The age- old ques­tion ‘ What should I eat be­fore a long run or race?’ plagues ev­ery run­ner. An ideal pre-work­out meal is high in car­bo­hy­drates, mod­er­ate in pro­tein, and low in fat – the lat­ter two are harder to digest, and can cause GI is­sues. Try dif­fere

Runner's World South Africa - - Personal Best -

1. Ba­sic

4 low-fat frozen pan­cakes topped with 1 sliced banana and 1 Tbsp. honey. Serve with 1 cup low-fat milk.

The carbs top off your mus­cles’ glyco­gen stores, which are es­sen­tial for en­durance ath­letes, says sports di­eti­cian Angie Asche. “Quick­act­ing carbs may also in­crease your per­for­mance and your time to ex­haus­tion.” 2. Gluten-Free

2 cups rice ce­real with 1 cup low-fat milk. Serve with 1 cup grapes, ½ cup diced pineap­ple, and a dash of cin­na­mon.

Run­ners with coeliac dis­ease and gluten sen­si­tiv­ity can find carbs from gluten-free grains and fruit.

3. Weight Loss 3-egg-white omelette cooked with olive oil spray and sea­soned with black pep­per and sea salt. Serve with 1 toasted slice sour­dough bread with 2 Tbsp. straw­berry jam, ½ cup sliced pears, and 1 cup low-fat cho­co­late milk.

If you’re try­ing to trim your waist­line, the worst thing you can do is skimp on your pre-run fuel. “Cut­ting carbs would be very detri­men­tal to your per­for­mance,” says Asche. Post-run, re­fuel with lean pro­tein and com­plex carbs, but lay off in­dul­gences like sweets and al­co­hol. Opt for a smaller din­ner such as a sweet potato, a small chicken breast, and a cup of Brus­sels sprouts. A di­eti­cian can cre­ate a nutri­tion plan for your spe­cific train­ing and weight-loss goals.

4. Veg­e­tar­ian or Ve­gan 1 ½ cups cooked in­stant oats made with wa­ter and 1 Tbsp. peanut but­ter, topped with ¼ cup raisins, ½ cup peach slices, 1 Tbsp. honey, and pinch of nut­meg.

Veg­e­tar­ian and ve­gan run­ners should fo­cus on their in­take of pro­tein, iron, and B12 (non-meat sources are for­ti­fied breads, juices, and ce­re­als). For best ab­sorp­tion, pair iron-rich foods (like oats and raisins) with sources of vi­ta­min C – found in many fruits and veg­gies, in­clud­ing peaches.

5. Sen­si­tive Stomach Smoothie made with ½ cup frozen mango, 1 large frozen banana, 1 cup low-fat milk, ½ cup low-fat plain Greek yo­ghurt, 3 Tbsp. in­stant oats, and 1 Tbsp. honey.

The stomach emp­ties liq­uids sig­nif­i­cantly faster than solids. But a smoothie won’t nec­es­sar­ily cure your GI woes. Keep a food jour­nal while you train, not­ing foods and spices that cause GI dis­tress be­fore your long runs. “The night be­fore a long run, keep things bland,” says Colling­wood.

6. Dairy-Free 170 g plain soya yo­ghurt with 1 diced ap­ple and ½ cup low-fat gra­nola, topped with 1 Tbsp. honey. Pair with 3 scram­bled egg whites cooked with olive oil spray and sea­soned with black pep­per and sea salt.

Dairy sources, like yo­ghurt and milk, of­fer pro­tein and carbs – both cru­cial for per­for­mance and re­cov­ery. Un­like many dairy al­ter­na­tives, which pro­vide carbs but lack suf­fi­cient pro­tein, soya-based yo­ghurt has both. Paired with egg whites, it’ll give you an ex­tra boost.

Smart Snack­ing

If you have more than an hour be­tween your breakfast and your run, top your mus­cles off with a small, carb-heavy snack, like one of these. 1 banana

¼ cup dried apri­cots 225g ap­ple juice 2 date balls 5 Salt­i­crax

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