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Working Out- exercise and the food you pair it with

CoryKatherine Jan 27, 2009 05:00 PM

I know there was a post a while back about good exercise fuel, but I just wanted to expand the topic a little bit... I'm training for a half-marathon in the spring and I was wondering what everyone's favorite food is when they're exercising- and how/when they eat it- and by this I mean to be pretty broad. Some questions to get your mind rolling:

-What is your favorite pre-workout meal or snack? How often do you find you have to wait before working out? How soon after a workout do you need to eat? What tastes/feels good?
-What sorts of foods do you really crave when you're getting back in shape?
-Any foods you find don't sit well with you when you're working out a lot?
-Best rewarding dinners (or brunches?) What is really satisfying to you after a good workout?

For example, I just discovered these great little apple-carrot fruit sauce packets from trader joe's- they're only about 80 calories and I find that if I have one about 5 minutes before I head out on a run, I have great energy. I've also been craving sweet carbs like pancakes and syrup- a LOT! And apples have been upsetting my stomach, especially before a workout- I think it's the fiber.

Just thought I'd gather some good ideas to keep me going- being able to eat a lot of food is clearly my real motivation...

  1. ipsedixit Jan 28, 2009 02:47 PM

    I never eat before a workout. Even on marathon day, I don't eat beforehand (although I make sure I have a good meal the night before).

    I don't know if there is anything I crave necessarily after a workout, although nothing beats a McDonald's milkshake washed down with a couple of Filet-O-Fish sandwiches ...

    But if I'm being good, after a workout I usually like to refuel with some combo of bananas, yogurt, and eggs in one form or another.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ipsedixit
      Emme Mar 11, 2009 07:05 PM

      i'm the same way - i can NEVER eat before a run. even marathons or close to it.

      i had a trainer that suggested eating sweet potato before working out, but i could never do it.

      I generally throw down a protein shake afterwards; that or i make an egg white omelette, with mushrooms, onions and tomatoes (i know they're not the easiest to break down), and some fruit.

      i also discovered these freeze-dried fruits
      http://www.crispygreen.com
      LOVE them!

    2. m
      mpjmph Jan 28, 2009 04:04 PM

      For me the one of the biggest factors is the time of day that I'm working out. Most days I hit the gym or trails after work, my standard "after school snack" is a small apple and a tablespoon of peanut butter. On days that I exercise in the morning (weekends mostly) I have a small bowl of cereal w/ soy milk. Either way I try to have an hour between eating and exercising.

      I'm definitely an exercise to eat kind of person :) My biggest food cravings are cinnamon and salt. I can't run anywhere fast or far enough to justify the daily cinnabon or bag of kettle chips I would love to have, so I stick with cinnamon life and pretzels.

      1. a
        adrienne156 Jan 28, 2009 04:30 PM

        Oddly enough, when I'm working out a lot - 4-5 full body workouts w/ cardio as well as the pilates I usually do 3 times a week - I find myself craving foods that are healthier in general: lean proteins like chicken and turkey, cruciferous veggies, vegetables in general, LOTS of salad, SPINACH, salmon, and processed carbs are just not appealing although sushi and taco truck tacos are the exception. :) I get one of these bugs in my butt about once a year, it lasts for about 5 months and then I see the results and slowly begin to regress to the full-body workouts w/ cardio twice a week plus pilates to just the pilates. As my working out gets looser, as does the diet (Tapas and wine on a Thursday night? SURE! Why not...). It's an evil cycle.

        I try not to eat a meal less than 3 hours before I workout because it leaves me feeling very sluggish, however, I am usually ravenous ¾ of the way through which is added motivation to get through my routine. I do the big workouts in the evenings/night, so this is what a typical day looks like: breakfast - yogurt with blueberries or raspberries and recently I discovered Trader Joe's ground flaxseed with blueberries (a heaping teaspoon goes a long way); lunch – big salad with either a good-sized portion of chicken breast or some grilled salmon or avocado; snacks - a piece of fruit (often a banana), a dried fruit/nut granola bar type thing, or some laughing cow on ryveta crackers at the most an hour before working out; and finally dinner: veggies/salad plus protein, glass of wine, small piece of dark chocolate after. My favorite dinner is grilled salmon over a fairly big mixed green salad with tomatoes, carrots, grilled onions/eggplant/asparagus with balsamic vinaigrette. I could and have eaten this 3 nights in a row. Weekends are for being (relatively) bad: eating out and drinking with friends and Sunday mornings especially are for big brunches with poached eggs, salty meat products, and buttered toast, although I refuse to give up coffee and wine during the week. Sorry, just not happening.

