What to Eat Before and After a Long Run

yoghurt bowl

Preparing for any running race takes physical training and mental commitment. However, when your goal is an endurance event, there is another element that comes into play: nutrition. With every mile you add to your run, the more proper nutrition matters. To run your best while feeling fast, fit and strong mile after mile, it is crucial to fuel well before and after the training. 


This is your chance to top off glycogen stores, prevent hunger mid run and give your body the energy to go the distance. To run without getting the runs, try to eat at least an hour before your training. The longer you have between eating and running, the more you can consume.

Aim for 1 gram of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight for each hour you have. For example, a 145-pound (66kg) runner should consume 132 grams of carbohydrate two hours before starting the run. Choose easy-to-digest carbohydrates to limit bulk on the gastric system. Because endurance events pull from fat stores and carb stores, you'll want a little bit of fat in that meal to help keep your body going for the long haul. This will also keep you from feeling hungry throughout the run. 

Overnight Oats: 
1 cup oats, 1 cup almond milk, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 banana, 1 tablespoon almond butter, plus spices of your choice

Energizing Smoothie: 
1 cup coconut water, 1 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, turmeric, black pepper 

Sweet Savory Bagel: 
1 bagel, 1 tablespoon ghee, drizzle of honey, salt and pepper

Super Sweet Potato: 
1 baked sweet potato, 1/2 cup granola

Espresso Bites: 
Pulse espresso powder, dates, almonds, coconut, oats and seasonings until sticky; roll into balls and refrigerate 


You're exhausted, and all you want is to lie on the ground and recover. But before you take your shoes off, shower, stretch or take a nap, it's time to refuel! Your body needs nutrition as soon as possible to recover properly and do its best with the daily impact and caloric needs of endurance running. If you're running daily or even twice a day, you need to refuel to replenish glycogen stores and start rebuilding damaged muscles.

Choose a combination of protein and carbohydrates at a one to three or one to four ratio. Options you can throw together quickly or have prepped in advance are especially helpful to get the nutrition in fast. 

Yogurt Bowl: 
Greek yogurt, berries, chopped nuts and granola

Breakfast Burrito: 
Make your own and freeze them or pick a frozen option filled with healthful ingredients like eggs, beans, rice and veggies.

Almond Joy Smoothie: 
Coconut milk, hot cocoa powder, chocolate whey protein, banana, almond butter and pinch of salt

Savory Sweet Potato: 
Baked sweet potato, stuffed with hummus, chopped broccoli, dried cranberries, almonds and chopped hard boiled eggs

Chocolate milk, hard-boiled egg, pretzels, carrot sticks and strawberries

READ THIS NEXT: Best Ways to Refuel After a Hard Run

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