What and When to eat before running? - Couch to 5K

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What and When to eat before running?


What and when do most people eat before going out for a run? I normally run in the evening after my evening meal but sometimes ( depending on what I've had to eat) it makes me feel lethargic rather than giving me energy. I've tried running on a Saturday in the day but can't seem to get my timing right - it's either much later than lunch and too early for tea so don't feel as though I have enough stamina to keep going. My daughter went out for a run last Saturday morning after breakfast but felt light headed about 10 minutes after starting off and felt that her run was stop / start all the way. Any tips for what to eat and when to eat it to provide enough energy to complete a run? Thanks as always for any help.

4 Replies

I like to run early and have half a banana and some water or a small coffee about 20 minutes before I go out. Then I have breakfast when I get back. If I had my meals before running I think I would then eat more when I got back. Occasionally I run in the afternoon and then I have porridge around 1.00 and run about 2.30. I wouldn't want my evening meal and run after, I feel too full and lethargic then, plus its wine gum time then in my house! x

I run after the kid is at school, having had peanut butter on whole wheat toast and a cup of coffee an hour or so before my run. I make sure the piece of fruit Laura recommends for after is waiting for me, cause i do want it!


Cripes, I could not imagine running after a big evening meal. I would probably throw up. I either run before breakfast (but after a mug of tea/coffee & a banana) or about an hour after a light lunch (eg mackerel & toast) or before my evening meal. 3-5km is not really that far and you should not need to fill yourself full of extra calories before you do it.


I run in the evening but before my evening meal. I usually have a glass of water before heading out and I find that even if I'm really hungry, it soon disappears after a run but after my shower I'm ready (and looking forward) to my tea!

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