        Easy things that I have around for quick energy that don’t have that too-full effect: turkey jerky, hard-boiled eggs, celery w/ soft cheese (laughing cow and Roquefort are my fav), nuts… Costco has these organic fruit and nut bars (not the chewy Quaker bars) that I am totally addicted to that I’m sure have some downside, but I am making a conscious effort to avoid investigating…

        Disclaimer (not meant to be rude, just avoid any lecturing): This is what I do personally, which is not to say that anyone else should do it and I know where I could improve, I just don’t plan on it. :)

        5 Replies
        1. re: adrienne156
          CoryKatherine Jan 30, 2009 05:00 PM

          where do you get your turkey jerky? i tried trader joe's turkey jerky and it was inedible... so gross.

          1. re: CoryKatherine
            a
            adrienne156 Feb 2, 2009 09:02 AM

            TJ's turkey jerky IS really bad! A lot like shoe leather. I was totally surprised...

            I get my turkey jerky at two places - either from a friend who smokes things regularly (he's a paramedic trying to get picked up by a fire department and someone told him that being able to cook well would help... I'm reaping the benefits) or Costco. The Costco stuff isn't the greatest - the teriyaki flavor a bit strong - but, that keeps me from eating more than a piece or two which I would do normally cuz I love jerky and the texture is usually very good.

            1. re: adrienne156
              c
              Cebca Feb 25, 2009 01:44 PM

              I love TJ's Turkey Jerky! It's so much better than the Whole Foods Brand, or for that matter any other brand I have tried at Whole Foods or Ralphs - much easier to chew I find.

          2. re: adrienne156
            sleepyscience Feb 2, 2009 03:24 PM

            Its funny how you say you crave healthier foods when you work out. This last year has probably been my least physically active of my life and I have eaten more potato chips and other food that for some reason I craved, despite not really enjoying.

            About time to stop sitting around.

            Before I work out I also do not usually eat anything significant, I just drink some water

            1. re: sleepyscience
              ScubaSteve Feb 2, 2009 04:12 PM

              great.
              now i want a big bag of Lay's.

          3. ScubaSteve Jan 28, 2009 05:50 PM

            i eat some carbs about an hour before i lift (usually pasta) and then some portein about 1/2 an hour after my workout (either a supplement or some eggs).

            1. e
              Erika L Jan 28, 2009 06:11 PM

              There's a diff between being able to eat a lot of food and being able to take in sufficient calories during an extended workout or event. I'm a cyclist who thinks it's worth getting into lycra for less than 40 miles, and I find that during a workout or event, I can't eat anything that requires processing, not even bars.

              My standard breakfast is a nuked potato with butter and Parmesan (the fat slows absorption of the carbs) because they have a particularly accessible form of carbs--I'd imagine apples don't process as quickly. I also have a little something fast-acting right when I start--juice, a gel--because otherwise, I blow through glycogen too quickly, before my system warms up. While riding, I take in about 200 calories per hour, in small doses every ten - fifteen minutes. My post-ride meals are within an hour of finishing and always include lots of protein.

              Running requires different strategies, though--as a cyclist, I can carry a ton of food and water with me. The biggest thing is, figure out your food and water plan LONG before the event--don't try anything new on the day of, including whatever they're handing out on the course!

              1. Paula76 Jan 29, 2009 07:19 AM

                I am with the 'need to eat before a workout' brigade. As I workout early in the morning, I need a good strong cup of coffee to get me in the spirit and a healthy breakfast. I tend to alternate between porridge (made with jumbo oats and water) topped with blueberries and any other fruit plus a small glass of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice. I find that, as the oatmeal releases energy slowly into the bloodstream, it keeps me fuller anf motivated for longer. The other option is natural yogurt also with fruit and sometimes a mix of seeds. I also find that when I workout, I tend to crave healthier foods but, like adrienne156, the weekends are for indulging. I wouldn't want to become either obsessed with exercising or too lazy and overindulgent as I think both are equally unhealthy so the point is trying to strike a balance between both...easier said than done, though.

