Sunday, May 3, 2015

Nutritional tips for pre-workout fueling

With the Blue Cross Broad Street Run only a month away, it's time for runners to start thinking about how they'll prepare for the big day.

Nutritional tips for pre-workout fueling

Editor’s Note: To help you get ready for the Broad Street Run Einstein Healthcare Network Dietitian Theresa Shank, RD, LDN, has compiled some of the best advice on how to power up your body for this year's race.


Drink at least 8-16 ounces of water one hour before your run.

Consume a carbohydrate rich snack or meal before exercise to top off muscle stores.

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In conjunction with these carbohydrate foods, add in a little protein. A tablespoon of almond butter or a handful of nuts create a perfect pairing to keep you going. Soft-boiled eggs, a string cheese or yogurt are great protein additions as well.

The portion of your pre-workout snacks needs to be in proportion with the level of physical activity that you are going to participate in. Since you are participating in a 10-mile run you will want to eat a full meal with at least 50 grams of carbohydrate two to three hours before the run and then a snack that contains at least 30 grams of carbohydrates 30 minutes before the start of the race, such as a small piece of fruit, sports drink or gel pack.

The timing of your workout and pre-fuel eating is important. Your goal is to make sure you have some carbohydrates and a little bit of protein in your system about 30 minutes to one hour before your workout. When you are fueled up with the proper, slow-burning, energizing foods, you are more likely to show up and be effective with your time.

Choose pre-exercise meals that are low in fat and fiber to ensure optimal digestion.

Sports drinks with 4-8 percent of carbohydrate (Look at Daily Value Percentage) provide a convenient vehicle for both maintaining hydration and consuming carbohydrates.


  • 6 ounces of Greek yogurt with 10 almonds and ½ grapefruit
  • 2 slices of  whole wheat bread with 1 tbsp of peanut butter and 2 tsp of fruit preserves
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, a slice of whole wheat toast and a small piece of fruit
  • ½ cup trail mix (cashews, dried craisins or raisins, almonds, walnuts etc) and 1 low-fat string cheese
  • 1 English muffin or Martin’s Whole Wheat Potato Bread with ½ of a banana and 1 tbsp of almond butter
  • Low-fat string cheese with 12 whole-grain crackers and 10 grapes


Try to eat a small snack with a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein within 15 minutes of your run. Then, within two hours after your run, eat a meal.

  • 1 banana, 1 cup almond or soy milk, 1 tbsp peanut butter, and a dash of cinnamon
  • 1 medium sweet potato with a lean protein (3 oz chicken breast or fish)
  • 20 almonds with a low fat cheese string and a  piece of fruit
  • Hummus with apple slices and 1 slice of whole wheat bread
  • 1 cup oatmeal with 1 tbsp peanut butter and ½ frozen berries
  • 8 ounces of Greek yogurt with 1 piece of fruit
  • 1 Martin’s Whole Wheat Potato Bread with 2 slices of Turkey and 1 slice of reduced fat cheese

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