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For those that follow a Paleo diet, how do you fuel during a run? (Read 211 times)

AlexaCT


    I am running my first half 5/18, and after finding that I was having a hard time recovering from my long runs, I decided to do a Whole "30" (I'm actually going to keep it going until the race, so more like a Whole 65).

     

    Today, on my 6 miler, I felt amazing until Mile 4, and then I was so thirsty and dehydrated.  I had nothing with me, so I just kept going.  By Mile 5, I was cooked.  When I finished, I was so weak and dizzy, and I threw up as soon as I drank some water.  I sucked down one of my kids' applesauce packets (just apples) and I immediately felt better, so clearly it was a blood sugar issue.  I definitely didn't eat enough breakfast before my run (banana, and a couple protein balls with nuts and dates) so thats part of my problem, but I CAN NOT run on a full stomach.

     

    So, my question for you: how do you fuel before or during a run?  I have never used Gu or Blocks, and I know I can't on Whole30 anyway.  I guess I could carry one of those applesauces will me, but I'm sure there has to be something better than that. As I increase mileage, I don't want to have a repeat of today.

     

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance.

    I can and I will!

    FTYC


    Faster Than Your Couch!

      I don't follow a Paleo diet, but I have followed the postings/blog of an ultramarathoner who does (and has been doing that for months or years now).

       

      From what I've learned, sweet potatoes and orange slices work fairly well. However, in races, gels seem to be best if you need sugar. It won't trigger an insulin spike, as the sugar is immediately used up and no isulin is even needed to digest it (it is transported into the cells by a protein). However, it might cause something like a "sugar-high" (you'll feel great from the sudden burst of energy, what you usually don't get on a Paleo diet).

      Running at high intensity requires more energy than burning fat stores or digesting "whole" food can provide quickly, so if you want/need to avoid low sugar which forces you to slow down, you'll probably need to rely on gels or similar temporarily.

      You can certainly also burn your glycogen stores, that is enough energy for a half marathon, but on the Paleo diet, it might take longer to fill them up before the race, and keep them nicely filled during the training phase.

       

      If you want to stick with"real" food, you might have to get used to eating during the run, but only very small portions. If it does not work for you, you might try a sports drink with maltodextrose instead of glucose or fructose. Maltodextrose is absorbed more quickly from the stomach, but its digestion is slightly different from that of simple sugars like glucose or fructose, so therefore it causes less of a "spike" or "sugar-high" which you might want to avoid while on the Paleo diet.

      Run for fun.

        I sort of follow a paleo, whole food diet. I like oatmeal (plain) and a banana if I can eat 1.5 to 2 hours before I run (unless I know I'll be running really slowly, then timing doesn't matter). I don't eat while running unless I'll be out for more than 3 hours, and then I tend to go for the engineered stuff, usually Hammer Sustained Energy. I experimented with various whole foods and potatoes worked fairly well. But I the foods I tolerated were generally bulky and I don't like having to remember to eat a little bit often. So while I don't normally eat processed foods I make exceptions for long runs.

         

        Are you eating enough generally? Getting enough carbohydrates? I found that getting my daily diet right was more important that eating exactly the right thing before or during a run.

         

        Another factor is effort level. If I am running fast (for me) I can't really tolerate anything other than water.

         

        Hope that helped some! Good luck.

        Mt Cheaha 50k 2/23/2013:  7:34 :D

        Lake Martin 50; 27 miles: 5:29:07

        Run For Kids 50k, Birmingham, 5/4/2013: 6:26:33 Woot!

          If you are running out of gas at these relatively short durations, might you be operating at a general calorie deficit / hypoglycemic condition?  I think most healthy runners eating enough food (whole or processed, Paleo or modern) usually carry around enough ready-use fuel in their liver & muscles to put out a good 10 miler without taking on calories during the run or even metabolizing much fat.  Your 4 mile bonk might be an indication that you just needed to eat more over the prior 24 hours.

           

          Just a thought.  Let us know what works for you.

           

          mt correct the autocorrect


          Right on Hereford...

            clearly it was a blood sugar issue.

             

            If you are actually running into a low glycogen situation on a 6-mile run, then you were low glycogen before your run started. Fuel up properly the day before. Breakfast -- or lack thereof -- was not the issue. And neither was fueling during the run itself.

             

            MTA: Duke beat me to it...

            AlexaCT


              I definitely didn't eat enough on Saturday; I was at a party and my only "real" food options were veggies and grilled chicken.  I didn't have enough fat or calories, for sure.  I hadn't even thought about that until now!

               

              Thanks for the suggestions.  I'll be sure to pay much closer attention on the days prior to my longer runs.  In the past, I've never had a problem with longer (for me) runs (my longest distance to date is 8 miles) so I assumed it was the change in diet.  Other than my poop-out yesterday, I feel awesome on the Whole30!

              I can and I will!


              Girl Parts

                I am on a mostly whole food/paleo/gluten free/etc diet too.

                 

                For long runs, I do use gels and the like to fuel (read the labels though, many are not GF or have crap like sorbitol... most of the Hammer products have pretty decent ingredients).  There's just nothing else I've found that will work and I just can't imagine carrying an orange with me lol  BUT in your case of a shorter-type run, fueling beforehand would be they key.   I love a handful of dates (fresh, not dried) before I work out - loads of potassium and carbs.  Also, I do a lot with sweet potatoes with meals, particularly the night before a big run.

                 

                I don't much care for oatmeal.  And it's hard to find GF oats, anyway.  I might do a rice cereal with banana if it's a run first thing in the AM.

                 


                Bacon Party!

                  Seriously, even if you didn't eat well the day before, you should have more than enough on board to get you through 6 miles - unless, maybe, you were running much too fast. Water and fuel should not be an issue for that distance and duration.

                   

                  That said, you may certainly have been experiencing a blood sugar issue ... crashing after your sugar-laden breakfast.

                  Assuming you're a morning runner, you might try running fasted. Carry an applesauce or whatever with you, just in case you crash. You might be surprised how easy it is.

                   

                  I follow a Paleo diet and comfortably do hour+ tempo runs, long runs up to 33 miles, as well as my every-day training runs without fueling before or during, going in fasted from the night before. After I run, I do eat to support recovery and good health in general.

                  Liz

                  pace sera, sera


                  Girl Parts

                    I wouldn't necessarily recommend intermittent fasting for women. While it was a big rage a few years ago, recent research is showing that while it does a lot of good things for men, it's not the same for women.   And in the end, its success if very much different for everyone.  (Especially if you are running on glycogen and not fat for energy.)

                     

                    https://www.marksdailyapple.com/women-and-intermittent-fasting/

                     

                      Paleo cave men and women, when faced with hypoglycemia, would simply wrastle a saber-toothed tiger into the submission and eat its liver before continuing on their merry way. YMMV.


                      Girl Parts

                        Paleo cave men and women, when faced with hypoglycemia, would simply wrastle a saber-toothed tiger into the submission and eat its liver before continuing on their merry way. YMMV.

                         

                        Wooly mammoth liver is WAY better raw.   I prefer my tiger liver to be served wrapped in bacon.

                         


                        Bacon Party!

                          I wouldn't necessarily recommend intermittent fasting for women. While it was a big rage a few years ago, recent research is showing that while it does a lot of good things for men, it's not the same for women.   And in the end, its success if very much different for everyone.  (Especially if you are running on glycogen and not fat for energy.)

                           

                          https://www.marksdailyapple.com/women-and-intermittent-fasting/

                           

                          Did someone recommend IF? Or, were you just throwing that out there?

                           

                          I run fasted because I'm not going to get up at 2:00am just so I can eat before my run. Yeah, my breakfast gets delayed by a couple hours ... not much of a fast.

                          Liz

                          pace sera, sera


                          Girl Parts

                             

                            Did someone recommend IF? Or, were you just throwing that out there?

                             

                            I run fasted because I'm not going to get up at 2:00am just so I can eat before my run. Yeah, my breakfast gets delayed by a couple hours ... not much of a fast.

                             

                            Just pointing out that fasting before working out, as you mentioned, doesn't work for everyone is all.    A 16 hr break falls into a daily intermittent fast category and depending on when you eat the night before and the next day, the discussion in the above link may come into play.

                             

                            Arimathea


                            Tessa

                              Regarding carrying an orange while running, it's doable, but it's much easier if you peel it before heading out, separate it into sections, and stash it in a ziploc baggie.

                               

                              Alternatively, at this time of year it's easy to find small tangeries -- Cuties and the like -- which can be carried in a pocket or in the pouch of a water bottle belt and peeled/eaten on the run. Those are my go-to fuel during a race. I'm by no means paleo but I like citrus fruit on a run.


                              Bacon Party!

                                Just pointing out that fasting before working out, as you mentioned, doesn't work for everyone is all.    A 16 hr break falls into a daily intermittent fast category and depending on when you eat the night before and the next day, the discussion in the above link may come into play.

                                 

                                Whew! My "fasts" are typically on the order of 13-14 hours.

                                When did life get so complicated?! Wink

                                Liz

                                pace sera, sera

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