There is a lot of research and conflicting findings on whether it is advisable to eat food before running or not. Since running is an intense cardio exercise that uses up a lot of energy, a lot of blood sugar is used up during the exercise.
Our body also loses salts in the form of sweat after intense exercises. Eating before running can facilitate faster recovery after running and help your body retain water. But even though most experts advise that you should eat before running, some people find it more comfortable to run on an empty stomach.
The only person who can decide what’s best for you is yourself. With the proper runner’s diet plan and a little mindfulness, you can have your morning runs without worrying about breakfast. If you feel that running before eating is the option for you, start with the following things in mind before you make your decision-
This one is a no-brainer. Even if you have decided to run on an empty stomach, you certainly cannot run with a dry throat. Your body not only loses water during running but also salts and a significant amount of energy. It is thus crucial to supply your body with electrolyte fluids to maintain the energy balance in your body and to save it from dehydration.
While running, start with a light jog and then run on a slow and steady pace. Don’t sprint and bounce minimally on the track to save energy. This will help you be mindful of your body. Keep your runs short and schedule breaks in between.
In case you start to feel dizzy, weak, or even a little light-headed during running, gently decrease your pace and then stop. This happens because your muscles take up all your body’s oxygen and not enough oxygen reaches your brain. So sit down somewhere and take deep breaths. Always keep an energy drink with high sugar content handy. Take a sip when you start feeling fatigued or nauseous.
No one is asking you to eat right after a run. But your body will need to replenish its nutrient stores as soon as possible. So wait till your heartbeat returns to normal and your body has returned to the normal temperature and then supply it with the running nutrition it needs. The best diet for runners is filled with protein and carb-rich foods.
Healthy snacks for runners include granola and high sugar energy bars. Foods like apple, banana, yoghurt and cereals are also well-balanced all-in-ones that you can carry to the track.
Everyone’s body reacts differently to stimuli. It is hence essential to observe yourself carefully before making any dietary or exercise decisions. But the only way of understanding what is best for you is the hit and trial method. Start small and slow, try everything, and continue on the path that feels the most natural to you. Just keep in mind that empty stomach or not, as long as you have a running routine in your day, you are doing the responsible thing.