Friday, October 31, 2008

Eat or Not to Eat...

Are you an eater? I mean do you eat before or during a long run? From the buddies I've talked to in my running group and from other runners I've talked to at races, seems like there's two camps of thought—Eat or Don't Eat. Guess I'm a hybrid. I have to eat something before I run (about 1 hr before) or I'll get really bad hunger pangs, especially if it's a morning run, but I've never been much of an eater during the run, other than the ocassional gel. Some running friends (Lucy and her brother Ben) recently ran a 40-mile trail run (they're awesome). Lucy said she had to eat during the run and was ravenous, but Ben said he could eat very little. I guess everybody's different and what works for one may not work for another. Before I run I usually eat an English muffin with peanut butter and jam. I've found that if I have a little protein while I run it helps with the endurance and recovery. Accelerade® makes a really good gel (Accel Gel®) that contains protein and their Accelerade drinks also contain protein. It has a different consistency than Gatorade®, but it's good. I don't care for the bottled version of Accelerade, but the powder that you mix up, tastes good. Check them out at http://www.accelerade.com/. If you're an eater, what kinds of foods do you eat before, during, or after your run?

4 comments:

Will said...

I can't eat at all (at least for 2 hours) before a race or hard training run. But on Saturdays before a long, slower training run, I eat a banana with peanut butter at least an hour or more before. If I don't eat, it doesn't manifest itself with hunger pangs like you. I will lose energy during the run. I am also a fan of Gu or PowerGel during a long run or 1/2 marathon, washed down with water of course. Since my stash of Conquest powdered drink is almost gone, I'm still looking for a liquid replacement, other than Gatorade.

runnerdude said...

Have you tried the Accelerade? Definitely a different consistency but it seems to work well for me. Cytomax also has a drink mix that's pretty good. Seems like it's pitche more for cyclists but guess it doesn't really matter, they're both sweatin!

foreverrunners said...

Accelerade is great!! it is my favorite race drink by far and I enjoy the consistency and the protein seems to help give a little boost to the system. I'm with you on the "eat before, not so much during" method. And I also tend not to drink as much on my faster races. The only gel I can stand is Lava Gel and if you've never had it I recommend ordering a box online. But I generally don't even use gels unless I'm doing distance over 26 or long runs not on race day. Too many carbs, and too much water, can cause bloating which slows you down. I guess it also depends on your goals; are you going for speed, comfort or just survival. The most important thing I have found is your diet and training leading up to the race. Sleep, hydration, a good pre-race dinner and a digestible breakfast work the best for me.

runnerdude said...

Thanks Blue, I'm going to try that Lava Gel. I can attest to that too much carbs/bloating feeling. I've discovered that instead of carb-loading a few days before a race, it works better (for me at least) to eat the same about of food but swap-out some of my portions for carbs about a week prior to race day. That way I'm eating the same about of food, but I've slowly increased the amount of carbs. I still try not to go overboard with it.