With so many options, form fancy nutrition bars, shakes, to the classical oatmeal or bagel, it’s tricky to figure out the best fuel to give you enough energy without weighting you down.
Some athletes say they like to go out empty stomach, because they like the “lean and mean” feeling. That might work if you’re going out for 30 minutes or less, but if you’re going any longer, you’re going to want to have some fuel in the tank.
So what works? What’s the magic formula? The truth is, it’s different for everyone. But the best strategy is to experiment. Here are some pre-workout fuel ideas:
- A small packet of instant oatmeal with some brown sugar: the sugar will give you that boost of energy you need to wake up, and the oatmeal will hold you until your run ends.
- Half a bagel with a light smear of peanut butter or jam: some people can run with a bit of PB, and that little bit of fat will help take the edge off your hunger.
- A banana: perhaps this is the all-time athlete favorite. Bananas are easy to digest, and have enough sugar in them to power through your cardio workout.
- Energy bar: Some mornings, particularly those that begin with the letter M or W, you just need something that doesn’t require much thinking. For a pre-workout bar, go for something that’s got a higher carbohydrate to protein ratio, as the protein might be a bit heavy in your stomach
Remember to refuel with lean protein and carbohydrates after a workout to speed recovery to get you ready for the day!