                1. chowser Jan 29, 2009 09:01 AM

                  Before a workout, pb and starch. Post workout, if it's short (under 1 1/2 hours) standard lunch. If it's a longer run (11+ miles) , more carbs, and whatever I crave, often banh mi but sometimes a burger

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: chowser
                    ipsedixit Jan 29, 2009 09:20 PM

                    1 1/2 hours is short??!!!??

                    I genuflect before you ... as I am not worthy ...

                    1. re: ipsedixit
                      chowser Jan 30, 2009 03:45 AM

                      Generally it's not running but a class I'm teaching and then a few odds and ends if it's 1 1/2 hours, eg. spinning or step and a quick treadmill run (keep in mind that classes have longer warm up and cool downs). For something like that I don't worry about seriously refueling, though I do eat after. I'm super slow as a runner and it takes more forever to get a long run outside in and in that case, I do eat more. When I said "short", I didn't mean they were short for my general workouts because it's not but just to divide longer workouts over 1 1/2 hours from shorter ones, anything under 1 1/2 hours. But never a milkshake and a couple of filet of fish--I read that and thought, he must be really young. My old system couldn't handle it.

                      1. re: chowser
                        ipsedixit Jan 30, 2009 06:10 AM

                        I eat all sorts of weird things after a workout. Like this morning, I just downed a big bowl of lobster mac 'n cheese with a big cup of hot chocolate.

                        What I can't do, no matter what, is eat before a workout. No matter the duration. Whether it's a short 30 minute cardio session, or before a marathon, or a century ride. Can't do it. I also can't eat during a workout -- again, no matter the duration.

                  2. madgreek Jan 30, 2009 04:24 AM

                    For me, the best thing to eat before a workout (no closer than 1-1/2 hours before) is a banana. It gives me energy and helps my muscles recover quicker afterward. Also, it eliminates runners' cramps in my experience. My workout regimen is different than yours, though. I do some light strength training first, then spend about 40 minutes on cardio. After, It depends on the time, if it's dinner time, I prefer a bowl of noodles, if not, orange juice, some dark chocolate, a cookie, or a cliff bar.

                    For you: carbs, carbs, and more carbs. Carbs and protein (maybe a tbsp of peanut butter on thick toast with salt and brown sugar or some peanuts in a simple noodle dish...not spicy) before, and some sugar after (a good time to indulge a bit in sweets). Orange or pineapple juice would be good immediately following a long run.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: madgreek
                      Emme Mar 11, 2009 07:27 PM

                      if you have cramp issues, i recommend carrying a couple of potassium pills with you. i keep em at my bedside if i'm having cramp issues and pop em in the night if this creeps up, or if i'm running. the banana prevents cramping because it contains potassium.

                      i don't agree that it's all about carbs for the OP; i think it's carbs with some protein that will help slow down their release giving a more steady stream of energy, rather than a boost followed by a drop. but that's just my experience.

                    2. JohnE O Jan 30, 2009 05:27 AM

                      I always make it a point never to have more beers than miles I've run. I can only do 3 miles/day, so I had to buy bigger steins.

                      1. BobB Jan 30, 2009 06:42 AM

                        I'm in the "don't eat before a workout" crowd. I usually hit the gym after work and before dinner, and I have nothing to eat between lunch and dinner.

                        14 Replies
                        1. re: BobB
                          CoryKatherine Jan 30, 2009 04:58 PM

                          haha well i wish I was blessed with such a needless appetite... frankly, I have to eat every 2-3 hours. And I also have to eat before a workout. Right now my schedule is crazy so... I go to work from 5am-10, I usually eat a 150cal breakfast of oatmeal or cereal or a bar around 9 and then workout at 10. When i get done around 11:30 i'm already starving for lunch... I cut the hunger with some fruit on my way to class, eat a sandwich and/or a smoothie at school, and then end up snacking on fruit or goldfish or applesauce or yogurt or something at about 1-2 hour intervals throughout the afternoon. Sometimes if I don't have to go to my internship (my life is insane) I try to get a late afternoon workout in before coming home for dinner- and I am lucky enough to have a great guy who will cook me dinner, which usually happens around 8:30 or 9 (like right now- we've just finished... is this way too late for me to be eating?) I've been craving broccoli for dinner which is weird (for me). And eating a lot of fish which is great. Thanks everyone for your input! Feel free to keep encouraging me to eat carbs.... I freaking love them. I hardly ever crave protein.

