What to Eat Before Running Reviewed & Rated for Performance

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You have your sneakers, sweatpants, a heart rate monitor, and workout headphones ready to hit the ground running, literally. However, there seems to be one thing missing: food. Food is a crucial ingredient if you want to work out and realize substantial gains. In this regard, what you consume before your morning runs or evening sprints is as important as how you work out. If you are going to put your body through an intense workout session at a high-intensity pace, then you might want to first fuel it with the right nutrition in readiness for the challenging task ahead.

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Super 5 Dried Fruit Mix
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Whether you want to fuel before or after a workout, your choice of snack remains a top priority, as it can make all the difference between significant gains and unfruitful workout. Refueling before a workout provides your body with the energy it needs to run several miles without feeling fatigued. Similarly, refueling post-workout allows your body to replenish the depleted energy source used during the workout. Either way, refueling remains a very important part of exercise or workout regime. It also helps the body and muscles to recover from the damaged caused by exposing them to strenuous works. Regardless, below are top 10 things to eat before running.

 

10 Best Things to Eat Before Running

 

1. GU Energy

GU has played a significant role in helping to propel athletes to high levels of success. If you are looking to be successful as an athlete, you could add this calorie-dense packet to your collection of snacks. It contains highly absorbable carbohydrates, with branched-chain amino acids that increase speedy recovery by limiting muscle fiber damage. The extra electrolytes in the snack could help maintain water balance.
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Branched-chain Amino Acids

The snack contains branched-chain amino acids, which can be helpful in speedy recovery and minimizing muscle damage. If you want to reduce mental fatigue and have the energy to perform physical activity, you might want to add this snack to your pre-workout diet.

Dual Source Energy

The athlete may benefit from fructose and maltodextrin, a dual energy source that utilizes non-competing pathways to efficiently absorb energy. When using this snack, you will be giving your body access to lasting energy to help you run faster.

Cost and Value


Originally designed for athletes, this high-energy nutritional snack can help you perform better. It is easily absorbed and the amino acids help to minimize muscle damage. It is also pocket-friendly.
Pros

Helps the athlete to perform better

Efficiently absorbed into the body

Long lasting energy

Decreases muscle damage

Reduces mental fatigue

Cons

Some users may not like the flavor

May cause stomach upset

2. Super 5 Dried Fruit Mix

The balanced blend of fortifying nutrition provides you with constant energy to make you feel like a superhero. The snack is deliciously sweet and has been dried using the nutrient-saving evaporation process to make it very convenient to carry and snack on the go. This non-GMO product is all-natural and could help prevent energy deficiency, which could significantly affect an athlete’s performance. The company specializes in making allergy-friendly foods that provide high levels of energy.
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Gerbs All-Natural Promise

The snack meets Gerbs’s all-natural promise because it contains no GMO, no additives, no flavoring, and no sugars. It is especially great if you are a vegan or vegetarian athlete because you won’t have to worry about animal products slipping into your diet.

Allergy Friendly

For athletes who are allergic to certain foods, you can be sure that your body will not develop an allergic reaction to this snack. It has been tested and found to be gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, egg-free, dairy-free, fish-free, and sesame-free among others.

Cost and Value

The snack is allergy friendly and great for athletes who are allergic to certain food items. It is made of natural ingredients, with no sugar and no preservatives. For a few dollars, you can have this wonderful snack for your morning runs.
Pros

All-natural ingredients

Allergy friendly and contains no gluten, no soy, and no peanut

Vegan-friendly and great for vegan athletes

High in fiber and antioxidants

Cons

The taste may not be exciting

It can be a little bit wet

3. Crispy Green

This product features 100% pure crispy fruit. Athletes are on-the-go consumers who want to pack their snacks and have them on their way to the gym or while resting in the park in between an intensive jogging session. It is the ideal healthy snack that makes it convenient to refuel before a taxing workout. It is a deliciously nutritious way to consume more fruit besides the regular diet.
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Freeze-Dried Crispy Fruit

This is a convenient way to add fruits to your diet. Since they are dried, athletes can easily carry and consume them while training. If you are looking for a convenient way to eat fruits during your training, then you should add this snack to your diet.

The Crispy Green Promise

This snack is based on Crispy Green’s philosophy of purity, taste, and wholesomeness. The company focuses on proving top quality natural foods that would help athletes to live a healthy life. Your life will be better when you consume this snack regularly.

