So I'm a little surprised the nutrition category hasn't taken off .. I think I spend as much time worrying about my fuel as I do about my form!
Anyway, I've been struggling with the breakfast issue lately. I gave up breakfast a while ago (something about it just being extra calories to my day), & seem to have no trouble running 'on empty' - I only run for an hour maximum, as I'm still recovering from tendonitis in my right foot. Then I read in the NYT 'Really?' health column that if you run 'in a depleted state without fuel to aid the workout' you're more likely to lose muscle. I don't want to be losing muscle, I've spent too long building it! But maybe with my shorter runs I don't really need to worry about the muscle-loss factor?? Anyway, what do the rest of you do? Jenn
Hi Jenn-Rather than looking at breakfast as extra calories added to your day, try to think of it as a time to bolster your diet with food groups that you might not be getting enough of. I start the day with a big (seriously big, like size of my head big) veggie salad. Since I have trouble getting enough veg during the day, I load up on them in the morning and don't worry about it for the rest of the day.
As I understand it, you don't need to fuel up before a run of an hour or less. On long run days, I get up about two hours before my run starts so that I can get about 500 easily digested calories in and through my stomach before I start running. I usually have a PB sandwich on those days.
Breakfast is awesome: whole wheat toast with nut butter and a sliced banana on top is my go-to. Protein, carbs, and sugars all in one, it's a beatiful thing!
It is true that when you get up in the morning, your body is basically running on empty- with no glucose left from food to burn, it turns to glycogen stores in your liver and muscles for fuel. It will burn some fat, too, but yes, it will break down some muscle as well. I'd recommend you eat *something* when you get up, even if it's modest- some dried fruit and nuts, an apple with peanut butter, a granola bar. Eat a small snack like that about 30 minutes before you start out and you should be good to go.
Source- I'm a nutrition major and just had some sports nutrition lectures last week. ;)
It's a good protein source, and studies so far prove it is more bioavailable than many other forms of protein. However, it doesn't seem to be any more bioavailable than milk protein, so you can get the same benefit drinking a glass of milk. I'm thinking about giving whey a try, though, since milk bothers my stomach.
That's an interesting question. I've added one longer run into my week about 3 months ago, and after running I always crave a big glass of milk. It seems to satisfy me much more than water or anything sweet. I make cheese and often have whey around (though the whey you get from cheesemaking is much less concentrated than most whey protein) and find it quite satisfying too, though not as satisfying as straight milk. But it does seem much gentler on the stomach later.