                          1. re: CoryKatherine
                            c
                            charmedgirl Jan 31, 2009 05:00 AM

                            I'm no expert, but I am fairly confident the reason you are starving at 11:30 is because by that time you've been awake over 6 hours -- including having worked out -- and you've only consumed 150 calories. That sets you up for excessive hunger later and throughout the day. It's also what has you craving carbs so much. Your body is looking for the quick sugar hit because it hasn't been properly fueled. You might find you have more energy during your workouts and are more satisfied during the day if you ate a substantial breakfast in the morning (with the proper mix of protein, fat and carbs), punctuated by a quick snack before the workout or lunch immediately after.

                            Please take this as friendly advice. If your way is working for you then stick with it. But I could have written yout post about a year ago, and someone gave me the advice I'm giving you. I came to learn that, for me, that person was right.

                            1. re: charmedgirl
                              CoryKatherine Feb 1, 2009 01:20 PM

                              No, you're right. I definitely get the idea behind loading up in the morning. And I've actually been trying to get more like 200-250 or more in at breakfast lately by having some hearty oatmeal with fruit or something along those lines... truthfully, I'd have eggs every morning if I had time but the oatmeal is hard enough when i have to be at work at 5! I should definitely try to add more though. Start with a banana on my way to work or something.
                              Thanks for the advice. Do you have any good ideas for a quick and inexpensive breakfast that has that proper mix of nutrients and more calories? That I can eat standing up? lol seriously I'm looking for help here. Maybe I'll make a thread about that...

                              1. re: CoryKatherine
                                ipsedixit Feb 1, 2009 02:23 PM

                                I know you weren't asking me, but here goes (excuse my officiousness):

                                1. Bagel with Peanut Butter
                                2. Pita with hummus (Trader Joe's has a good selection)
                                3. Oatmeal cookies with an apple

                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                  CoryKatherine Feb 1, 2009 02:28 PM

                                  Thanks! Haha I'm down for the bagel with peanut butter but I can't do hummus or cookies in the morning- I'm one of those people who has to have breakfast food for breakfast

                                  1. re: CoryKatherine
                                    SeaSide Tomato Feb 1, 2009 04:21 PM

                                    I make a big batch (about 12 servings) of a Bob's Red
                                    Mill Breakfast cereal. I cook it with a fruit or two, appples, banannas or pears, stir in about a cup or so of ground flax seed and when done, portion it out into glass bowls with plastic covers. top each with a handful of nuts, cinnamon and and maybe some dried fruit. Freeze 6 and keep 6 in fridge. On busy mornings before work, this is ready to go into the microwave for 2 minutes and I have a healthy, well balanced breakfast whenever I need it. The little stockpile in the freezer is there to carry me through even during my busiest weeks. This hour long investment on a Sat or Sunday am is worth it!

                                    1. re: SeaSide Tomato
                                      l
                                      lovessushi Feb 1, 2009 04:51 PM

                                      What about the problem of being STARVING all the time after working out? I have started working out regularly again (7 out of the last 8 days) - an hour of kickboxing and on certain days a martial arts class as well or instead of. Fine. Going well But I am SO hungry!!! Today was my off day and I am embarassed to share how much I ate. Seriously. And I am still hungry. 5 slices of bread (throughout the day) with a tiny bit of pb...3 bananas...a bag and a half of salad...a bowl of cereal...a bit of roasted chicken...and I think that's it. WAY too many carbs and I am STILL hungry. Easily go for a potato/steak dinner now. Maybe I need to add more protein? I know today was heavy on the carbs but usually I only have 1 or 2 slices of bread a day and then I'll try not to have cereal the same day.

                                      To be honest, I have no idea how to eat properly. I don't eat junk food, I just don't think I eat the right foods or food combinations.

                                      Help!

