No matter whether you want to lose some pounds or just getting in shape and gain some muscle, nutrition is an integral part of good run. People ask us is it better to eat before or after run and it is a time we answer on this question.
A person who is going to have a workout or training should take care of the body fuel. We are talking about taking proper food before a run. But don’t think that your body needs a proper meal only before the run and after the run.
Your run is also affected by what you eat the night before a run. Our body needs food all the time for functioning. You should constantly feed the body with all the necessary nutrients, so you will successfully supply it with everything it needs. If you will have this in mind all the time; you will have a healthy lifestyle and optimal run.
Is it Better to Eat Before or After Run?
There is no question that you should eat before and after run; if you want to have an optimal run. Running is a cardio workout, and carbohydrates and water are crucial for this type of exercise.
Nutrition Before a Run
You should feed your muscles with appropriate glycogen (carbohydrates) before running. If you didn’t eat carbohydrates for several hours, the meal before a run should contain simple carbohydrates (ripe banana, peach, apricot, etc.).
In any case, reach for foods that are easily digested. Easily digested food is primarily food with reduced fat and fiber.
You can reach out especially for carbohydrates with a relatively high glycemic index, directly before a workout. This kind of food will be absorbed soon, and will be available for use. But don’t overdo with sugar, otherwise a rapid decline of energy will follow.
Your Body is Hungry after the Run
From 15 to 30 minutes after the run you should consume something sweet, but not greasy, in combination with protein due to a better recovery. Now it is the time for a protein drink in combination with the juice.
The source of sugar should be as simple as possible, so it will go in the bloodstream fast. You can mix whey protein shake with the preparation of simple sugars instead of juice. Watch out that you won’t add too much fat in this after-running meal, as this would only slow down the absorption of nutrients. But you can add it more in the next meal.
As we said, you should eat soon after exercise (sooner, the better). It is best to eat a small snack that is rich in carbohydrates which will restore the glycogen balance in the muscles. Eat a protein meal about an hour.
This meal should contain lean proteins that are found in chicken or tuna, as it will allow the body to repair the damage caused in the muscle tissue. The meal should include some complex carbohydrates also.
Again, don’t forget on water, because you need to rehydrate the body after the run. If you don’t know how much water your body needs; follow this advice. Weight yourself before and after the run. For every 500 grams of lost fluids you need to drink two glasses of water.
A Morning Run: Eat the Evening Before
Is it better to eat before or after run? Joggers, who are running in the morning and can’t eat a meal before training; should eat the evening before. It is advised to reach out for the yogurt, cereals and fruit (a meal rich in carbohydrates). This will certainly provide more energy (glycogen) during your morning workout.
Water and Rest are Required
Optimal hydration is as important as food. Don’t forget on enough rest and sleep among individual running sessions. Resting and hydration play an equally important role for the progress.
When you run, the body temperature increases. After a few seconds of exercise, sweat glands start working, and quantity of sweat is increasing. During the run you will lose large amounts of water and electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium…) due to the body cooling. Since the body doesn’t produce water, it is necessary to provide it with drinking it.
You need about 4 liters of water per day; if you are a passionate runner. You should drink 3 to 5 ml of water 1 hour before exercise, and from 1 to 2 dl of water every 15 minutes of running.
Do you know what is the biggest mistake beginners do? They drink only when they are thirsty. Don’t drink only when you are thirsty! At the moment when you feel thirsty, your body has a shortage of about 2% of body fluids. Also the body functional ability is reduced for about 20%, so drink through all day.
Dehydration affect on the reduction in muscle strength, the volume of inter-cellular mass, and liver glycogen depletion of stocks. It can also bring you the cramps, malaise and fatigue.
Food and Drink that can Ruin Your Running Experience
Ok, what about food that can ruin your running experience?
Many athletes think that they need a protein shake or a protein bar after the workout. But is this the food that you should be eaten? It is much better that you prepare yourself a light meal after run.
Eat protein during the day, so the body will absorb them easily. If your nutrition include fish, chicken, dairy products, vegetables and whole grain foods, then it isn’t necessary to add the processed protein.
Electrolyte drinks, which are rich in carbohydrates, can save you during one hour run. But runners enjoy them too often during the running time or even when they are not running. The main component of sports drinks is sugar in considerable quantities.
They won’t help you to be more efficient during the work when sitting. You will only get calories, which you don’t need. So is it better to eat before or after run? You should eat before and after the run. Eat healthy and balanced meals during the day and you should have a good running experience…and don’t forget on water!