29 Mar 5 Pre-Run Carb Loading Quick Meals
Just as cars need fuel to burn, when you run, you need fuel to burn too, and Carbs is your fuel. Carbs are stored in your body tissue (your muscles) in the form of Glycogen so your body can get to them to produce the energy you need. In a nutshell, when your run, your body will rely on these reservoirs for energy production. When your body uses Glycogen, it will break down and convert to Glucose, which will be the primary source for blood glucose used by the rest of the body for fuel.
When a major race is near, it is recommended a Carb loading phase before the race, consisting usually of 3-5 grams of carb for every pound of weight for 2-3 days prior to the race (in average). But what about those daily runs, meaning, your everyday training. Well, you need Carbs too. Your performance goals will be achieved by a more efficient run every time you train. Meaning, providing your body with the right foundation for physical demands is key for a successful running experience.
These are 5 Carb loading quick meals, easy and quick for everyday training, that will provide a good load of Carbs, so your body has the reservoirs it needs to produce the energy you need, and perform better.
1. Bagels with Peanut Butter
A classic American…and how tasty! This quick meal before a run is one of our favorites and one of the best. Peanut Butter is full of monounsaturated fat (also used by your body for energy production), protein (good for muscles), and carbs. The peanut butter on top of a bagel is what makes this one a great carb loading meal. One bagel could provide between 35 to 75 grams of Carbs. This is the perfect mix to keep those energy levels up during your run. Quick to prepare and so tasty!
2. Banana and Peanut Butter
In case you are a morning runner, and in case you are not feeling like getting that bagel so early, you can try a quick twist: just eat a banana with some peanut butter spread on it. You are still getting the benefits of a good load of carbs, protein, monounsaturated fat, and potassium. This one is quick and tasty too!
3. Oatmeal and Banana (and a tip)
This one is also one of our favorites. Oatmeal is super nutritious and a very good source of carbs and fiber. They also provide a good amount of protein and fat (more than most of grains) and is also loaded with important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Bananas, besides being a good source of carbs, are also rich in potassium which regulates fluid balance, among other benefits.
You can put half cup of oatmeal with half cup of water into a bowl and heat for 1:20 minutes in the microwave. Pour some honey (to add some flavor) and chop a banana. This is quick and tasty meal is perfect before your daily runs. Want to add even more fuel? Add some raisins to it, and you are getting the ultimate fuel. Raisins can contain up to 34 grams of carbs in a small box. So yes, put them in!
4. Rice cakes with Peanut Butter and Organic Low Sugar Orange Marmalade
This one is a delicious combination providing also a good amount of carbs, protein, and nutritional content. Orange marmalade will add a low (but needed) amount of calories, besides its good vitamin content. If you are worried about calories intake, you need to understand that your body needs them (specially as pre-run meal) to prepare your body properly for what is coming, and organic low sugar marmalade provides only 70 calories approx (when your daily intake should be around 350 to 500 calories). Orange marmalade, among other things, contains no fat, contains Vitamin C, and is low in sodium. Definitely a good complement to fuel up your energy levels.
***Make sure to use low sugar organic foods
5. Dried Fruit
Dried fruits are a great way to fuel up as they are quickly absorbed by your body to replenish glycogen fairly quick. You can get a handful of dried apple, apricot, pear, and raisins before the run. This will keep your energy levels up, and hey, this is a super quick and tasty option. Apples, apricots, pears, and raisins will have the highest carb content in dried fruits. ¼ cup of this mixture can have up to 25 grams of carbohydrate.
If you are a morning runner, and you don’t feel like getting a fueling meal before your runs, you can try half portions of them. But make sure to get at least some. You need to give your body what it needs to function properly. When you run, your body will get to your ‘energy reservoirs’ to fuel up, and if there is nothing there, you will end up creating disbalances that might impact your performance.