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Full Stomach or Empty Stomach

posted over 4 years ago | Report

What is the consensus on running on a full stomach or empty stomach? How long do you wait after eating before going for a run?

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  • I have done both. I usually try to snack on something about an hour before like a little bit of pasta or some fruit. A full stomach made me tired and an empty stomach made me angry and tired.

    posted over 4 years ago

  • I'd say the waiting time is relative to different people, but the general consensus seems to be one hour.

    I've also done both and felt horrible. It's good practice to have a light snack before doing a hard workout. I read it has something to do with blood sugar etc..etc...

    posted over 4 years ago

  • All depends on how long or how intense. for short runs, I usually go empty.
    For long runs 10+ miles, I make it a point to have something to eat 1/2 hour or more before the run. I tend to get pretty hungry at 10 and am famished by 14 miles. A banana and a yogurt seem to go down well before a run. During long runs, your choice of gel/beans/blocks. But if I get hungry, I try to bring some chocolate Shot Roks along.

    So, something to eat, but not a full meal.

    posted over 4 years ago

  • in reply to what said:I have done both. I usually try to snack on something about an hour before like a little bit of pasta or some fruit. A full stomach made me tired and an empty stomach made me angry and tired.

    I feel the same way about timing this. I try to have a banana 20 mins before doing anything if I'm exercising early morning since it digests fastest. If you're like me and prone to acid reflux you'll want to work on an empty stomach (but not feeling empty of calories).

    posted over 4 years ago

  • From time to time I too get acid reflux. I totally understand the feeling!

    posted over 4 years ago

  • Neither. Generally I eat something before I run, but watch out for foods that are slow to digest or give you gas. I eat a bowl of cereal 45 mins before my morning 4.3. If I ran more though it would probably start to make me nauseous. I eat 3 small lunches throughout the day now so the late lunch doesn't upset my stomach for my afternoon 4.3. A word of warning: don't eat brown rice before a run. I switched from white to brown for a while and it gave me major stomach problems during runs.

    posted over 4 years ago

  • For me it a mixture of what time allows and some deliberate planning...

    Weekends, I typically wait 1 hour to 90 minutes after eating then run (10k to 14k)... I find this helps my breathing and my energy level. I try to run before lunch because breakfast is a mainly carbohydrate meal for me... lunches and dinners are mixed food types and sometimes result in a bit of reflux when running.

    Weekdays, I typically run shortly after dinner (between 20 and 40 minutes after). I put in about 5k to 5.25K. Unless I over eat because of some great food... I don't have much trouble with that quick of a run right after dinner. When I do over eat at dinner I "feel" like I'm short of breath (I'm not really... just a bit of reflux)...

    posted over 4 years ago

  • I run first thing in the morning, and run empty for short runs. If I'm going an hour or more, I'll eat a banana and drink a sports drink. If I run later after waking, like at a race, I'll eat my normal light breakfast, i.e. oatmeal, banana, juice, at least an hour before running. I hate running full.

    posted over 4 years ago

  • I ate huevos rancheros (two eggs, tortilla, beans, salsa) about 1:45 before a run this weekend. Thought it would be down long enough for it to give me some sustained energy. Not only did I get cramps the 1st few miles, but even after 10 miles, I still felt it weighing heavily in my stomach. To the point where I couldn't start my gels (actually, I'm a cliff bock guy) untill 12+ miles and hit the wall at 18. My theory was that since there was heavy protein in my system, it inhibited the quick absorption of gels that I needed to extend my glycogen stores. The last 3 miles of my 22er were 'character building'.

    posted over 4 years ago

  • this weekend was the first time my husband and I were going to run at the gym soon after dinner we agreed we wouldn't do that again...it was tough and we were dragging...we are new to running so that may have been a factor too...we feel like we have hit a wall.

    posted over 4 years ago

  • I have a very quirky stomach. I need a minimum of four hours after a meal - and even that's pushing it. I try to do my runs in the morning. I'll usually eat a Power Bar or two pieces of peanut butter toast before a run. That gives me SOMETHING in my system, but nothing that will aggravate my stomach. Before my marathon, I had two Power Bars, one about 2 1/2 hours before the race, the other about 1/2 to 2 hours before it.

    I've read stuff about having a little more substantial a pre-race meal, but it wouldn't work for me.

