Choosing the right fuel to power you through your workout is important and can be the difference in a great workout and a poor one. Running is one of the most draining exercises you can do and you’ll need all the energy you can muster. Let’s explore the best pre-run snacks that can power you through long runs and workouts. We spoke with professional runners at an event this week in Los Angeles and they all had some interesting insights.
Every runner we spoke with mentioned caffeine at some point and most mentioned coffee. I guess it’s a consensus that coffee pre run is crucial to getting the most out of your body that early. Caffeine gives your body that extra boost it needs to get into the runner’s zone. According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition, caffeine has been shown to improve endurance performance in athletes. Adding coffee into your pre-run routine can help get you started, which as a runner can be the hardest part. Warming up early in the morning can be difficult without a jolt of caffeine.
The all-around consensus winner for best pre-run snack is banana. These power packed fruits offer runners potassium to prevent cramping and electrolytes your body dearly needs. Runners eat these during races to prevent nausea and they have the perfect amount of calories to pump up any run. Bananas are also bland so they won’t upset your stomach early in the morning, which is my favorite time to run. Running on an empty stomach can be tough so try and get something small down at least before your run. These fruits are made to travel with their perfect travel case, their peel.
Apples are another great pre-run snack as the high sugar content can help you get started. The natural sugar in apples is the perfect pairing to coffee to really get you going early. Once you get going, your instincts carry you but getting started can really be hard, especially early in the morning. I love how portable apples are, pop one in your bag and you are good to go.
A hard-boiled egg is the perfect running companion. Packed with powerful lean protein that will give you energy for hours and keep you full throughout your entire run. I like to prepare a few hard-boiled eggs early in the week and keep them in my fridge for early morning runs. They are easy and a tasty treat that are healthy.
Healthy energy bars are a great snack pre-run as they are generally packed with nutrition and are easy to consume. I recommend either Clif Bars, Power Bars or Kind Bars, which all offer natural ingredients and plenty of power to get you through a long run. A good rule of thumb when choosing the right bar is to keep the sugar under 20 grams and the carbohydrates over 20 grams.
I like bars because they are easy to pack and can help you out whenever you feel like you need a boost. I pack one in my running fanny pack, just in case.
A spoonful of peanut butter makes an incredible energy booster. The protein packed nut spread can power your run or any long workout. Plus who doesn’t like a spoonful of peanut butter?
This seems silly to have to say, but water is crucial to any long workout. Make sure you drink enough before, during and after your long runs. Pay attention to the color of your urine to see if you are dehydrated. The clearer the better and yellow is a warning sign.