Classic Banana Oatmeal with peanut butter is a tasty and sustaining way to fuel for long training runs and races.
What’s the best food to eat before a workout or competition? This is a question I get often because the last thing an athlete wants is to feel sluggish and weighed down from food. If you have a sensitive stomach, you’ve likely had issues with pre-workout fuel which makes it tempting to forgo eating all together for fear the food won’t settle well. I can assure you that skipping the pre-workout meal isn’t the best strategy if you have performance in mind. We just have to figure out the right formula for your body.
A pre-workout meal is meant to keep your tummy from grumbling during exercise, and to sustain your body with energy so you don’t get a low blood sugar, all while fueling your working muscles. If pre-workout food is foreign to your body, you need to train your gut to tolerate fuel. Because everyone has a different tolerance level for food, you should experiment with what works best for you during your training instead of waiting until the day of competition.
Fatty foods like bacon avocado cheeseburgers or foods with lots of roughage and fiber like bean soup tend to be harder to digest and are likely to cause stomach upset because they sit in the stomach longer. Eat foods that are easy for your body to tolerate and make sure that you allow enough time for digestion. Here’s a general rule of thumb for meal timing.
• Big/Full Meal: Allow 3-4 hours to digest
• Small Meal: Allow 2-3 hours to digest
• Smoothie/Liquid Meal: Allow 1-2 hours to digest
When I was on the triathlon team in college, my mainstays were peanut butter bagels and of course hotel coffee. Bagels and peanut butter are so easy to pack in a travel bag! I’ve switched it up a bit and found that a nice bowl of Classic Banana Oatmeal with fresh fruit and peanut butter is more tasty and very sustaining taking me through long training runs and races.
Do you have a tried and true pre-workout meal?
Classic Banana Oatmeal
makes 2-3 servings
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 banana, broken into chunks
- Dash of cinnamon
- spoonful of peanut butter
- Over medium high heat, combine all ingredients in a medium sized pot. As the liquid begins to heat stir the oats until the bananas are melted. Turn heat to low and continue to stir until much of the liquid is incorporated and you have a creamy pot of oats. Enjoy with a spoonful of peanut butter and all of your favorite toppings.