    Made the awful mistake of having McDonald's four hours before a hill workout last summer. The site of the hill workout was about two miles from where we started. I had to cut the workout one repeat short (each repeat was the equivalent of six uphills) and figured the jog back wouldn't be a big deal. I had to walk most of it, my stomach hurt so much. It was the strangest feeling, one I hope never to experience again.

    posted over 4 years ago

  • If i am in a rush to get out the door then a hammer gel and banana. but if i have time I'll have a bowl of wheaties, some natural peanut butter and a banana and usually wait 2 hrs before.

    posted over 4 years ago

  • My thought process is never to both. In my mind it is important for our bodies to be fueled whenever we set out on an exercise program. I usually have a bananna and a slice of toast with a bit of peanut butter for a morning run, or prior to a race & at least 1 to 1.5 hrs prior to to allow for digestion. As well I ensure I am well hydrated before and during my run with water. If it is long run I will take an energy drink with me. Coming back from my run I will always refuel with another bananna, or a yogurt, nothing too heavy until my body returns to normal.
    I suggest experiment a bit to see what works for you, this is what I have done and continue to do as I am forever learning. This has the advantage as well in that you will know what will work for you prior to a race. Speaking of which, never try something new prior to a race, sometimes even a new different brand of socks can ruin your day :)
    Hopefully this helps Chris, good luck!

    posted over 4 years ago

  • I like to run on an empty stomach. My morning training runs are always empty. Races I always run on an empty stomach, from 5k to Marathons. Much more so on the shorter races because I have at times pushed my self to the limit with some gut spliting finishes, and I know if my stomach had been full, well... it wouldn't have been after the finish. On long races like a 1/2 or full marathon, I just want to advoid any bowel issues, so I figure the less in there the better. Besides, if you have prepared well for a distance race, your body will be running on what you ate over the last several days before the race. Anyway, just my opinion on what worked for me.

    posted over 4 years ago

  • If you are eating correctly all the time it really should be too much of a problem either way.. that is - complex carbs store in your system hours before your run - so the day before is important too - as said before on shorter runs this is less important.. I'd leave it 2 hours though before running or you may end up with a stitch or being sick.. also - the food will not be digested properly and therefore be a pointless intake.
    If you do eat close to running - ie 2-3 hours before - don't eat fatty foods or food high in protein,, sticks to carbs.. for longer runs complex carbs and short faster runs get some energy carbs in you! :))

    posted over 4 years ago

  • In my youth I waited two hours after eating to run. Now in my middle age I have adjusted to running either on empty stomach or after eating a snack or small meal, but never a large meal. I race on an empty stomach.

    posted over 4 years ago

  • in reply to what Ron L. said:I like to run on an empty stomach. My morning training runs are always empty. Races I always run on an empty stomach, from 5k to Marathons. Much more so on the shorter races because I have at times pushed my self to the limit with some gut sp... read more

    I totally agree with your answer. For me I've always done the same thing, and it seemed to work well. (I always ran my 20-mile long runs with nothing on my stomach, and I could always run 7:30 - 8.00 mile pace). I felt great the entire run, and always ate a good meal afterwards. So were my races, etc including the big one = 26.2-miles.

    God Bless "You & Your-Family" is My Dailymile Prayer.+
    Jimmy. ( =

    posted over 4 years ago | edited over 4 years ago

  • Thank you for saying this Ron, everyone makes a big deal about me not eating but I will have a day full of GI tract issues if I try and eat something before a race.

    posted about 3 years ago

  • Chris
    for me it's a question of nausea or not.
    Nausea is not my feeling of choice or indeed is its big brother Chuck or in Scotland we have Hugh (think about it).
    So its running on empty for me with a 2 hour gap ideally.
    cheers

    posted about 3 years ago

  • I can pretty much eat anything anytime but I have always had a bit of an iron constitution. I'm kind of a human garbage disposal (but with a taste for fine dining). Worst problem I have is if my wife cooks low carb for a few days and I don't compensate. Nothing worse than trying to run when the heaviest meal you had in the past 24 hrs was a salad with some grilled chicken on it. During my marathon I ate bananas, chocolate covers pretzels, chocolates, gels, anything thy handed out on the course. I would have had biscuits and gravy if they handed it to me!

    posted about 3 years ago

  • Varies radically depending on the person, the workout, the conditions etc.. I discovered the other day that 1 hour after a full sized meal was WAY too soon. I'm afraid it's one of those trial and error things.

    posted about 3 years ago

  • hey people i need some advice i am i highschooll distance runner and and have a pr of 4:33 for the full mile 9:38 32000 and been running for about a year and a half this year is my second season of track and right now i am struggling to have a good mile race because every time i race it i either feel to heavy with liquid or food and i feell as if my body retains it . because of this i have triex eating earlier about 4hr before my race and stop drinking liquids 2 hrs beforw but then still when i race i feel really heavy and as if theres weight holding me down . if anybody has any advice please let me know of what i can do or what will help.

    posted over 1 year ago

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