Nutrition for Runners: What to Eat Before a Long Run

Nutrition for runners has been an important element in health circles in the last few years. Health and fitness professionals have determined what you eat before a race will either help or hinder you. Because of this it is essential that you have a good diet based on you to help you achieve peak performance.

Running is a good source of exercise, helping to keep your body energetic, healthy and fit. You will need to keep a healthy and balanced diet suited for runners as eating the wrong foods wil affect the way you think, feel and your overall performance.

Around 60 to 65% of your meals should consist of carbohydrate. This is important since your body requires a good source of constant energy when you are running (especially longer distances) and foods consisting of carbohydrates are the perfect way of achieving this energy source. Carbohydrates works by releasing a small constant stream of energy through the body, allowing you to perform longer.

In addition to carbohydrates, your body requires around 15 to 20% of protein intake. This is because your body ultimately damages itself when running and proteins help to repair this damage. Although a small amount of fat is good for the body, too much is not so keep your fat intake levels to around 20 – 25%.


Pasta, particularly white pasta, is a very good food to eat before running. It is a complex carbohydrate food, packed with many different nutrients designed to release energy over a significant amount of time. It contains a low amount of sodium but is high in glucose. This is very good for runners as it helps to fuel both the brain and muscles.


Bananas are a good fruit to eat before you embark on a run. Not only do they lower blood pressure and prevent heart attacks and strokes, they also contain electrolytes. This helps to keep the body hydrated and maintain fluid levels – perfect for runners since your body becomes dehydrated as you jog or run.


Low in sodium, rice is a good food to consume before you start running since, like bananas, it lowers the blood pressure so your body does not become too stressed whilst running. Since rice contains a high concentration of carbohydrates, it is a great source of constant fuel your body requires as it constantly moves. In addition to this, you can add it to most other foods so it is very flexible.


Eating a delicious bowl of oatmeal before you start your run is very good for your body. Because it is extremely rich in carbohydrates, it gives your body the strength and energy it needs to allow you to continue your run. In addition to this, is also helps prevent heart disease.


Potatoes are rich in nutrients and carbohydrates, a perfect meal for any runner. It contains many different nutrients and because of it makes you feel fuller for longer, it releases a constant stream of energy which is perfect before setting off on a run.


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