RE: Energy Levels During Exercise
Posted Monday, September 24, 2012 at 9:19 AM
What people eat immediately before a run depends greatly on how comfortable a person is running while digesting. Some can handle it great; some find it quite difficult. The day before a long run, you definitely want to fill up your glycogen stores. This is easily done with carbs/starches such as pasta and potatoes.
As for the day of...
If you plan on exercising for more than 90 minutes, you should ideally fuel-up on a low-fat, carb source about three to four hours before you start. Don't overdo the fiber with this pre-endurance snack—your gut may not like running while processing the plant roughage! Some ideas include toast, pasta, a banana, and potatoes.
For the endurance run (running more than 90 minutes), you should have a snack within 30 minutes of finishing. Good postrun snacks should be mostly carbohydrates with some protein. Whole grains and legumes make ideal choices for a perfect carb to protein ratio (2:1 ratio for low-intensity and 3:1 ratio for high-intensity postworkouts).
Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education