Breakfast for Runners

 Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap/

Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap/

When you arise each morning, your body has starved for 9-12 hours–your glycogen and blood-glucose levels dropped and you need to replenish your body to revitalize it for the day. But for morning runners, what can you eat? You don’t want a large breakfast to cause gastrointestinal problems but you need some calories to get you through a workout.

I conducted some research to find out options. As we all know, what may work for some, may not work for another. But eating breakfast will prime your body for a good run, provided you choose wisely with a proper mix of good carbohydrates and protein. Here are a few to test out that do not overload you with calories:

Carbohydrate Lovers
Steel cut oats provide healthy carbs and make you feel fuller longer. You should test this out on a smaller run (i.e., less than three miles) to make sure your body can handle something as substantial as oats. Try adding berries to the top and a drizzle of honey for flavor. Also, the honey can provide a sugar spike to get you running longer–with the same effect as a gel.

Protein Fanatics
A small package of trail mix is easier on your stomach than heavy eggs and sausage or bacon. You can even make your own by adding in oats, nuts and a little chocolate if you can take sugar in the morning.

Sensitive Stomachs
A meal replacement drink would work best if you can’t handle heavy breakfasts before you run. My coaches always recommended the product Ensure, but others such as Slim Fast would work–depends on your taste preferences.

Sweet Tooths
If you like your muffins/pastries in the morning, try a protein bar in a sweeter flavor. You’ll get your sugar fix plus some added protein.