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What to eat before your early morning run

If you're already waking up very early to run, chances are you don't want to push the alarm up to accommodate digestion time

Running foods recovery

Running foods recovery

If you’re already waking up very early to run, chances are you don’t want to push the alarm up to accommodate digestion time. Depending on the length of your run, you don’t necessarily need to take in calories. For some people, for anything under an hour they’re fine on an empty stomach. For others, they need some calories to get through 30 minutes. It’s totally personal. However, if you’re doing an a.m. workout that will be longer or high intensity, food is encouraged.

Everyone is different when it comes to eating pre-run, but here are some ideas for early morning nutrition. 

If an early morning meal or snack doesn’t sit well in your stomach, try a gel. Maurten is an interesting brand that’s relatively new to the market. It’s a hydrogel sports drink designed to limit gastrointestinal issues. It’s available in 160 calories and 320 calories. They are the same product, but the 320 is more concentrated. Many of the world’s fastest marathoners, such as Eliud Kipchoge, swear by the drink and have used it to help them to top performances. The only issue with this drink mix is that it’s a little expensive. At $3.95 per package it’s a pricey morning-run staple. 


Gu is a slightly cheaper, and some would say tastier alternative to Maurten. With a wide variety of flavours, and conveniently small packaging, a Gu gel is easily slipped into your pocket for a mid-run boost. 

If whole food is your sustenance of choice, try foods that are easily digestible and carbohydrate-dense. For example, a banana, piece of toast or a small bowl of oatmeal. Energy bites, such as these bitter chocolate and sea-salt sticky bites are also a great idea if a small snack is what you’re looking for. 


For morning caffeine, Run Gum is a great option if you want a pick-me-up without liquid sloshing in your stomach. Run Gum is caffeine gum that includes 50 mg of caffeine per piece. It’s effective within minutes of chewing. 

RELATED: The link between coffee and running performance

For an early morning runner, the previous night’s evening meal is also important. Try to have a nutritionally dense and balanced meal the night before. A satisfying dinner will help keep you energized into your morning activity. A morning nutrition routine is truly trial and error, so beat the heat and figure out which food option is best for you.