For those of us who love to run in the morning, breakfast is something we’ve all had a good think about.
Different people will have different formulas that work for them, so we’re here to give you the facts about how the body digests different food groups and how this can affect our runs.
Step 1: whatever you do, don’t skip breakfast.
Having a small meal before a morning run is crucial to your performance, even if it’s only tiny. The amount of food necessary to fuel us depends on the person as well as the distance of the run ahead. Our advice is to trial out different quantities, keep a log, and figure out what works best for you.
Step 2: ok, I can do that, but what should I eat?!
Here is the science; protein and fat take a lot longer for the body to digest than simple carbohydrates, but protein is used by the body to help repair our muscles. The aim of the game is to fuel our bodies with food that will quickly turn to energy for us to use up on our run, so from that information we can see that we should be eating a carb heavy breakfast, but lets not forget to throw in a bit of protein too.
It is important to know the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates, as the latter (wholegrain foods, fruit and vegetables) contain a significant amount more fibre than the former. Fibre also takes a long time to digest therefore eating a high fibre breakfast before a run could cause cramping as our bodies would be focused on this process rather than on supporting the muscles necessary for running.
The best breakfast to eat is a light one that consists of simple carb sources, with a small side of protein.
Tried and Tested examples
Some breakfast options that we at Racefully have tried and tested include:
- Rice cake or half a bagel with honey or jam, 2 egg white omelette
- Smoothie made with berries and protein powder
- Half a bagel or slice of toast with dates and peanut butter
- Low fat greek yoghurt and berries or muesli
- Banana and a protein shake
We know that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to pre-exercise nutrition in general, and what works for one person might not work at all for another, so the best advice we can give is to try different combinations of foods and different quantities to find your own perfect pre run breakfast.
We hope this helps! Drop us a reply if you have any questions, or tell us what your preferred breakfast is ahead of the morning run…