup packets at the hotel, but now you’re having some regrets. You may ask yourself, “what should I eat right before an event?” What you eat right before a an event greatly impacts your performance on course. To avoid a sluggish start, we’re sharing some tasty recommendations to help you do your best.
The ideal type of food to eat right before an event
For starters, a pre-run snack should be high in carbs but low in fat and fiber. You want to speed up digestion and have the food fueling you to the finish line, not slowing you down with a stomach ache. A pre-run snack should keep you from feeling hungry during your run and help maintain adequate blood sugar levels to ensure proper muscle function.
Here are our pre-run snack recommendations:
As simple as it sounds, an orange or a banana makes for a great pre-run snack! Fresh fruit is relatively light – it provides natural sugars to the body which is converted into energy. A grapefruit is also highly recommended because it’s low in fiber and easy to digest. Consider adding some fresh berries or apple slices to your morning oatmeal instead of sugar or syrup, your body will thank you later.
A plain bagel with peanut butter
This combination is incredibly popular among runners. Although whole grain is preferable in terms of general health, processed white bread has the whole grain already broken down which makes for faster digestion. This snack provides all the carbs necessary to fuel a run – coupled with the protein from the peanut butter, it will provide all the nutrients your muscles need for the toughest obstacles… just don’t go too heavy on the peanut butter.
Half an English Muffin with Jelly
Picture this: you’re at the hotel contemplating what you’d like as part of your complementary breakfast, but you’re well aware that a giant chocolate chip waffle won’t do the trick when your race starts in an hour. To get the carbs you need without filling yourself with fat and sugar, grab an english muffin and lightly spread some jelly on it. This snack is an excellent source of carbs and is easily digestible, so there’s no need to worry about hitting Runners Trot 20 minutes into the race!
No this isn’t an advertisement for a dating app. Dates are a great source of natural sugars and carbs which runners heavily rely on to power through long distances. Dates are also rich in potassium which greatly contributes to muscle function. Trust us, you’ll want your muscles to function when you’re pulling yourself up Everest’s steep slope.
What foods should you avoid?
Now that you know what to look for in your pre-run snack, you may be asking yourself “well, what foods should I avoid?”
You should avoid any food that’s high in fat, fiber, or lactose. These three things can cause indigestion and stomach pain on course, which is the last thing you’ll want to deal when there’s no bathroom in sight. Additionally, while coffee and soda may seem like ideal sources of energy before a run, they can easily bother your stomach and/or lead to an energy crash. Keep in mind, these runs aren’t a walk in the park… you will be on course for a few hours!
We hope these recommendations are helpful so you can eat to energize at your next event!
Speaking of events, which one will we be seeing you at next?