Eating before running is always a dangerous game. You could eat something that you would normally think is healthy, like a smoothie, and things can go horribly wrong. You think that the lunch you had three hours ago won’t affect your performance, but before you know it, you’re seeing it again.
Let this article be a cautionary tale to all of the beginners out there. Everyone starts somewhere and it takes a while to get the hang of what works with your body. If you want more running tips, check out these other foods to avoid before running.
The following quotes are from your fellow Spoon contributors, so try not to judge them too hard.
Too many carbs
“A friend of mine ate chow mein and threw up an entire noodle in the park (it really was a friend I swear!)”
Well, like Michael Scott, your “friend” made the mistake of carbo-loading right before running. According to Runner’s World, long-distance runners should start carbo-loading up to a week before their race. You can’t achieve proper carbo-loading in just one meal. That being said, if you eat an entire plate of pasta right before running like Michael Scott did, it will end in disaster.
Fatty, heavy foods
“I’ve had donuts and Chipotle before running.”
I don’t know if this person enjoys torturing themselves or if they just have an iron stomach. Either way, foods high in sugar or salt are a big no-no before exercising.
Too much fiber
“In middle school, we had to run a mile every week for PE and as a little inactive chubster, I always dreaded it. One day I ate a whole bag of blueberries during recess and felt fine… until I started running. About halfway through, I had to stop and threw up purple all over the sidewalk. So embarrassing.”
Now we all know that eating an entire bag of blueberries (or an entire bag of anything really) is not a good choice. Fruits and veggies might sound like a good idea before running, but they are hard to digest. Instead of running to your destination, you might be running to the bathroom instead.
Any alcohol, at all, ever
“This probably goes without saying but don’t drink the night before. I did before a lacrosse game and had to leave the field to throw up.”
Greasy, salty snack food
“My brother said he ate Cheetos before and felt really sick during his run.”
If there was a list of what not to eat before running, Cheetos would probably be at the top.
“I made the wise decision of eating a ham and cheese baguette sandwich with a cup of asparagus-leek soup on my lunch break (fo’ free, of course) a couple hours before going straight to the gym. I felt like I was going to be sick throughout my entire workout, but I somehow made it through.”
If you have ever eaten dairy before running, bless your soul. You would think that some cereal with milk would be a nice light breakfast to have before a run, but you couldn’t be more wrong.
I did just that before my first high school cross country practice and I ended up struggling the entire run (classic rookie move). Anyway, dairy is bad for running because it jostles around in your stomach and creates all sorts of issues.