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What are the best snacks to eat before you go on a run – six run snack ideas from a nutritionist

Avocado pattern to signify a healthy pre running snack

Are you tired of watching your stomach try to eat itself while you pound the pavement? Do you dream of feasting on the world’s most divine nibbles just before lacing up your trainers? Well, sit tight, my running friends, because you’re in for a treat. Here is the hot take on the perfect running snack!

Imagine you’re about to embark on an epic road trip. You’ve got your favourite playlist queued up, your route carefully plotted out, and your sunglasses at the ready for that perfect, wind-in-your-hair selfie. But hang on a minute, you’ve forgotten to fuel up your car! Now, wouldn’t that be a bummer?

Well, think of your body as that car and the snack as your fuel. You wouldn’t dream of heading out on the open road with an empty tank, so why would you kick off your run on an empty stomach?

Running snacks are important!

Not only does a good snack provide the energy needed to power through those pesky hills or that last sprint to the finish line, it also keeps the dreaded ‘runger’ (that’s running-induced hunger, if you didn’t know!) at bay. After all, who wants to dream about fish and chips while trying to tackle a 10k? A well-timed snack can help you kiss goodbye to those distracting food fantasies and let you focus on nailing your stride. So, snack smart, and you’ll not only feel like a champion, you’ll run like one too!

We’ve partnered with an anonymous nutritionist expert (let’s call her ‘Snack Queen’) to bring you the lowdown on the six best pre-run snacks. Pop the kettle on and fetch a biscuit – this is going to be delectable!

Obvious one first Bananas

“Think of bananas as nature’s energy bars,” advises our Snack Queen. Bananas are packed with carbs (for quick energy) and potassium (to keep those muscle cramps at bay). They’re also delightfully easy to eat – no fiddling with wrappers or deciphering confusing packaging labels. It’s just you, the banana, and the open road ahead.

Whole Grain Toast with Nut Butter

This snack is like a hug for your stomach, really. The whole grain toast offers a hearty helping of complex carbs, while nut butter adds a punch of protein and healthy fats. Our Snack Queen shares a tip: “Opt for almond or cashew butter for a change. They are loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.” Remember, you’re aiming for a light spread, not a heap worthy of a Michelin Star dessert.

nut butters and Banana on toast. perfect pre run snack
Open sandwich from slice of wholegrain bread with peanut nut butter, bananas and crushed walnuts

Greek Yoghurt with Berries and Honey

This combo is the superstar of the snack world. Greek yoghurt is a fantastic source of protein, the berries provide antioxidants, and the honey offers a natural sugar boost for quick energy. “It’s like a symphony of nutrients, all working together to fuel your run,” says Snack Queen, and who are we to argue with such a delicious sounding symphony?

Oatmeal with Chopped Fruit

Oats are the marathon runners of the carbohydrate world – they release their energy slowly, ensuring you don’t hit a wall halfway through your run. Add some chopped fruit for a bit of fructose-fuelled pep, and you’ve got a winning combo. Snack Queen suggests, “Try adding a sprinkle of chia seeds. They’re packed with fibre and can help keep you feeling full.”

Rice Cakes with Avocado

If you fancy something a bit more savoury, why not try rice cakes with avocado? “Avocado is loaded with healthy fats, and the rice cakes offer easily digestible carbs,” says Snack Queen. It’s like a deconstructed sushi roll, but without the faff of chopsticks. Plus, isn’t smashing avocado on things what all the cool kids are doing these days? It is running snack goals!

avocado patter to show how it is a great pre run snacl
Fresh avocado on brown toast or rice cakes is a great pre-run snack

A Handful of Dried Fruit and Nuts

If you’re rushing out the door and don’t have time for a sit-down snack, a handful of dried fruit and nuts could be your knight in shining armour. “The dried fruit provides quick-release energy, while the nuts add a protein punch,” explains Snack Queen. Remember to keep your portions in check, though – a handful, not a bucketful.

So there we have it, folks! Our top six snacks to power your long run. With these treats in your arsenal, you’re sure to feel fuelled, focused, and ready to take on whatever the road throws at you. No more wrestling with energy gels or chomping on chalky energy bars. It’s time to snack your way to a fabulous run!

By the way, remember, eating too much just before a run can lead to stitches or stomach cramps, so keep your portions light and give you

Andy Barr
the authorAndy Barr
Editorial Lead
Andy was late arriving into the world of fitness, running and training. He did not really take up regular gym going until he was in his late 30's. He lost over 7 stone in weight since starting and completed an olympic length triathlon in June 2018. He enjoys playing football, boxing and outdoor running.

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