Is peanut butter good before a run?

This question is about Nutrition and Running

Sarah Achleithner

Yes, a small amount of peanut butter can be part of a nutritious pre-run meal or snack when paired with a carbohydrate source (such as a banana or a piece of toast) 2 hours or more before exercise. Consuming protein and carbohydrates before endurance exercise has been shown to improve sports performance [


]. Eating carbohydrate and protein together pre-run may also help prevent hypoglycemia during a run and enhance fuel storage [



However, portion size and timing are important. Too much peanut butter consumed too close to a run may lead to GI distress and discomfort. Limit your portion of peanut butter to 2 tablespoons pre-run, and consume with 15-30g of carbohydrate at least 90 minutes before you lace up your sneakers.

Two slices on peanut butter toast on a white background

[1] Kerksick, C. M., Arent, S., Schoenfeld, B. J., Stout, J. R., Campbell, B., Wilborn, C. D., Taylor, L., Kalman, D., Smith-Ryan, A. E., Kreider, R. B., Willoughby, D., Arciero, P. J., VanDusseldorp, T. A., Ormsbee, M. J., Wildman, R., Greenwood, M., Ziegenfuss, T. N., Aragon, A. A., & Antonio, J. (2017). International society of sports nutrition position stand: nutrient timing. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 14, 33.

[2] Ormsbee, M., Bach, C., & Baur, D. (2014). Pre-Exercise Nutrition: The Role of Macronutrients, Modified Starches and Supplements on Metabolism and Endurance Performance. Nutrients, 6(5), 1782–1808.