6 Foods to Avoid Before Going For a Run

foods to avoid

Whether you’re an occasional jogger or a serious marathoner, fueling right before a run will help you get the most out of every mile.

But it’s equally as bad to have too much—or the wrong kind—of food before a run as most of your energy may go towards breaking down the meal instead of firing up your muscles.

This can compromise your workout and sabotage your progress like nothing else.

Here are the seven foods you need to avoid before your run.

1. Legumes

Although legumes are a great source of fiber and protein for runners, they’ll fill you up in ways you’d rather not deal with when having to log some serious miles.

Legumes like lentils, beans, and chickpeas are rich in fiber and raffinose, a type of carbohydrates.

The mix can result in bloating, gassiness, and digestive discomfort.

2. Spicy Foods

Spicy foods are great for your taste buds as well as your metabolism, but they should be avoided before a run for a couple of reasons.

Spicy foods can cause a serious case of indigestion, making it tricky to get through your typical session pain-free.

Spicy foods can cause heartburn, which again could bring your run into a sudden halt or hinder your running performance.

And for those who had a history of gastritis or ulcer, you don’t want to mess with this.

3. Fatty Foods

Healthy fats are good for you.

But foods rich in fat can be a bad idea if you’re about to go for a run.

Fatty foods sit in your stomach and take longer to get digested, making your body work hard to turn their fat to fuel.

This is especially the case for foods rich in saturated fats, such as bacon, cheese, burgers, etc.

4. Dairy

Dairy items are a bad pre-workout choice because of their high-fat content that can make you feel lethargic and will boost your stomach’s acid content during a run.

Consuming dairy before exercise can also cause gassiness.

Again, gastritis club, don’t you dare.

Most Dairy, especially milk-based foods, contain lactose, which is a sugar that many people have problems digesting.

Lactose intolerance causes gas, bloating, and often diarrhea from bacterial fermentation of lactose.

Instead, consume your cheese, milk, and yogurt after your runs.


5. White Sugar

A huge intake of sugar may rev up your energy stores, but it may cause hypoglycemia, which is when your blood sugar levels first spike and then fall rapidly.

This can lead to headaches, fatigue, lethargy, and performance loss.

Need a quick source of fuel right before a run? Go for healthier options such as natural sugar in watery fruits, which also has key nutrients for your body and bring back your hydration—instead of just empty calories.

6. High Fiber Veggies

Cruciferous vegetables, like cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels’ sprouts, have a lot to offer.

They are rich in vitamins C, E, fiber, and disease-preventing phytochemicals.

Thanks to the mix of fiber and raffinose, these veggies can also cause bloating and other digestive issues during a workout.

Feel free to consume veggies and to your heart’s content any other time of the day, but you want to steer clear of them before your run.

Instead, go for vegetables that are easier on your digestive system, like sweet potatoes and well-cooked asparagus.

Here’s a list of best foods for runners.

food not to eat before a run
Young woman in the sleepwear eating sweet donuts near the refrigerator


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