Cost and Value

These are tasty, 100% freeze-dried pure fruit slices that make a good addition to your snacking diet. They are all-natural and based on high-quality fresh fruits obtained from certified, handpicked growers who have successfully undergone a rigorous audit review process. The snack is pocket-friendly.
Pros

100% pure, freeze-dried fruit slices

All-natural snacks made of fresh fruits

Non-GMO, with no sugars, no preservatives, and no additives

Low carb and convenient for snacking on-the-go

Cons

The taste can be a bit stale

Not everyone will like the aftertaste

4. Terrasoul Superfoods

4. Terrasoul Superfoods
These dates are called “King of Dates” for a reason. They are large and have plumb texture. They are also one of the sweetest fruits and can be deliciously nutrient-dense. They contain phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals that can be beneficial to health. In addition, they are easy to digest and can be used to provide nutrition and fuel the muscles to improve the athlete’s performance.
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Perfect for Snacking

If you are a snack lover, then you’ll probably find these dates useful. They are great for sweetening nut milk and can be used to provide instant energy just before running. As an athlete, you could significantly boost your energy levels before your morning runs.

USDA Certified Organic

Many athletes are worried about their health. If you are one of them, you’d want to feed on all-natural foods and food items. The product is USDA-certified organic food, with no GMO and no gluten.

Cost and Value

These dates are great for snacking. They can also be used for sweetening nut milk for consumption just before workout. The snack is made of natural, organic ingredients and can be perfect for vegans and vegetarians. It is quite affordable as well.
Pros

This is organic superfood with no gluten and no GMO

They are perfect for snacking just before exercise

Can be used for sweetening nut milk

30-day money back guarantee

Cons

They may ferment over time

Some dates can be rock hard

5. Honey Stinger

5. Honey Stinger
Just as the name suggests, the snack features a thin layer of honey with a blend of cocoa flavor, keenly sandwiched between thin waffles. You will enjoy how the honey and chocolate taste in your mouth. The delicious blend is guaranteed to satisfy any athlete’s taste buds. It is great to have as an afternoon snack to help keep the athlete running and working out without being fatigued.
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Nature’s Energy Source

Honey is famous for being a rich energy source and can help to provide carbohydrates needed to fuel the muscles and power movement. You can take it during exercise or before and after workouts.

Perfect for On-the-go Athletes

Each Stinger waffle features a unique individual wrapping to make it easy to pack the snack for workouts. You can easily carry it to the gym or to your evening sprints. It is very convenient to move around with.

Cost and Value

If you are looking for a natural energy source to fuel your jogging workout, then this product could be your ideal snack. It offers convenience and can be consumed on the go. It is cost-effective and tastes delicious.
Pros

Delicious chocolate taste

Natural instant energy source

Convenient to carry and consume on the go

Increases strength and endurance during workouts

Cons

May have a stale taste

Can be crumbly

6. Mott's Unsweetened Applesauce

6. Mott's Unsweetened Applesauce
Featuring 100% real fruit, they make a great snack for your child athlete. This unsweetened applesauce has no added sugar. As a great source of Vitamin C, it also contains no preservations or artificial colors. The company is fully committed to providing a healthy snack that children athletes would be glad to eat every day for breakfast, lunch and even in between meals while preparing to go running after they are done with school.
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Source of Vitamin C

If you want to get Vitamin C for a healthy body, the applesauce is a great place to start. It could help keep away the cold to let you focus on your morning runs. You’ll also enjoy a strengthened immune.

A Healthy Snack Alternative

As an athlete, you might have been told the importance of eating healthy food options. If you want to stick to that maxim, then you should get yourself this snack to eat before you go jogging. It has no sugars or preservatives.

Cost and Value

This applesauce is a healthy food alternative you can take during breakfast, lunch, or any other time convenient for you. Being a great source of Vitamin C, it could help keep colds off. It is affordable too.
Pros

Provides excellent Vitamin C benefits

No preservative or sugars added

A healthy snack option

Helps to strengthen the immune system

Cons

Some people may not like the taste

Not everyone will find the color appealing

7. Bob's Red Mill Organic

7. Bob's Red Mill Organic
This would make a deliciously wholesome cereal. This steamy hot cereal will provide energy all morning. It makes a great breakfast cereal and can be an excellent way to kick-start your day. If you want fiber to be a part of your diet, then adding this wholesome cereal meal to your morning meal can be very beneficial. This is a high protein and healthy food, with low carbohydrates.
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Vegan / Vegetarian Meal

This can be very great for vegetarian/ vegan athlete looking to add energy in the morning before going for that morning jog. It is 100% whole grain and vegetarians do not have to worry about consuming an animal product.