                                      1. re: lovessushi
                                        CoryKatherine Feb 1, 2009 07:21 PM

                                        wow, what an amazing suggestion- detailed and helpful! great idea, thanks!

                                        1. re: lovessushi
                                          chowser Feb 2, 2009 08:43 AM

                                          CoreyKatherine has the right idea about adding more protein. I used to have two slices of plain whole wheat toast for breakfast and was hungry. I went to one sice and added pb or a hard boiled egg. Not more calories but it keeps me full longer and, against CW, I lost weight.

                                          1. re: lovessushi
                                            yamalam Feb 2, 2009 02:09 PM

                                            Lovesushi- I know everyone is different but hey, this may help you so I'll share, and I'm curious if anyone else agrees. I've found that I get the same bottomless hunger when I do cardio indoors. The elliptical, the treadmill, stationary bike, aerobics all make me SOOO hungry. I don't get hungry after lifting, running, tennis or yoga. My husband thinks it's because indoor cardio is so boring and mentally unchallenging that my mind wanders off in its favorite direction (thinking about food!). No clue about your kickboxing class, but maybe vary your workout routine. Plus, if it is your first week back, your body's just adjusting

                                            1. re: lovessushi
                                              c
                                              cimui Feb 3, 2009 10:19 AM

                                              sorry, lovessushi, don't mean to pick on you at all, but just kind of a maternalistic note to all endurance athletes (and to sort of echo ruth laftler's point, below): make sure you eat enough fat!!!! otherwise your body may not function properly (i.e. you may have amenorrhea or feel tired) even if you have enough calories, and you may not feel fully satiated. i know a lot of ppl have different philosophies on this, but i really think it can be good for you to really let yourself eat as much as you want of non-junk foods occasionally. eat a couple of big handfuls of nuts or seeds or four avocados or an entire vat of whole yogurt, or whatever it is that tickles your palate, if you feel that 'bottomless hunger'. your body will thank you for it in the long run.

                                            2. re: SeaSide Tomato
                                              CoryKatherine Feb 1, 2009 07:22 PM

                                              you SHOULD still be hungry! you didn't really have an actual meal at all. that is not a lot of food for a day! More protein will keep you fuller for longer. A little bit of roasted chicken and whatever protein you got in that bread and milk is really not enough if you're working out a lot. Sit down and have a full serving of chicken with some veggies and rice or something for dinner. Seriously, your metabolism will improve and you'll enjoy your workouts more if you eat. Even when I'm dieting, I never let myself be really really hungry. Eat till you're full, just not stuffed- and if you're eating veggies, you can REALLY fill yourself up and no damage is done anyway. Don't be hungry girl! And read through this post and some of the other threads on health foods or workout foods and you'll figure it out! enjoy nourishing yourself...

                                            3. re: CoryKatherine
                                              Ruth Lafler Feb 2, 2009 08:59 AM

                                              Yogurt. Cottage cheese. You can buy individual servings or larger containers you can divvy up ahead of time (the new plastic containers with screw-on lids are great). I use plain yogurt and add my own jam/marmalade/preserves/honey for variety. Same with cottage cheese. With your regimen I'd do fullfat or lowfat, not nonfat. You might try adding a little fat to your oatmeal, too -- a little butter or half and half. The fat slows the absorbtion of the carbs and gives you longer-lasting satisfaction. That's why it's good to eat energy bars that have nuts in them as well.

                                              How about the bagel with cream cheese and lox? That has a pretty good fat/protein/carb combo.

                                              I'd keep a stash of good energy bars for a mid-morning snack, either right before or right after your workout, too. And I mean good ones, not overly processed junk like Powerbars or with too much sugar like Luna bars. Something minimally processed like Clif nectar bars or Larabars. Or just a jar of peanutbutter and some crackers in your desk. :-)

                                          2. re: CoryKatherine
                                            chowser Feb 2, 2009 08:45 AM

                                            You can make up a huge batch of steel cut oatmeal and microwave in the morning. Add a handful of nuts and some fruit for a complete breakfast. I also like to make baked oatmeal and heat it up in microwave. In the summer, I'll make hard boiled eggs in advanced but like my eggs hot in the winter. And, pb on any whole grain starch is good.

