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Nutrition Before & After Running Training

In the context of running training, nutrition plays a central role. It serves not only as fuel but also as a building block for regeneration and performance improvement. The right nutrition varies depending on the type and intensity of training – whether it’s interval training, an endurance run, or a long-distance run.

Nutrition before running training

Nutrition before running training depends heavily on the type of training. The following guidelines apply to various types of training such as a endurance run, long run, and interval training:

Endurance Run

What to eat: For an endurance run, which usually occurs at moderate intensity, the meal should be rich in carbohydrates and easily digestible. Good options include oatmeal, toast with jam, or a small cup of yogurt with fruits.

When to eat: This meal should be consumed about 1.5 to 2 hours before the run to avoid digestive discomfort.

Long Jog

What to eat: Before a long run, which often lasts several hours, it is important to replenish glycogen stores. Choose nutritious foods with complex carbohydrates and some protein, such as whole grain bread with peanut butter, a large piece of fruit, or a bowl of rice with lean meat.

When to eat: This meal should be consumed 2 to 3 hours before the run to allow enough time for digestion and avoid discomfort during the run.

Interval Training

What to eat: Interval training often requires high intensity in short periods. Here, easily digestible, carbohydrate-rich snacks are ideal. Rice, white bread, an energy bar, or a piece of toast with honey may be suitable.

When to eat: The last proper meal should be consumed 3-4 hours before exertion with 1-4 grams of carbohydrates per kg of body weight.

  • Avoid fatty, high protein, or high-fiber foods immediately before the run, as these are harder to digest.
  • Don’t forget hydration! A glass of water about 30 minutes before the run can help to stay well hydrated.
  • Every runner reacts differently to certain foods. It’s important to experiment with different meals to find out what works best.

Nutrition after running

After training, the body’s energy and nutrient stores need to be replenished. Here’s what to consider:

  • Time window: Ideally, eat within 30 minutes to an hour after the run. This time window is often referred to as the “anabolic phase,” during which the body most effectively absorbs nutrients for muscle repair and regeneration.
  • Snacks immediately after running: Immediately after training, small snacks like a banana, a protein bar, or yogurt can help satisfy initial hunger and initiate recovery.
  • Portion size: Portion size depends on the intensity and duration of the run. After a long or particularly intense run, the meal should be larger to effectively replenish the expended energy and nutrient reserves.
  • Carbohydrates: They are important for replenishing glycogen stores. Good sources include whole grain products, fruit, vegetables, and starchy foods like potatoes and rice.
  • Proteins: They support muscle repair and regeneration. Suitable protein sources include lean meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and tofu.
  • Fats: Healthy fats are also important for recovery. Good sources include avocado, nuts, seeds, and olive oil.
  • Hydration: Hydration must not be neglected after training. Water is essential, but electrolyte drinks can also be useful, especially after a very sweaty run.


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