10 favorite pre-run breakfast foods

What do you eat for breakfast before a race or a run?

Runners, triathletes, bicyclists, and other fitness enthusiasts tend to understand the need to rev up their engines before a race or a workout. Nutritionally, this is especially important. The average jogger, for example, burns approximately 100 calories per mile. 

Any veteran athlete can relate horror stories of running out of gusto without warning on the road, the track, the court, or the playing field. On the other hand, endurance athletes fully understand the need to find foods that will help them to go fast, without making them suddenly have to go. 

These are 10 favorite pre-run breakfast foods frequently selected by athletes.

These choices may be ideal for joggers, sprinters, bicyclists, swimmers, and many other racers or sports participants.

1. Apple with peanut butter – This speedy snack is high in protein and delicious.

2. Bagel – Why not add a modest amount of plain cream cheese?

3. Banana – This whole fruit is a universal favorite for potassium, especially on hot days.

4. Eggs – Many runners add some shredded cheese for extra protein.

5. Granola – Veteran races tend to skip the dried fruits (apricots, dates, prunes, and raisins) before an event.

6. Oatmeal – Again, savvy athletes may forgo the dried fruits (apricots, dates, prunes, and raisins).

7. Protein bar – These quick-grabbers may be filled with energy and vitamins. It’s important to study the labels to be sure.

8. String cheese – This dairy delight is super as a source of handy protein and as a gastrointestinal binder.

9. Tea and toast with jam – This pick is ideal for the runner with a particularly sensitive stomach. Choose iced or hot tea (in a favorite flavor), depending on the weather.

10. Yogurt – Delicious and easy to eat, Greek yogurt (or any yogurt with active cultures) makes a super pre-race food.

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These pre-race provisions may sound somewhat bland and plain, but it’s prudent to eat gently on event days and save the more savory, flavorful, or sweet treats for afterwards. Savvy athletes select pre-run snacks that offer easy digestion, while providing protein and long-term energy. Simple carbohydrates, spicy items, and hard-to-process foods tend to make poorer choices.

The number-one guideline is generally to pick familiar, tried-and-true foods. Race-day is no time to experiment with unfamiliar food items or ingredients.

It’s important to experiment with portions, finding how much is enough to sustain the athlete through the time of exertion without loading him or her down too much. Even a hurdler doesn’t want to hurl on-course, of course. No runner enjoys having the runs. But a hungry racer’s race may also end all too early. It’s all about balance. 

Have you ever regretted a pre-run breakfast you ate?

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