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Video:Best and Worst Pre-Run Foods

with Kaytie Sproul

Learn about the pre-run foods that should and shouldn't make there way into a runner's body.See Transcript

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Transcript:Best and Worst Pre-Run Foods

Hi, I'm Kaytie Sproul, here for About.com, and today we're going to talk about the best and worst pre-run foods, as outlined on About.com's Running and Jogging site.

Facts About Pre-Fun Foods

It's important to eat before a run to make sure that you're properly fueled, but choosing the right foods is key. Consider the following: Let's start by discussing what you should avoid before heading out for your run.

Worst Pre-Run Foods

High fiber foods such as vegetables, fruit, legumes, and whole grains can cause gastrointestinal distress or diarrhea. While these foods are excellent, healthy choices for runners, they may cause digestive issues if consumed the night before or morning of a long run. Runners will also want to avoid high-fat foods, like cheese, hamburgers, bacon, or anything that's fried, as they digest slowly and will feel like they're sitting in your stomach. Additionally, coffee and other caffeinated beverages should not be consumed before a run as they have been known to cause stomach issues or runner's trots in some individuals. If you want to avoid gastrointestinal distress and keep your energy levels high during your run, stick to these “safe” foods.

Best Pre-Run Foods

Refined carbs like regular pasta, white rice, and plain bagels are good choices. Although they're not as nutritious as whole grain or unprocessed foods, they're easier on your stomach because the grain has already been broken down. A plain bagel with some peanut butter and a glass of water would be a safe choice before a long run. If you really want to eat fruits and vegetables before your run, stick to low-fiber options like zucchini, tomatoes, olives, grapes, and grapefruit. While some individuals have issues when they consume dairy products before a run, alternative dairy products are a viable option for many. Soy, rice and almond milks generally don't contain the sugar lactose of cow's milk, which can be tough to digest.

Additionally, yogurts with live active cultures aide digestion and are a worthwhile pre-run food. Whether choosing a light snack or full meal before your run, give consideration to what will be easiest on your digestive system. Refined carbs, low-fiber fruits and veggies, and dairy alternatives are all safe bets and won't disrupt your work-out.

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