                                    2. b
                                      Beach Chick Feb 1, 2009 08:01 PM

                                      if I'm drumming, running, boogie boarding or just getting on my treadmill for an hour, I have to eat..I love cold pasta with a little italian dressing and cold chicken breast..
                                      M&M's peanuts..chunk of cheese is good too..frozen blueberries.. swigged down with a vitamin water, iced coffee or emergen-C...
                                      pancakes are a must for skiing!

                                      1. Miss Needle Feb 2, 2009 02:13 PM

                                        I think it really depends on the person. For me, I won't have anything before a workout. If I eat a meal (I'm okay with something small like a banana), I feel terrible. My body spends all its energy digesting the food instead of giving me the energy to work out. It totally slows me down.

                                        I'm also generally not hungry right after a workout as I think I'm too high on the endorphins.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Miss Needle
                                          l
                                          lovessushi Feb 2, 2009 04:39 PM

                                          Thank you for all the info! I am actually not trying to starve myself - I'm in love with food! It's just that I have minimal time, lots to do, and not a whole lot of patience which pretty much leaves me snacking and picking on this and that instead of actually having a normal meal. Very good point CoryKatherine - thanks - don't worry - I am not trying to be mean to myself, I just don't know how to eat well, healthy, not be hungry and still not gain weight...but I am learning I think :-) Thanks again!

                                          1. re: lovessushi
                                            ipsedixit Feb 2, 2009 08:38 PM

                                            lovessushi,

                                            If you what you really want is a combination of convenience, nutrients, calorie-dense, and taste then I would suggest an energy bar like Clif's or a Lara Bar.

                                        2. j
                                          jecolicious Feb 2, 2009 08:42 PM

                                          Pre-workout would be a slice of bread and some jam. Nothing beats Chocolate Milk Post-workout

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: jecolicious
                                            CoryKatherine Feb 3, 2009 11:13 AM

                                            Chocolate milk post-run = perfection. I usually would have a glass of milk when I came home after an early-evening workout while dinner was being prepared and now I'm really into having chocolate milk after I run whenever. Good call.

                                          2. c
                                            cimui Feb 3, 2009 01:52 AM

                                            i'm a pretty consistent short-distance runner (3-4 miles / day, 6 days / week). if i run in the a.m., i really can't have much in my stomach, beforehand. i don't feel like i process oxygen as efficiently in the a.m., anyway, and if oxygen is also going to the digestive processes, i end up being really, really low energy. at most, i might have a couple of bites of leftovers if i'm awake enough to be hungry. post a.m. run grub standards: whole milk yogurt, hardboiled or tea eggs, grilled fish with rice, plain yogurt with rice, soup or hot cereal (plantain porridge, oatmeal or grits, usually).

                                            i usually eat an afternoon snack around 3-4. that's typically seasonal fresh fruit, dried fruit, sunflower seeds or almonds, dry cereal, tekka maki, brown rice cakes (lundberg makes great ones) with almond butter, leftovers from lunch, or any combo thereof.

                                            evening runs are generally around 8-9. and i eat a full meal, after.

                                            ** just wanted to note that yesterday wasn't typical: i ate a large, pan fried glutinous rice ball with lotus root filling (a chinese new year treat) at about 7 p.m. and had one of the best runs i've had in a long time around 9 p.m. i might have to start doing this on a regular basis!!

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: cimui
                                              ipsedixit Feb 3, 2009 08:13 AM

                                              Rice ball ... nothing like a fat and sugar to get the blood going!

                                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                                c
                                                cimui Feb 3, 2009 10:12 AM

                                                just the fat or the rice, actually, since it was barely sweet -- or perhaps the extra 500 shot of calories. =)

                                            2. t
                                              taboo Feb 3, 2009 06:25 AM

                                              Being that I work out in the AM, I have a piece of fruit beforehand. After, I have breakfast of eggs with fiber crackers or whole wheat toast and more fruit OR Fage yogurt with cereal OR oatmeal with berries. A snack of a protein bar a couple of hours later and then lunch of either a salad with chicken or tuna OR a turkey sandwich on wheat bread and maybe soup. Another snack mid afternoon and dinner is fish (love sushi or grilled salmon) or chicken if I am home or if I go out...although I try to keep it healthy, I tend to indulge and yes....I am a red wine fanatic (which is a good thing I try to get to the gym 4X a week).

