Why Am I Tired after Early Morning Runs?

Good morning! I run at 5:30 a.m. five days a week. I’ve tried taking gels before I run but I still feel sluggish. I also have a history of hypoglycemia. After running 10 kilometres I’m very tired for the rest of the day. Do you have any suggestions for pre- and post-run nutrition to help increase my energy level? Thanks, Val


Here are my suggestions:

  1. Eat breakfast before bed. A bowl of cereal and milk, yoghurt and granola, or two waffles with light syrup and a glass of soy or skim milk will help top off muscle and liver glycogen stores before sleeping. This is also an opportunity to take in additional fluid.
  2. When you take the gels, make sure you have adequate fluid. Try for 300mls of fluid with the gel 15 minutes before your run. Alternatively, opt for a sports drink before you run. 300-600mls is ideal if you can tolerate that much liquid. You could also try a piece of fruit—bananas are great—with 300mls of water.

To prevent the afternoon energy slump, try to replenish your energy stores soon after your morning run. But don’t just eat carbs. Include some protein—maybe a slice of cheese and ham, an egg sandwich, or a container of Greek yoghurt with fruit and cereal mixed in. Try for a little bit of fat too (nuts or cheese) and eat this meal within 30 minutes of your run.

To help with the late day slump, be sure to hydrate well during the day and plan for an afternoon snack. You could experiment with peanut butter on celery, bean dip with whole grain crackers, or cottage cheese and fruit.

Remember: restore, refuel, repeat!

Hope this helps,


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