Is Oatmeal Good Before Running

As a runner, I have always been mindful of what I eat before heading out for a run. One popular pre-run meal that many athletes swear by is oatmeal. But is oatmeal actually good before running? Let’s dive into the details.

Benefits of Oatmeal Before Running

Oatmeal is a great source of complex carbohydrates, which provides a slow and steady release of energy. This is perfect for fueling a longer run, as it helps sustain energy levels without causing a rapid spike and subsequent crash. Additionally, oatmeal is high in fiber, which can aid in digestion and prevent any stomach discomfort during the run.

Timing and Portion Size

It’s important to consume oatmeal at the right time before a run. Eating a large portion of oatmeal too close to your workout can lead to discomfort and cramping. It’s recommended to have oatmeal about 1-2 hours before running, allowing enough time for digestion. As for portion size, a moderate serving is ideal – enough to provide energy but not so much that it feels heavy in the stomach.

Adding Nutritious Toppings

One of the best things about oatmeal is its versatility. By adding nutritious toppings such as fruits, nuts, or seeds, you can enhance the nutritional value of the meal. Adding a banana or some berries can provide additional natural sugars for quick energy, while nuts and seeds offer healthy fats and protein for sustained fuel.

Hydration is Key

When consuming oatmeal before a run, it’s important to also focus on hydration. Oatmeal absorbs liquid, so be sure to drink enough water along with your pre-run meal to prevent dehydration during your workout.

Listen to Your Body

While oatmeal can be a great pre-run choice for many, it’s important to listen to your body and see how it responds. Some individuals may find that oatmeal doesn’t sit well with them before running, and that’s completely okay. Everyone’s digestive system is different, so finding the right pre-run meal is a matter of personal preference and experimentation.


In conclusion, oatmeal can be a fantastic choice for a pre-run meal due to its complex carbohydrates, fiber content, and versatility. It’s important to consume it at the right time, in a moderate portion, and with nutritious toppings. Remember, what works for one person may not work for another, so always listen to your body and adjust accordingly. So, next time you lace up those running shoes, consider fueling up with a comforting bowl of oatmeal and see how it powers your run!