What to eat before you run? To lose weight and have energy

Before running, it is important to choose foods considered simple carbohydrates and low glycemic index . These foods are those that provide enough energy for the race, but do not raise blood sugar levels, for example breads, fruits, cookies and even cakes without filling.

However, it is important to pay attention to the quantity. Although these foods serve to provide energy during exercise, it does not mean that you need to fill up on carbohydrates and calories.

In addition to not being healthy, it can impact weight, impairing the training of those who want to lose weight.

Anyway, whether to go for a walk in the morning or to do that marathon, it is important to have an adequate diet. Thus, it is possible to avoid fatigue during training and that feeling of heavy legs.

Eating well before the race is a way to guarantee more strength and energy to finish the journey. Check out our tips:

What should you eat before you run?

The ideal is to make a meal that contains more carbohydrates, but that also has the presence of a little protein, which is important to provide a feeling of satiety.

Oats, bananas , granola, cereal bars, breads, cheeses (such cottage or cream cheese), vitamins fruit with milk, toast, yogurt and whey protein are options to add to your menu to improve performance in the race.

In addition, it is interesting to know for which period of the day these foods can be better used. It is common for people to run at different times. Whether morning, afternoon or evening, your body may require different amounts and foods.

Read more: Benefits of running: results are for body and mind

In the morning

For those who run in the morning, it is important to remember that your body was already fasting for at least 8 hours (the time you slept). despite being at rest during the night, he continues to expend energy, as if to keep his brain and vital organs functioning.

For this reason, food intake should be based on the amount of time a person has gone without eating and also on the amount of calories he or she intends to spend.

The most recommended are foods capable of restoring energy, but also providing the nutrients necessary for good health. Examples include:

  • Banana;
  • Tapioca;
  • Fruit;
  • Eggs;
  • Wholegrain breads;
  • Yogurt;
  • Granola;
  • Oat;
  • Shakes de Whey Protein.

Some foods on this list can be consumed in combination, forming an even more nutritious meal, as is the case with bananas with oats, yogurt with fruits and, of course, a good vitamin whey protein with milk.

In the afternoon

For those who run in the afternoon, it is important to wait for lunch to have been completely digested. This is because all food eaten in the middle of the day needs to be metabolized, which may mean that the person already has some energy reserve in the afternoon.

Therefore, a snack can serve you well, so you don’t feel heavy and also have enough energy to run the race. Here are some examples:

  • Egg white omelet with wholemeal bread;
  • Bread with peanut butter;
  • Turkey breast sandwich;
  • Bread with white cheese;
  • Integral cracker with curd;
  • Fruit juices (orange, lemon, watermelon etc).

The foods mentioned, like bread itself, are good sources of energy. But, if your reason for running is to lose weight, avoid or switch to the full version.

Read more: Aerobic exercises: tips to do at home or at the gym

During the night

It is very common to see people running at night, in parks or on the streets. So, for those who practice this activity at night, the ideal is to consume foods that are light and of a faster digestion. Below are some options:

  • Cereals;
  • Wholemeal bread sandwich;
  • Light fruits, such as apples and pears;
  • Dry fruits;
  • Turkey breast;
  • White cheese.
  • Chicken;

At this time of the day it is important that the foods eaten are easy to digest, as they cannot disrupt your running, nor can they disrupt your sleep, which is so important to revitalize your body after exercising.

What to eat before a 5km run?

The ideal is to consume foods that are sources of carbohydrates, such as fruits, breads and cereals. They are responsible for giving extra energy on that route. But because it is a relatively long distance (mainly for beginners), being well hydrated is even more important.

In addition, it is also necessary to avoid some fatty foods, as they can cause gastric discomfort and potentially impair running performance.

For longer runs, such as 10km and 21km, the meal should be more reinforced, as these routes require more from the body. However, it is important not to overdo the amount of food in the same way. In order not to make mistakes in the choices, the ideal is to talk to a nutritionist.

Best Foods for Running Pre-Workout

There are some foods that can enhance the results of training, according to the goals of the runner. Know what to eat before you run:

To give energy

It is recommended to eat foods that can bring energy, but are still nutritious, such as:

  • Carbohydrates : whole grain breads, sweet potatoes, peanuts, broccoli etc;
  • Fruits : banana, apple, pear and also dried fruits;
  • Proteins : eggs, chicken, turkey breast, cheeses, yogurt and skimmed milk;
  • Cereals : rice, corn, oats, granola.

In addition to a healthy diet, good hydration is essential. Drinking water, for example, helps the body maintain temperature control during running and prevents dehydration.

To lose weight

For those who want to run for weight loss, the ideal is to eat before the race foods considered to be low glycemic index (which do not raise blood sugar levels), but are also able to provide energy. Here are some tips:

  • Fruit;
  • Low-fat yogurt;
  • Egg whites;
  • Granola (without sugar);
  • Shakes.

To gain muscle mass

For those who believe that running only serves to lose calories is very mistaken, the practice of this exercise is also important to develop muscle mass and definition.

But it all depends on a balanced diet, as the person will need foods that help to recover the body from workouts, such as foods that are rich in proteins :

  • Red meat;
  • Fish (salmon, cod);
  • Eggs;
  • Yogurt;
  • Almond and walnuts;
  • Sweet potato;
  • Milk.

Read more: What to eat before the gym to lose weight and gain mass?

How long should I eat before the race?

The ideal is to eat up to 1 hour before running. If it is lighter, it is possible to decrease this feeding time before training to 30 minutes. However, the shorter the interval, the more you should avoid eating bulky foods that are difficult to digest.

This can cause some health complications during your journey, such as nausea, vomiting and malaise.

What is the correct amount?

Your intake should be proportional to the amount of calories you will be spending.

For example, a person weighing about 70 kg, in an intense run, can burn between 600 to 700 calories in 1 hour. In this case, the runner must rely on this amount of calories to assemble his pre-workout snack.


It is not always easy to know what to eat before you run, but it is important to eat a meal to prepare for this exercise.

Running, like any other physical activity, requires adequate nutrition so that performance is as expected.

So it is important to know which foods can be better used and for which moments are ideal.

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