What To Eat Before A Marathon?

Marathons, as well as other types of long distance runs, require plenty of preparation before the big day.

What To Eat Before A Marathon?

Along with making sure that you’re armed with a water bottle and have the latest and greatest running equipment – eating right should also be at the top of your running priority checklist. 

When you run for long periods of time, your blood will naturally be encouraged to flow away from your digestive tract in order to be able to  support your muscles, which can then slow down digestion and cause stitches and heartburn which can interfere with your ability to run. 

Along with that, lots of marathon and long distance runners also like to make sure that they are fortifying their bodies with foods that are going to be able to help maximize their performance and stamina on the big day – but what foods are they, exactly? 

This is where we come in to lend a helping hand.

To help ensure that you are able to complete your marathon run with flying colors, and perhaps even hit a new personal running best on the big day – below you will find a helpful breakdown of the best foods you should eat prior to your marathon.

Let’s begin!

What To Eat Before A Marathon?

Before you embark on your marathon run, you’re going to want to have made sure that you’ve fueled your body with everything that it is going to need to be able to function properly throughout the marathon.

When it comes to marathons, you’ll want to make sure that you’re not eating anything beforehand that is high in protein, fiber or saturated fat, as these are harder for the body to digest than other types of food.

In addition to being harder to digest, you might also find yourself experiencing bloating, gas and even a stitch during the marathon.

So, instead, you should be focused on eating foods that are high in nutrients but easy on the digestive system. 

To give you an idea of what types of foods are ideal for eating prior to a marathon, let’s take a look at some of the top food options below: 

Fruit And Vegetables

This one should go without saying, but before your marathon, you should make sure that you are fueling your body with fresh fruits and vegetables that are ideally high in potassium.

These include fruits and vegetables such as bananas, apples, cucumbers, spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, grapefruit, raisins and more.

All of these are fantastic sources of potassium, and will help to lower the chances of muscle cramps while also fortifying your body with nutrients.


What To Eat Before A Marathon?

Next up on our list we have selected smoothies, which are other great food options that you can enjoy both the night and morning before your marathon run.

Why? Well, besides being refreshing and delicious, smoothies are forgiving on the small intestines thanks to the simple fact that all of the foods inside the smoothie have already been blended. 

So, in other words, your body’s digestive system isn’t going to go to the trouble of breaking down all of the foods.

As a side note, if you suffer from bloating and want to avoid this during your upcoming marathon, we recommend mixing some ginger into your smoothie which will help to aid in the digestion process.

Leafy Greens

Next up, our list just wouldn’t have been complete without putting leafy greens in the spotlight.

Not only are leafy greens simply full to the brim with potassium, magnesium, and a variety of other much needed nutrients, they’re also easy to digest and super filling – which makes them the perfect meal to prepare you for a long distance, marathon run.

If you’d like to eat some leafy greens in the run up to your marathon (pardon the pun) we recommend creating delicious leafy green salads that you will be able to enjoy as you build up to the big day.

Not only that, but leafy green salads are also easily digestible, so it’s perfect for runners.

Snacking Nuts

Are you the type of runner that likes to snack?

Ideal for eating before or even during, nuts are full of unsaturated fat as well as plenty of protein, iron, potassium, magnesium, and copper.

Thanks to this fortifying blend, it means that nuts are perfect for helping to reduce muscle cramps that can be associated with distance runs, as well as being downright delicious.

If you’d like to eat nuts before embarking on your marathon run, why don’t you consider doubling up on the nutrients and mixing them into a yummy salad? 


Last but certainly not least, another great food to consider eating the night or even the morning before your marathon is oats!

Full to the brim with healthy carbs as well as lots of slow-release fiber, oats are just perfect for eating before you embark on a marathon run as oats are able to provide slow-burning energy while also being able to ensure that your body has been fortified with nutrients. 

If you’d like to try oats before your next marathon, why don’t you whip up some overnight oats the night before the big race day and enjoy them in the morning?

Wrapping Up

Now that you have read through all of the above, we hope that you’re feeling much more confident about what foods you should eat before you embark on a marathon run, as well as what foods are better avoided until after race day.

Remember, the information that we have provided above should only be taken as general guidelines for what type of food you should eat before a marathon.

As everyone’s body is different, we recommend that you trial and error with different types of foods to see which works best for you – as well as what foods don’t!

Thank you for reading, and good luck!

Richard Harris