TOLT: My Favorite Fuel
Hello everyone! How are you all doing?
Now that I'm deep into half marathon training, I decided to share what my favorite fuel is for running! I have it broken down into pre-, during and post-run. I have a really sensitive stomach, and can't handle much food before a running (especially a race) so you'll notice that section is particularly empty. I'm still trying to experiment and figure out what will work, but so far I'm coming up empty! If anyone has suggestions please leave it in the comments!
Also, I'm linking up with Amanda for Thinking out Loud Thursday!
Before:Bananas- Pretty much the only thing my stomach can handle before a run. I typically have a banana about 2 hours before a race, and occasionally before a workout. I've tried mixing bananas in smoothies with some coconut water and that also works well!
Water- I try to keep things simple and just sip on water constantly. I used to only run after work, so I made sure to hydrate throughout the day. I notice a huge difference in the quality of my workout if I drink water or not. Now that I try to run before work, I make sure to have a glass of water as soon as I wake up.
Coffee- If I have a particularly tough workout, or a longer morning workout, I'll drink a tiny amount of coffee. I can't drink too much or it bothers my stomach, but having about a half cup seems to help my performance. There have been studies done on the effects of caffeine + running, and most signs point to the positives: mental alertness, improved mood, and boost in performance. I make sure to drink mine black, and it helps a ton!
Saltstick Caps- I talk about these all the time, but they are amazing! I can tell a difference immediately when I take one of these during a race. My legs don't feel as tired, I don't feel nauseous, and I can run faster! These have been an absolute life saver for me.
Water- I've tried to take Gatorade during races, but it always ends up bothering my stomach. I usually stick with just water at fluid stops. For longer races (half marathon and up), I sometimes will take a cup of Gatorade and water towards the end of the race if I'm really struggling, and have about a 1:1 ration of Gatorade to water and it doesn't bother me as much.
Chocolate Milk- I love drinking chocolate milk after tough runs! Not only is it a great recovery drink because it has a ratio of 4 grams carbs to 1 gram of protein (perfect balance to promote muscle recovery after endurance exercise), it's also delicious. It's like having a reward after a challenging workout, but also helps you recover. What could be better!
Tart Cherry Juice- After every run and workout, I drink a bit of tart cherry juice. It helps to significantly reduce muscle soreness and pain. It's actually amazing how well it works! If you're interested in reading more about the science behind the juice, read this. My favorite way to have it is blended with frozen mango and banana with chia seeds. Refreshing and filling!
Coconut Water- During the summer, I absolutely LOVE to drink coconut water after running. It's so refreshing and hydrating after sweating it out in the hot sun. I would recommend trying Trader Joe's coconut water- it's the best tasting brand I've tried (and I've tried a lot!). I also love using CW as a base for smoothies if I'm craving something with more substance!
What is your favorite fuel for running?