High Protein

This cereal contains 7 grams of protein per serving. The pack of 4 has a total of 32 ounces. If you are looking to consume high protein food in the morning with sufficient energy to help fuel your muscles, then this whole cereal meal should be part of your diet.

Cost and Value

For the most soluble fiber that could help provide energy to jump-start your day, Bob's Red Mill oats could significantly boost your energy levels and provide you with the protein you need for your exercise. The cost is modest.
Pros

100% whole grain

Great for vegetarian and vegan athletes

Great source of energy

High protein content per serving

Cons

Can be a bit dry

Less chewy texture

8. CLIF Nut Butter

8. CLIF Nut Butter
Clif is very passionate about food that can inspire the adventure in athletes. This snack is great for triathlon participants, hikers, and even sprinters. Clif’s recipes are specially crafted to supply athletes with the energy they need. The food maker believes that great food results in better adventures. This recipe is guaranteed to meet athletes’ energy needs. Made with organic ingredients such as oats, you can be sure that you are consuming a healthy food option.
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Organic Energy Bar

This nut butter-filled snack features an energy bar to help supply sustainable energy. It is deliciously creamy and anyone would enjoy feasting on this nut butter energy bar. It is also a USDA-certified organic energy bar that can be great for vegan athletes.

On the Go Energy

If you are do not have time to sit at home and finish your energy bar, you can pack it and have it on the go. By adding nut butter, it is possible to delay the release of carbs to working muscles.

Cost and Value

For a deliciously nutritious energy bar you can have on the go, then Clif Nut Butter could be your ideal to go energy bar when you need energy before your workout. You can be consuming it while working out for the carbs to be released slowly to replenish depleted energy source. It is quite affordable as well.
Pros

Smooth, creamy peanut better provide the delicious taste expected of energy bars

Almond butter fillings for added richness

Plant-based proteins to appeal even to the vegans

On-the-go energy for sustained energy

Cons

Some people may find the taste a bit stale

The flavor might not appeal to every athlete

9. Pomona Organic

9. Pomona Organic
The beet juice is 100% pure organic and you do not have to worry about artificial sweeteners. In fact, it is USDA-certified organic food with no sugar, no preservatives, and no flavoring. In addition, it is neither diluted nor made from concentrate. If you are a fan of beets, you will get to enjoy 0.75 pounds per bottle. The snack will also take care of your cardiovascular health and blood pressure.
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Maintains Cardiovascular Wellness

Heart health is very important for any athlete. This beet juice will help you maintain a healthy heart and overall cardiovascular wellness. Your heart will be stronger and be able to function better by effectively pumping blood to various parts of your body.

Improve Blood Circulation

You will have enhanced blood circulation to help carry blood and oxygen to the rest of your body, especially when you need it the most, such as during training. Your blood pressure will also be within a healthy range.

Cost and Value

This product is great for athletes who want to maintain cardiovascular health. If you want to improve your blood circulation, then you might consider this snack. It is also affordable and will boost your immune system.
Pros

100% pure natural beet juice

No additives, no sugar, and no preservatives

Maintains cardiovascular health

Improves oxygen delivery and blood circulation

Cons

Can be a bit sugary

Can be a bit costly than other brands

10. Trishmoves Salted

10. Trishmoves Salted
This bar is specially designed for runners who would like to replenish their energy levels before or after a high-intensity workout. With a carb to protein ratio of 4:1, the athlete can be sure to get good value for money. If you are a runner looking for an afternoon snack to fuel your runs, then this bar might be your most reliable go-to energy snack. The pre-run energy boost will leave you more fueled than ever.
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Pre-run Energy Boost

If you are just preparing to hit the road and burn some calories or make your heart stronger by jogging or sprinting, then you could add this energy bar to your diet to get an instant energy boost.

Lower Fiber

The snack’s low fiber content makes it super easy to chew and break it down into smaller pieces that are easy to swallow. You can consume it before your runs but it won’t weigh you down.

