If you are a morning runner, it seems like all you need to do is jump in your clothes (unless you sleep in them), stretch and head out the door to hit the road for your daily sweat session.
Before you lace up your shoes, make sure you are fueling properly for the run that you have in front of you. While you were sleeping, you may have not been doing any activity — but your body was busy. As a result, it depleted much of the energy in your system. In fact, researchers have found that your liver glycogen can drop as much as 50 percent while you sleep.
Liver glycogen serves as the main source of fuel for your body when you are running and when it’s depleted, it can lead to you feeling exhausted — impacting the quality of your run. This is why most marathon runners will tell you that the marathon isn’t half over until you reach mile 20, which is when the body’s muscles tend to run out of their glycogen stores.
The best way to fight this depletion comes from a quick bit of fuel in the morning before you head out for your run. For easy morning runs, all you need is about 100 calories of fuel, best served in some Gatorade or energy chews, like the PROBAR Bolt. Longer runs will require a bit more investment in your fueling strategy, and might require some carbs from a bagel or other food option.
However, finding the best fuel for your body and your running needs will take some time. As frustrating as it may be, this will often take place in a form of “trial and error,” where you will have to see how your body reacts, while running, to the various fuel that you put into your body.
Either way, take a few extra seconds to grab some proper fuel before your next morning run. Your body will thank you.