●2-3 hours before a run you should have a light meal or
●You could have a light snack 1 hour ahead with a focus on carbs and a moderate amount of protein that will be easily converted to energy
●Limit the fats and fiber before a run as these slow the digestive process
●Drink 6-12 ounces of water 30 to 60 minutes before a run to pre-hydrate
During a run you want to replenish the fluids lost due to sweat, and sipping
water or a sports drink occasionally will do the trick. Some runners also use
energy gels during their run for increased energy. These energy gels or
energy shots are simple carbohydrates, designed to be quickly digestible
for fast energy. Those with a sweet tooth will enjoy these as they are pretty
much pure sugar with enticing flavors.
Within 30 minutes of completing your workout you need to immediately
begin refilling your carb and protein stores. This is a critical window for your
depleted body, as nutrients are readily absorbed at this time. Many runners
prefer chocolate milk here, as it contains the perfect ratio (3:1) of carbs to
protein for optimum recovery. 1-2 hours after a run you should continue to
hydrate and eat a well-balanced meal with a priority on protein and carbs:
salmon and rice, meatballs and pasta, steak and potatoes, etc.
Understanding the role that proteins, carbohydrates, fats and water plays in
running and exercise will give you a significant advantage. Whether you are
an elite athlete, a recreational runner, or someone who just wants to hit the
trail every now and then, properly preparing nutritionally is the key to
making the experience enjoyable.