Cost and Value

The carb to protein ratio makes it ideal for endurance activities. This pre-run energy boost could significantly increase your energy levels and make your runs super easy. You can also chew and digest it easily. The price is modest.
Pros

Nutritious and made by runners for runners

Perfect pre-run bar and snack

Instant energy boosts

Can be chewed and digested easily

Cons

Does not come in several flavors

Can be a bit more costly than other similar energy bars

Whether you are hiking, climbing mountains or running to achieve your fitness goals, it is important to meet your energy needs and even supplement where you feel there could be a deficiency. An energy bar or a snack often comes in handy when looking for that extra boost to sprint harder or ascend uphill. If you are a lugged trail runner planning to hit the ground running, ensure you bring your best snacks with you. There are snacks you can have on the go to provide you with the energy you need to keep going. Some of these snacks do not take up much space in your gym bag but could provide you with the energy and nutrients you need to go through the day. If you are looking for convenience, then you might want to consider energy bars because they are easy to carry and chew. They are also easy to digest when you need to tap into an instant source of energy.

Criteria Used in Choosing the Best Things to Eat Before Running

what-to-eat-before-a-run

Most outdoor jogging enthusiasts know the importance of having a deliciously nutritious snack before, during or after a workout. Today, there are numerous snacks on the market to help supply runners and athletes with the energy boost they need to perform better. It often becomes overwhelming when athletes are faced with the decision to choose the best snack for their runs. As an athlete, it is important to do your due diligence to ensure you are selecting the best snacks on the market. Below are the criteria for evaluating top things to eat before running.

Calories

These pre-workout snacks range in calories and it is important to know how much calories you are consuming to help you plan and design your workout plan. If your body needs more calories to help you perform the high-intensity workout, such as sprinting, then you need to consume more. You should determine whether your ideal snack can be used to replace your pre-workout meal or just as a snack to consume in between meals to help manage hunger and provide an instant energy boost before going for a run. If you have high energy requirements or are using the snack to replace your breakfast or lunch, you might want to consider a high-calorie snack to help meet your calorie needs. In fact, you might want to pair the snack up with a piece of fresh fruit or vegetable.

Some foods can be higher in calories than others. Depending on your calorie requirements and fitness goals, you should choose food items that are high or low in calories. For instance, if you are trying to lose weight, which means burning more calories than you consume, you should greatly consider food options with fewer calories so that you do not have excess calories stored in fat stores of your body by the end of the day. In contrast, if you are an athlete looking to gain weight, you should consume more calories than your daily requirement. Athletes looking to lose weight or belly fat generally consider low-calorie diets, which include low-calorie snacks. On the other hand, bodybuilders looking to gain more weight are generally not restricted to how many calories they can consume daily. Therefore, understanding your fitness goals and calorie requirements could help you select the most appropriate pre-workout snack for your runs.

Nutrients or Nutritional Content

The nutritional content of a snack is very important. For instance, athletes need carbohydrates for energy and protein to help repair worn out muscles and speed up recovery. Therefore, a high carb diet is equivalent to high energy. When you consume carbohydrates, they are then broken down into a more soluble form such as glucose. This glucose is used by the muscles to help provide the fuel needed to exercise at full potential. Glycogen is a form of glucose stored in the muscles, and the muscles tap into these reserves when it is time to put the stored energy to work. Therefore, consuming carbohydrates before running ensures the extra glucose is available at your disposal whenever you need to replenish your glycogen stores.

Glucose is very important for workouts. If you lack sufficient glucose to help fuel your muscles when running, you are more likely too weak, feeble, or too tired to continue with your jogging. Calling it quits and heading to bed to have a nap could be detrimental to your fitness progress. Being energy deficient could significantly ruin your gains and downplay the progress you have made towards achieving your workout goals. Therefore, it is important to consume simple carbs before you go running due to their ease of digestion and the instant availability of energy. In contrast, having sufficient energy storage to help fuel your muscles during your workout could help you achieve your running goals faster and more easily. This makes it even more important to consider the number of carbs in the snack you want to use as your pre-workout fuel.

Carbs are not the only essential nutrients the body needs to perform at optimum, as proteins are also important in repairing worn out muscles and speeding recovery. If you are looking for your ideal snack to eat before running, ensure the snack has protein to add to your diet. It is recommended to consume some protein before hitting the road or the gym, especially if your exercise entails extensive use of muscles. For instance, if you are a bodybuilder who goes jogging as part of a cardio workout or to improve heart health, it is probably a good idea that you add some protein to your diet. Snacking on bars and snacks that contain protein could help with your strength training, including weightlifting and sprinting.

