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Do you eat before a morning run?

I’ve been training for a Half (that’s been canceled) this year and the weather is such that I need to start running in the mornings now to beat the heat. I’m currently running 3-5 miles three times a week and 6-7 miles on my long Sunday run. Any suggestions on whether or not to have breakfast (oatmeal) or coffee before a run would be appreciated.I don’t want to run on a full stomach, but I don’t want to go on an empty tank. Maybe have my protein shake before I go instead of after? I thought of a protein bar, as something light, but I’ve never found a vegan bar I like. Does anyone just do fruit and nuts or some kind of “light” breakfast? Not sure if my bladder will wait if I have much coffee.  Thanks in advance!

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8 Replies

@MightyMouse I always had some sort of liquid before a morning run - usually fruit juice and/or coffee, with a regular breakfast afterwards.  I think thatt is the general experience for most folks, but the best thing to do is experiment and find out wht works for you.

Bummer about the cancellation.  more normal times are ahead, hopefully. 

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@MightyMouse I try to have half a cup of coffee or so. As long as it’s before 8:00am I just drink water and coffee and eat when I get home. I do better on a fairly empty stomach. 

@MightyMouse You should definitely eat something, it will aid in your recovery, especially when you start racking up the miles. A Perfect Bar will hold me for 3-4 hour runs, & does not upset my stomach or impede running in any way- just clean energy. I know there is at least 1 vegan flavor. I sometimes opt for avo toast with **bleep**in Spread (vegan, awesome if you haven’t tried), but that’s usually only if I’m doing 20+ miles. Also be sure to eat when you get home! Proper recovery habits are 7/10ths of running. 

Lol, REI bleeped the name of that product- funny as it’s just the brand name. Ends in “itchin’” & starts with a B. I like the Chipotle flavor. 

@saltyseattle we're curious about the spread that you're recommending - whatever the name, it triggered our "bad word" filter! Maybe you can you type it out with hyphens in between the letters so we know?!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Personally, I don’t eat before training runs and tea is better than coffee.  I’ll eat during if it’s longer than 2 hours.  I’ll eat before a race because you get an hour or two before the start.  I hope it’s not too long before we all get to do that again.

@MightyMouse Your body consumes a lot of nutrients while sleeping. And when you start adding miles, if you don’t eat before running first thing in the morning it can result in being tired throughout the day or in the aft. So I always eat about 4oz of plain yogurt before a run. For me it doesn’t upset the stomach nor result in side stitches. You may have to try several foods before finding one that works for you. Good luck!


@MightyMouse I used to not eat before my morning runs because I was afraid to upset my stomach/digestive system, and when I started doing longer runs earlier in the morning to squeeze the miles in I found that I would be RAVENOUS by like mile 3 or 4. My metabolism was quickening so to try to combat that I started using specific flavors of GU gels that I liked which would help me with the energy thing and not feeling so completely hungry; I'd take one before my run and one during my run if I was doing 8+ miles that morning. But for my long weekend runs I do way better if I have a breakfast I'm used to (I like graham crackers or toast with peanut butter and sometimes sliced banana) and then just wait for my system to do its thing before heading out the door. The carb/protein combo helps stave off the ravenous hunger. (Which can be super distracting; I forgot to eat lunch the other day before doing a 10-miler in the evening and it was all I could think about!)