What to Eat (or drink) While Running

I bonked on my run this weekend because I wasn’t properly fueled ( I forgot my Gus – it’s not because I don’t know better). gatorade

Someone commented and asked if G2 was enough to drink on a long run and I’ve gotten a lot of questions about this topic in the past.

What you should eat or drink on a run depends on a lot of things – how much you’re running, how your body handles it, whether or not you want to live to run another day…monica at malibu

This info from Racing Performance says you should eat 200 – 250 calories per hour of the run. That’s 50 – 60 grams of carbohydrates and it can be in the form of a sports drink if you want. Tweak this as needed for your body, but get in the ball park.IMG_0086 (800x600)

Remember – if you are asking a lot of your body (as in making it run for 90+ minutes at a time) then you should be giving it a lot too – in the form of good food and drinks.

FYI- This bag of powerbar gels (it’s the biggish bag)DSCF4035 (800x600)

Has 190 calories.powerbar gels info

My fave gel…chocolate honey stinger

has 120 calories. DSCF4048 (800x600)

If you don’t like packing your fuel with you may I suggest that you sign up for the Krispy Kreme Challengekrispy kreme challenge

Where you must eat a dozen donuts over the course of the 4 mile run! Okay I’ll do it, twist my arm Winking smileespn krispy kreme(source)

In other news – either I need to change the settings on this new camera or it isn’t a winner…DSCF4010 (800x600)

See ya later Winking smile DSCF4034 (800x600)


  1. Ida says

    I grew up in NC- the Krispy Kreme challenge is epic. The girl in that photo looks like she’s dominating!

  2. says

    I like donuts and all but I would totally vom doing that. GROSS!

    I need to start running longer distances so I can justify buying gus and gels.

  3. says

    I’m not a fan of Krispy Kreme. Their donuts are too sweet, but I am a fan of donuts, at least donut holes, during races. I grabbed one from a spectator with a box at my first half marathon last fall. It tasted much better than GU and I know I needed those calories since I didn’t have gels/chews on me. Now I use watermelon chomp and GUs for long runs. If I’m cheap, it’s gummy bears.

  4. says

    I got some Powerbar Energy Blast thingamys in my finishers pack from my half-marathon last year. I couldn’t eat them (think they contain gelatin) so I gave them to a friend. He ate one straight out of the bag and said it was nasty – but I think they’re the kind of thing that only tastes good after you’ve been working out for an hour or so beforehand! lol

      • says

        It’s the same with special camping food too – tastes like gourmet food when you’re eating it in the shelter of your tent (and if you’re in the UK, most likely listening to the rain and wind outside!) but not as good when you’re at home (…I’ve been guilty of eating a vegetable curry that was left over from a camping trip at home, I have no shame).

        It’s amazing how much your tastebuds change when your body is under stress!

  5. says

    I definitely think how you fuel is entirely dependent on your personal body. I run for over an hour every morning and the only thing my stomach can handle is Poweraid. Water makes me puke but the sugar in the poweraid is crucial to get me through. I also can never eat before hand but choose to fuel with all the calories afterwards. It took a lot of “bad” runs to figure this out though.

  6. Kianni says

    I’ve run for over an 2 hr. 30 mins. and I never had to eat during a run, in fact towards the end is when I feel my best, after about an hour 15 minutes I always tend to pick it up and feel more energized. Usually no water either, unless it’s hot out- which I start at 5:30 so it’s usually not. I’ve kinda always wished I’ve gone out running long enough to have to take food, but at the same time it feels like it’d just complicatet things as I figure the “50-60 grams of carbohydrates” would be way off for me- I’m only 4ft 10, so I usually think half of that other people take- most people think 100 calories burned per mile, I say 50 for me, lol.

    • says

      Running that long without fuel is too much in my opinion. You don’t “have to” eat, as in you die at the end, but you’re doing your body a disservice by working it that long without replenishing fuel stores. Our bodies don’t carry enough fuel for 2 1/2 hours for sure!

      I thought my body burns less than 100 calories an hour because I’ve been running so long and “its used to it”, but my BodyBugg proved that wrong. I bet you burn more than you think (at least more than 50!).

      • Kianni says

        I think it just depends what you eat before you run- I can eat breakfast before my runs and after. Same thing all the time before my runs- yogurt with frozen papaya and blueberries,cereal sprinkled on or honey or craisins or banana, and then a half a wrap with pb spread on it. Keeps me going- of course I know some people have problems eating before running, but I’ve found this works perfect for me. I don’t really care how many calories I burn running anyway, but I’d find having to calculate how many to eat during a run annoying- but if my body ever does feel like I need to eat, then I will, but I haven’t gotten to the point where I feel like I need a pick-me-up. I’m interested to see though when I do and how far I can get 8)

  7. says

    Great post! I’ve seen the Krispy Kreme race before. I love me some doughnuts, but I’m not sure I could keep them down.

    My sister-in-law is trying to get me to sign up for a race next month where you run 2 miles, eat a Chipotle burrito and then run the 2 miles back. That’s a disaster waiting to happen.

  8. says

    I completed the Krispy Kreme Challenge in 2010 and it was no easy feat! The first two donuts are tasty fuel, followed by 10 donuts shoved into a dry mouth and full stomach. Of course, that paled in comparison to the two mile run back with a donut baby! I’ve completed five marathons, but finishing the KKC in 48 minutes is my proudest feat! I could see where the simple carbs and gooey goodness of a single donut would make good running fuel though :-)

  9. Lauren says

    Thanks so much for this post! I stupidly waited too long to test this out on a long run. My 11 miler last weekend would have been perfect ::DOH::

    If it rains tomorrow AM, I’ll be the girl “sneaking” a cliff shot block or 2 on my 3 miler at the gym. My stomach is pretty tough, but if I think it’s going to be an issue I’ll try some regular gatorade. G2 is only 5 carbs / 8oz. Whoops!

    My (1st) half is Saturday and it might rain, I am getting super nervous.

  10. says

    I just tried those Powerbar Energy blasts, they are pretty good, a little chewy but good and enough calories for before, during or after a run. I also used GU gels when I ran my half marathon, they are easy to get down and I like the flavors.

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