Fueling for Success: Stewart Skloss' Nutrition Tips for Runners

Successful runners must constantly work on their physical and mental health so they can overcome challenges to keep going. A big part of this that is sometimes overlooked is what runners put into their body, says physical trainer Stewart Skloss.

Just like a car needs the right fuel to work, runners need the right fuel as well. Proper nutrition is essential for everyone who wants to be a successful runner, as it helps to optimize both performance and endurance.

Below, Stewart Skloss provides nutrition tips for runners for before, during and after a run.

Before a Run

Eating right before you run will help prepare your body for the physical challenges it's about to face. Running on an empty stomach is not a good idea, as your body won't have the energy it needs to push through, which could lead to burnout in the middle of the run.

A few hours before a run, it’s a good idea to eat a full meal that includes a lot of carbohydrates. It can include a mix of complex carbs -- fruit and whole grains -- and simple carbs -- white potatoes -- to prepare your body.

If you prefer to run early in the morning, don't skip on eating just because of the time. Instead, make sure that you eat a smaller meal that has carbs and some protein roughly a half hour before you start.

During a Run

The longer you run, time wise, the more likely it is that your body is going to need to re-fuel. Specifically, if you are planning to run for an hour or more, then it's a good idea to eat something while you're running.

Of course, this doesn't mean you need to stop and have a full meal. If you plan properly, you can refuel while you continue to run.

Sports drinks that include carbohydrates are a good thing to consume, as long as they're not too heavy on sugar. Coconut water, for instance, would fit this bill. You can also opt for a pouch of applesauce or other pureed fruit such as banana.

All of these foods can easily be consumed while you're running, and will help to give your body the jolt it needs to keep going.

After a Run

It's equally as important to eat good food when your run is over. While you won't need the fuel to keep going anymore, eating specific things after you complete your run will help your body to recover better.

Stewart Skloss says that it's important for runners to eat something within an hour after they run. Complex carbohydrates help your body to recover, as they help to replenish sugars that your body used for the run. It's also a good idea to consume protein following a run, as that will help to rebuild and repair muscles.

This recommended combination of complex carbs and protein is why many people who work out will drink a fruit smoothie that has protein powder when they're done for the day.

You could also sit down for a full balanced meal of a lean protein with grilled vegetables if you don't prefer to drink your post-run meal.

About Stewart Skloss

Stewart Skloss, a passionate physical trainer from Austin who specializes in running, empowers clients to achieve their fitness goals and reach new heights.

Though long retired from racing, Skloss uses his expertise to benefit top contenders in various endurance events. Stewart’s welcoming coaching style and dedication to his clients have earned him widespread admiration in the fitness community. Join him for a free run and experience his inspiring guidance firsthand.