What do runners eat while running?

This question is about Running
Sarah Achleithner
During longer runs or high intensity exercise, runners should take in fast-absorbing carbohydrates and/or sports drinks to provide glucose to help fuel muscles, provide sustained energy and prevent bonking [1, 2]. If runners don’t fuel appropriately, glycogen stores become depleted (usually after 60-90 minutes), leading to low blood sugar, cramping, and other adverse symptoms [3, 4]. To help stabilize blood sugar and glycogen levels, take easily portable carbohydrates (such as sports gels or bites, fruit pouches or liquid nutrition) with you during longer runs. This will keep your energy levels up and help boost performance. 
Male runner taking an energy gel


  1. Jeukendrup, A. (2014) A Step Towards Personalized Sports Nutrition: Carbohydrate Intake During Exercise. Sports Med 44, 25–33 . https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-014-0148-z 
  2. Jensen, R., Ørtenblad, N., Stausholm, M.-L.H., Skjærbæk, M.C., Larsen, D.N., Hansen, M., