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I'm planning to run at least 5 times a week with the aim to lose weight and improve my overall health. Now I want to know how should prepare myself with regards to eating and drinking to get the most out of my run. I guess that means: to be able to run harder and longer - and indeed, caring about wear and tear on your body. For example should I:

  • Drink water or not drink before?
  • Eat immediately before, or a long time before?
  • Eat bananas for their potassium
  • Consume drinks with electrolytes
  • Take any specific vitamins or minerals?

How is one supposed to prepare one's self for jogging?

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up vote 11 down vote accepted

If you're only exercising for an hour at a time, no need to really eat much before, but I would suggest drinking water before and after, and if the run goes for longer than an hour, during as well.

If you're only after weight loss, don't have a high carb recovery meal afterwards, stick to low fat protein.

I find that I only really need to eat before exercise (to not compromise performance) if the session is going over 2.5 hours. If you're going for longer, then use any of the carb sports drinks out there before and during your run, every country has their brands.

If you're exercising every day, and start to feel fatigue after a few days then up your intake on the recovery meal, protein and carbs are essential, but you still don't need large portions. You can also eat more foods with vitamin B as it will give you more energy.

Recovery meals should generally be eaten directly after the exercise.

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@Joe I don't think I understand completely what you're asking for. Besides, if you have any follow up questions I suggest you ask a new question or first read up on the subject. – Ivo Flipse Jul 12 '11 at 1:31
@Joe, I've updated my answer with the relevant info you requested – baldy Jul 12 '11 at 11:35
+1 good answer. – Evan Plaice Jul 15 '11 at 21:37
Heh thanks again Baldy, seems like years ago (it was years ago!) 1000- people looked at this answer now. And I've knocked out the odd 1000 km. Cheers! – Joe Blow Mar 4 '14 at 22:05
Well done on the 1000km, what is your next goal? – baldy Mar 6 '14 at 8:49

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