Should You Drink A Smoothie Before A Run?

Should you drink a smoothie before a run?

There are many things you should never eat or drink right before running to prevent yourself from getting sick, so should you drink a smoothie before a run?

Deciding what to eat and drink before a run can make or break your performance; your breakfast has to serve as the fuel you need to power through. When you consume the wrong things, you’ll feel it on the road. So, can you drink a smoothie before a run? Thankfully, smoothies are generally a great way to power your run, provided you choose one with ingredients that will most benefit your performance.

When To Drink A Smoothie Before A Run?

Before getting into recipes and ingredients, knowing the optimum time to consume a smoothie before a run is essential. You should have your smoothie about 30 minutes to an hour before running, as this gives your body time to digest and begin burning those invaluable simple sugars that will help you power through your run.

Also, note that if you’re using dairy, such as milk, in your smoothies, you may want to give yourself the whole hour or consider a dairy substitute, such as oat milk. This is because fat is slow to digest, so you’ll be left feeling sluggish.

What Makes Smoothies An Ideal Pre-Run Meal?

Smoothies are great before runs because they can provide your body with both pre and post-run nutrition in a format that is easy to consume and faster to digest than solid food. This means you get more immediate results.

The Best Recipes For Pre-Run Smoothies

The Best Recipes For Pre-Run Smoothies
Using ingredients such as low-fat milk or yogurt can give you natural sugar, protein, and simple carbs from fruit

With pre-run smoothies, you want simple sugars and simple carbs that will deliver the protein and energy you need to keep hunger at bay and allow you to meet your goals. The best pre-run meals will be somewhat light and be between 300 and 400 calories.

Using ingredients such as low-fat milk or yogurt can give you natural sugar, protein, and simple carbs from fruit. But, you must be mindful that everyone’s digestive system works differently, so you may need to experiment with certain foods and the time before consuming your smoothies to find the best results.

This is why keeping a journal recording the time you consume your smoothie and its ingredients is a good idea. That way, you can track your progress and determine what ingredients and consumption time before a race works best for you. You might also be wondering is Gatorade good for runners

Banana-Berry Smoothie

This delicious recipe is packed with sweet fruit such as blueberries and strawberries that provide all the simple carbohydrates and yogurt, which is an excellent source of protein. It works as both a pre and post-run smoothie. 

Ingredients

  • One banana
  • A third of a cup of frozen or fresh blueberries
  • A half cup of plain Greek yogurt
  • A third of a cup of frozen or fresh strawberries
  • A half cup of oat or almond milk
  • Two-thirds of a cup of ice

Pineapple-Banana Smoothie

Pineapple-banana smoothie
You get a healthy dose of potassium from the banana

This tropical smoothie delivers some serious vitamin C along with simple carbs from the pineapple. You get a healthy dose of potassium from the banana, which can help prevent muscle cramps after you run.

Ingredients

  • One cup of frozen or fresh pineapple chunks
  • Two to four ice cubes
  • One large banana cut into chunks
  • One cup of oat or almond milk

PB & J Smoothie

This recipe checks all the boxes if you’re looking for a carb and protein-packed breakfast that will give you sustainable energy during your run. You might also find our guide on what to eat the day before a marathon helpful.

Ingredients

  • Half a cup of almond, oat, or non-fat milk
  • One cup of fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt 
  • One tbsp of peanut butter
  • One cup of your choice of frozen fruit

Along with the ingredients mentioned above, you can also add ingredients such as veggies like spinach, beets, or kale and seeds such as ground flax, pumpkin, or almonds to add even more nutrition.

Powdered Supplements For Pre-Run Smoothies

Powdered supplements for pre-run smoothies
Powdered supplements to give your smoothie a supercharged boost

Along with your whole-food ingredients, you can also add your favorite powdered supplements to give your smoothie a supercharged boost. Here are a couple of great options.

  • Cacao powder
  • Goji powder
  • Acai
  • Spirulina
  • Ginger
  • Super-greens blend
  • Protein powder
  • Matcha
  • Coconut oil
  • Green tea

Smoothie Ingredients To Avoid

Not every healthy ingredient is ideal for pre-run smoothies, as some can cause digestive problems and other issues. Here is a list of ingredients you want to keep out of your pre-run smoothies.

  • Artichokes, broccoli, and other high-fiber vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Pears, apples, and other fruits high in fiber
  • Caffeine

Fruit such as apples and pears are probably the biggest mistake most runners make when preparing pre-run smoothies. While these ingredients are just fine for post-run recipes, they can create many issues when you’re on the road and suddenly get a familiar and unwelcome sensation.