                                              1. Bat Guano Feb 3, 2009 07:43 AM

                                                When I used to run in the late afternoons it was either a baked potato about an hour before the run - nuked in the microwave at work, sometimes with a bit of yogurt on top, if I had some - or just an apple in the car on the way to the trail. Now that I row in the early mornings, it's just a 3-oz. yogurt smoothie at 5 a.m., and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at work afterwards.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Bat Guano
                                                  s
                                                  smmenard Feb 25, 2009 01:37 PM

                                                  Your reply was excellent! I've found for myself that liquids before/during/after works. But they gotta be 4/1 ratio. Lance does something similar. After, who wouldn't love a couple toasted slices of 7 grain wheat bread, adam's pb and local honey. Yummy

                                                2. s
                                                  smmenard Feb 25, 2009 01:19 PM

                                                  for pre-workout it's always important to ingest something that will be available within 30 min, usually liquid. 4carb/1pro is the proven ratio to ingest before. cut that with 2/3 water to drink every 15min during. within 20 min after drink the same 4/1gram ratio drink, undiluted. stretch,get home,shower. 1 hour later eat a high pro,med carb,med fat meal with your supplements. Trivia: Frank Shorter Olympic Gold medal in the marathon used to open a can of coke and leave it overnight on the kitchen table and drink it before a long run the next morning. probably uses jolt now.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: smmenard
                                                    u
                                                    umbushi plum Mar 11, 2009 02:23 PM

                                                    i run 12 km a day with my dad every morning as soon as we wake up (have been since i was nine my brothers did to when they were home ;-) ) none of us ever eat before hand but the kitchen is always mighty busy when we get back usually i eat the most (even though i'm the smallest) -
                                                    three slices of toast with avacado and either tuna, eggs or cheese or can of baked beens and two eggs
                                                    plus i always have two apples or a fruit salad or a large mango if they are in season and a cup of natural youghurt
                                                    sometimes instead of all that i'll eat three bowls of All bran (actually rice bran now i have celiac) and bannanas or whatever fruit and lots of organic milk.
                                                    i crave lots of protein when i run usually lots of salmon and veggies for lunch and dinner and i find i crave either roast pumkin or potatos with no fat (i hate the taste of fat anyway always have) or beans for carbs when i run i find they sit better with me.
                                                    and always heaps of water, about a litre for a 12km run at least and oh i forget i don't eat before a run but i do drink a cup of strong tea with three green tea bags in it, i find that really improves my stamina
                                                    hope that helps ;-)

                                                  2. Sam Fujisaka Mar 12, 2009 12:01 PM

                                                    I run three days a week and lift heavy free weights three days a week. I mix some milk, honey, and instant coffee in a jar, shake it up, and drink it 30 minutes before the workout. I drink real coffee and have any food after the workout.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                      c
                                                      Cebca Mar 12, 2009 12:45 PM

                                                      Hmmm, sounds interesting, might give this a try.

                                                    2. s
                                                      soft tofu Jan 3, 2010 08:06 PM

                                                      Before a run, especially one longer than 45+ min, I find oatmeal and some form of caffeine (e.g., tea or coffee and a small piece of dark chocolate) 2 hours before works best.

                                                      Pre/Post run snacks - Kid sized Clif Bars, string cheese, almonds, fruit, "bugs on a log", yogurt w/ granola and/or fruit. Pre-workout snacks usually eaten an hour before and post ASAP.

                                                      Rewarding meals: burgers, pizza, pancakes or waffles with bacon, a good sandwich, etc.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: soft tofu
                                                        kubasd Jan 3, 2010 09:04 PM

                                                        pre run i have about 4 oz black coffee and a banana. sometimes, for a long run (60 min+) i'll add in part of a powerbar. Afterwards, def oatmeal and yogurt for. Night before a race, I eat something spaghetti, prob due to hs indoctrination into spaghetti night before big soccer games. After races, I eat whatever i want, lol. I ran a half marathon last year, and i could only bring myself to eat a larabar (cuz its small), a banana, and some coffee. But i made sure to take advantage of the water/powergel stations

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