Weightlifting could cause small tears in the athlete’s muscle fibers, thereby resulting in pain. However, consuming snacks rich in protein could help speed up recovery and repair these muscle fibers. The body repairs these tiny tears when the athlete is resting, allowing the muscles to repair and rebuild up bigger and stronger. However, this is not possible without protein, and it is advisable to go for protein sources that can be digested easily. Also, do ensure that you refrain from eating too much protein to avoid upsetting the stomach just immediately after starting your 5-mile run.

Ingredients

If you are going to consume a pre-workout snack before going for your runs, then you need to be aware of the ingredients used to make it. The ideal snack is a healthy food option. Most manufacturers know the importance of making healthy food products and therefore focus on healthy food options made of all-natural ingredients. Elite athletes also know the importance of sticking to a healthy diet with no sugars and no preservatives. Consider a snack with no artificial sweeteners, color or flavors. Fortunately, most of the snacks and food products sold on the market currently are healthy food options with no artificial ingredients that could affect the health of the consumer. Regardless, it is still important to pay close attention to the product label to determine whether the ingredients used to make the snack are safe for consumption.

You should always avoid food items with GMO content. In this regard, non-GMO certified products should be on top of your list when shopping for your ideal pre-run or pre-workout snack. GMO products can be very harmful to your body and health. On the other hand, you should also pay close attention to ingredients if you are a vegan/ vegetarian or are allergic to some food substances. Vegan-friendly foods can be ideal pre-workout snacks to consume before you go for your late evening runs, particularly if you are a vegan trying to avoid animal products at all cost.

If you are allergic to soy, peanut or gluten, then you need to take your time to keenly examine the ingredients used to make the snack. Gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, egg-free, dairy-free, fish-free, and sesame-free products are best if you are allergic to any of these elements. Similarly, if you are trying to avoid any of these, then it helps to scrutinize the ingredients used in making the snack to ensure it is safe for consumption. It doesn’t matter how nutritious your pre-workout snack is if it is made of one or more ingredients you are allergic to. For instance, while peanut-based pre-workout snacks may be good for those looking to boost their immune, you should totally avoid them if you are allergic to peanut-containing foods.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why do I need to eat something before running?

A: Running requires much energy to accomplish. If your muscles do not get the proper amount of fuel needed to propel you forward, you might feel fatigued, weak, or too tired to run, causing you to quit and opt for a nap. This could significantly affect your performance and ultimately fitness goals. However, eating a pre-workout snack gives you the energy to run faster and boosts your endurance levels.

Q: Who needs to eat something before running?

A: If you are an athlete looking to boost performance or keep fit and stay in shape, then you might want to eat something before you go jogging. You will be glad to replenish your energy stores to help you fuel your muscles. Those who want to boost their performance during workouts should also supplement their diet by consuming a pre-workout snack. If your exercise involves the breaking down of tiny fibers, then you should consume pre-workout snacks rich in protein to help repair broken down tissues during rest.

Q: What is the best food or snack to eat before running?

A: There are various types of snacks to consume before you go running. These snacks should contain carbohydrates to help supply the energy you need to help your muscles propel you forward. The snack should also be rich in proteins to help repair broken down muscle fibers, as some workouts such as weightlifting break down muscle tissues and all them to rebuild up bigger and stronger. The best foods to eat before you go running should also be free of gluten, soy, peanut, dairy, GMO, or any other product you are allergic to.

Q: Where can I get the best foods or snacks to eat before running?

A: If you are looking to buy the best pre-workout snacks, you could visit your nearest supermarket, convenience store, gas station, departmental store, or chain store for a wide range of options to choose from. Some of them can be found in virtually any store that stocks and sells snacks and food items. You could also go online for a wide variety of food products to add to your diet. Popular e-commerce websites sell various snacks and food options that could help athletes to refuel their muscles just before going for a run. However, ensure you take your time to understand some of the ingredients used to make the food items before you make your decisions just to be certain you would not any allergic reaction to one or more of those ingredients.

Q: How much does a pre-workout snack cost?

A: Pre-workout snacks greatly vary in cost depending on nutritional content or value, type of food, manufacturer, the quantity of food, and ingredients used, just to mention a few. Currently, there are several types of snacks on the market and they cost differently. Regardless, most of the food items have become more affordable these days. For a few dollars, you should be able to get yourself your favorite pre-workout snacks to help you prepare adequately for your next run.

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