love to run blog

Why Fueling Before and After Running is Important

admin January 4, 21

Before you go on your run, whether it’s in the morning or at night, it is always important to eat a small meal or snack. The reason why this is important is because it helps fuel your body for the amount of stress your body will be put through. When you don’t eat before working out or running, it can cause harm to your body in the long run. Your body needs fuel to perform properly. And it is important to get that fuel in you at least two hours before your planned workout. 

I remember running track and cross country in high school and before every meet we would always have these pasta dinners with the whole team. At these dinners there would always be multiple different kinds of pasta waiting for us to eat. The reason is because it is so important for you to consume carbohydrates before any types of competition, especially running. Carbohydrates are what makes your body function. It gives you energy. It’s also good to consume simple carbohydrates like sugar before you workout as well. Sugar gets processed in your body faster than complex carbohydrates. So if you’re looking for a quick boost of energy, things like Gatorade energy chews, fruit snacks, and fruit.

Here is a list of foods to eat before a run:

  • Gatorade Energy Chews
  • Apple Sauce
  • Oatmeal
  • Fruit
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Potatoes
  • Pasta
  • Whole grain breads

Fueling after a run is equally as important as fueling before a run. After you finish a hard workout your body has been pushed to the max, and it needs to recover as quickly as possible. The quicker your body recovers the less sore you will be and the sooner you can get to your next workout. However, fueling after a run or working is slightly different than fueling before a run or working. After a run you want to be sure you consume protein and carbohydrates. The protein will help your muscles recover from all the work you put them through, and the carbohydrates will give your body energy to do so. 

Here is a list of foods to eat or drink after a run:

  • Chocolate milk
  • Whey protein shake
  • Grilled chicken with vegetables
  • Salmon 
  • Cottage cheese
  • Fruit
  • Peanut butter — or any kind of nut butter

Overall, just keep in mind that your body needs food to work properly. I cannot stress enough how important it is to fuel before and after every run and hard workout. By doing so, injuries can be avoided and your body, and your mind, will be strong and healthy.

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