Should I Run Before Breakfast?


You should eat something first. While you are sleeping, your body utilizes liver glycogen to provide a steady source of fuel to your brain and central nervous system; therefore, when you wake up, your liver glycogen stores are depleted, sometimes by up to 80 percent. Because liver glycogen is one of the necessary fuel sources for exercise (along with muscle glycogen and blood glucose), low levels will adversely affect your ability to exercise at a sufficient intensity. You don't need to have a huge breakfast (in fact, too much food immediately before exercise can cause stomach distress), but having some carbohydrate-rich food can increase your energy levels and improve the quality of your workout. Aim for about 50-75 grams of carbohydrate and adjust as necessary based on how your body responds; here are some options to try (each contains between 50-75 grams of carbohydrate):

1 cup yogurt + a half cup of GrapeNuts cereal + 2 tablespoons of raisins


1 cup juice + 1 banana


1 bagel + 1 banana + 1 tablespoon peanut butter


1 PowerBar Performance bar + 8 ounces PowerBar Endurance sports drink

Support Outside Online

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.

Contribute to Outside
Filed To: RunningNutrition
More Health