When you wake up in the morning what is the first thing you do?
Just about every morning I wake up, eat ½ a Larabar, drink a bottle of water, and head out the door for my run. After my run I will start cooking my breakfast which usually consists of either a bowl of gluten free oatmeal topped with cinnamon and honey or a plate of eggs and Udi’s toast paired with my favorite cup of tea. Once my morning routine has been accomplished I am ready to tackle the day.
Over the years I have tried a variety of morning rituals. There have been mornings I take off running without even a sip of water. I have also tried eating a full breakfast then waiting around a couple of hours before hitting the trails. It was all trial and error trying to find what worked best for me. While I was in college learning about nutrition and exercise, all of my professors encouraged us to eat before and after exercise. Most studies even say there is a 30 minute window immediately following a workout where one should consume a ratio of 4:1 carbohydrates to protein in order to restore glycogen and aid in muscle recovery. Based upon my own experiences I believe those scientists are correct. It is very important to fuel our bodies before and after a workout. You will have less muscle soreness and will not feel as sluggish the following day.
People joke about how we should treat our bodies like vehicles fueling them with high grade oile/ fuel for optimal. The question is why do we take better care of material things instead of ourselves? We are running more miles at a time than most people even drive to work. So why is it so difficult for us to treat your body better?
Take it or leave it, but from my own experiences I suggest making it a priority to fuel your body efficiently. According to the Mayo Clinic it is very important to eat prior to exercise. In my case, I wake up first thing and run. When I wae up all off the food I ate for dinner has been metabolized over the 8+ hours. If I head out the door without replenishing my stores I will have a sluggish performance. It doesn’t take much. I typically stick to between 80-100 calories to get my metabolism started. A tiny bit of food is all it takes for a more satisfying workout. Once you have finished your run, you have only a 30 minute window to optimally absorb nutrients. “The Verdict“, you ask…that’s easy, EAT. Do not be afraid of food causing cramps or inhibiting your workout. You are more likely to have an unproductive workout if you do not fuel your body properly. It may just be trial and error for yourself, trying to find what works for you.
Remember your goals and what is important. Remember how you HAVE to do the LITTLE things in order to get BIG payoffs. BE SMART!!!
Top 5 pre run foods:
1. A nutrition bar of any sort; Cliff bars, Lara bars, Kind Bars, ect..
2. 6oz container of yogurt
3. 1 piece of toast with peanut butter and a drizzle of honey
4. Applesauce sprinkled with cinnamon
5. 8 oz. of Gatorade.
*PS. don’t forget to drink some water.
Top 5 Post run foods:
2. Omelet packed with vegetables
3. High fiber cereal
5. String cheese with a piece of fruit
***BONUS… Homemade Hot chocolate is my winter time favorite post run drink.
1 TBS. Raw Sugar
1TBS Cocoa Powder
1 cup Fat Free Milk