healthy balanced food

Trail Running Food

Estimated read time: 5 minutes.

If you’re a trail runner, you know that food is an important part of your adventures. You need to ensure that you are eating the right things and have enough energy to make it to the finish line. This blog post will discuss some of the best foods to eat before and during your runs. We’ll also provide some recipes for healthy and delicious snacks you can take on the go!

Pre-run Meals

Eating a nutritious meal before heading out on a trail run is essential. This will give you the energy and stamina needed to make it through your entire run. A good pre-run meal should include complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein.

Some great examples of complex carbohydrates are oatmeal, whole grain bread, quinoa, and sweet potatoes. For healthy fats, you can try adding avocado to your meal or using olive oil in your cooking.

And last but not least, be sure to include some protein in your pre-run meal as well. Good protein sources include chicken, fish, tofu, legumes, and eggs.

Here Are Some Recipes for Delicious and Nutritious Pre-run Meals:

  • Quinoa Breakfast Bowl with avocado, egg, and salsa
  • Overnight oats with chia seeds, almond milk, and berries
  • Sweet potato toast with peanut butter and banana
  • Chicken and quinoa salad with tahini dressing
  • Tofu scramble with veggies and whole grain toast

What to Avoid Eating Pre-run

It is important to avoid sugary foods and drinks before running, as they can cause a spike in blood sugar levels followed by a crash. You also want to avoid greasily and no healthy fatty foods, as they can upset your stomach. And lastly, steer clear of fiber-rich foods like beans and certain fruits and vegetables. These can cause gas and bloating that you don’t want while out on the run!

What to Eat During a Trail Run

It is also important to fuel your body during a trail run. This will help you to maintain your energy levels and avoid hitting the dreaded “wall.” The best way to do this is to eat small snacks or drinks every 30-60 minutes. These should include simple carbohydrates and electrolytes so your body can easily digest and absorb them. Some great examples of simple carbohydrates are fruit, honey, sports drinks, and energy gels.

Post-run Recovery Meals

After the exertion of running, your body needs time to recover. It is especially important to eat a nutritious and well-balanced meal. A good post-run meal should include complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. This will help to replenish your energy stores, repair muscles, and reduce inflammation.

Some great examples of complex carbohydrates are sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, and whole grain bread. For protein, you can try chicken, fish, tofu, legumes, or eggs. And healthy fats can be found in avocado, nuts and seeds, olive oil, and salmon.

Recovery Bars

Recovery bars are a great way to get all the nutrients your body needs after a run. They are easy to take with you on the go and can be a healthy and delicious snack. Be sure to get the 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein for the best results.

Protein Shakes

Protein shakes are another great option for post-run recovery. They are easy to make and can be customized to your liking. Mix your favorite protein powder with milk or water and add some healthy toppings like berries, bananas, nuts, and seeds.

Fresh Fruit Smoothies

Fresh fruit smoothies are a refreshing and healthy option for post-run recovery. They are packed with nutrients and antioxidants to help your body recover. Blend up your favorite fruits with some water or milk, and enjoy!

Nut Butter

Nut butter is a fantastic source of protein and healthy fats. It is also easy to take with you on the go. Spread it on some whole grain bread or crackers, or enjoy it straight from the spoon. Peanut butter is a hefty source of vitamin B, which your body uses to release energy from food. 

Almond butter is a good source of magnesium, which helps to relax muscles and reduce inflammation.

Salmon, Tuna, or Chicken

If you are ready for a real meal, then be sure to include some protein. Salmon, tuna, and chicken are all great sources of protein that will help your body to recover. The fish also contain omega-three fatty acids, which can help to reduce inflammation and promote joint health.

Salty Foods

Trail running can be tough on your electrolyte levels. Be sure to replenish them by eating salty foods or drinking sports drinks. Some great options include pretzels, pickles, olives, and sea salt.

The Importance of Rehydration

After a strenuous run, it is important to rehydrate your body by drinking plenty of fluids. Water is the best option, but you can also drink sports drinks or coconut water. Be sure to drink even if you are not thirsty, as dehydration can sneak up on you quickly.


Trail running is a great way to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors. However, fueling your body correctly before and during your runs is essential. Eating the right foods will help you to maintain your energy levels, avoid hitting the wall, and recover quickly after your run. So, stock up on trail running food before your next adventure!


Joseph Peele