What to Eat Before a Run

Running in 60 to 90 Minutes

Hummus and Carrots

This protein-and-carb combination will help keep you satisfied during long runs. The sodium in hummus will make you thirsty for a few extra sips of H20. Carrots are rich in beta carotene, and according to a study review published in 2010 in the journal Nutrients, eating carotenoid-packed fruits and vegetables may help defend skin against sun damage. Good news for midday runners.

Snack Right

Pick up handy single-serve cups, like Sabra Hummus Singles. A few whole-grain crackers or a wheat pita are other smart dunkables.

Instant Oatmeal

A good source of whole grains, "oatmeal is great for longer runs because it sticks to your ribs without feeling heavy," Dowell says. The instant variety is convenient, plus one pack supplies 40 percent of your daily need for iron.

More: 15 Quick and Healthy Breakfasts

Snack Right

Plain instant oatmeal is the best choice, but it's also okay to go with sweetened varieties when you're clocking longer runs. The extra sugar will provide quick fuel.

Sweet Potatoes

High in carbs, sweet spuds provide long-lasting energy for your run, says Lewin. One has 230 percent of your daily need for vitamin A, key for a strong immune system. The skin contains soluble fiber, which, according to a study in Obesity, can help reduce belly fat when paired with exercise. But if you eat it, give yourself an hour or more to digest before running.

Snack Right

Microwave a small sweet potato at home, wrap it up, and take to work. Reheat in a microwave. "It's also just as tasty cold," Lewin says.

More: Why Are Carbs Important?

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