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Running Nutrition: What To Eat Before, During & After Your Run

Trying to figure out what to eat while running? Check out this easy guide for runner nutrition. What to eat morning afternoon and night.

When I started running seriously a few years ago, I had had a lot of trouble figuring out what worked for me during my run. At first I followed a lot of the advice from seasoned runners, I’d have something very light or nothing at all before a run. Or I eat really gross gels that I hated so much during my long runs. I’d scout my favorite running groups for trials and tricks for what was working for them. I realized quickly that what worked for them, didn’t necessarily work for me.

A lesson I learned rather quickly was–what works for someone else may not necessarily work for you. So this post won’t be about my recommendations, but rather look at it as my suggestions. My body is different from yours and it’s really about finding what works for us individually.

Ever wonder what you should eat before a big race? Six awesome runner bloggers share their nutrition secrets!

Running Nutrition Before the run:

For a few years I’d go out and run without even lifting water to my lips. It was working for a while, but then I realized that if I wanted to do longer distances I’d have to fuel up properly. While this may be heavy for some runners, I find that when I eat oatmeal in the morning I can go the distance. I have eaten oatmeal right before half marathons or greater and I’ve felt as if I can last longer because of it. One time I forgot to eat before a half because of nerves and I suffered so badly throughout the race.

In general, I do scrambled eggs, a bagel, toast, or oats before a long race or run. It’s way better to have something in there than NOT!

During the run:

As I mentioned before, I used to use gross chemically tasting energy gels, I don’t do that as much anymore. My favorite fuels for racing are chia bars from Health Warrior, Sports Beans, or for a 10k or less–good ole swedish fish. 😉

After the run:

Running a race doesn’t mean that you have to eat every single calorie back in one sitting because “You earned it”–I also learned this lesson early. My favorite post race meal is a turkey avocado BLT because it’s my favorite sandwich in general. Right after I finish racing however I usually reach for the apple and if I feel a headache coming on I grab the pretzels.

I am teaming up with six amazing running bloggers to discuss what they love to eat before, during and after their runs! You should check them out because they have some great ideas as well that you may be able to put to use! 

How do you fuel your fitness?


Sunday 29th of October 2017

I remember when I first started exercising and I didn't have a clue! I didn't want to eat before it, at all, but after it? Famished. My sister said to reach for protein because I was still building muscles! This was for barre, though, and not running. After running? I grab ANYTHING!


Wednesday 25th of October 2017

Yes - what works for one runner doesn't work for another! A turkey avocado BLT sounds super delicious, especially after a race.

Janine Huldie

Wednesday 25th of October 2017

Love how you shared what works for you, but also stated that this can vary by person. And also appreciate learning what others do enjoy, as well with this. Thanks for sharing, Nellie :)


Wednesday 25th of October 2017

I said the same thing about finding what works for YOU! It's so, so specific and there is definitely a learning curve!!