Make sure your km’s are fueled

Your body needs high-octane fuel to run its best. So if you’re wondering what to eat before running, below are some healthy and delicious meals and snacks that can provide the high-quality energy you need to get the most out of your workout. These options are high-carb, low-fat, low-fiber, dietitian-approved and packed with nutrients.

Use this as a guide, but listen to your body. Each individual is unique in terms of digestion time, so you may need to eat closer to your workout or a few hours earlier than what’s prescribed here.

Hour-Long Workouts

If you’re exercising for up to an hour at an easy effort, it’s okay to run on empty. But having a small snack or meal of around 100 to 200 calories ahead of time may help you feel energized and strong throughout the workout. These snacks are also ideal before shorter quality workouts, like speed sessions and hill work.

Eat this 30 minutes before a workout. The milk provides protein; both the cereal and milk have carbs to keep you energized. (195 calories)

Eat this one hour before your workout. The bagel and toppings offer long-lasting energy so you can stay strong. (390 calories)

Is it better to run on an empty stomach?

First, consider the time and effort. If you’re running less than 60 minutes at an easy pace, you may not need to eat anything—your body has enough glycogen (its preferred fuel source) stored to power you through, but you should focus on refueling properly afterward.

Any run lasting longer than 60 minutes or performed at a vigorous to intense effort may require some extra fuel to keep you going. That said, everyone is different and multiple factors influence this so if you find you’re hitting the wall on most runs around mile four or 45 minutes in, then you’ll adjust your fuel plan accordingly.

What should I do before running in the morning?

I’m going to break this into two different types of runs, because the fuel needed to run a shorter run is quite different from the amount of fuel needed before running 12 or 13 miles.

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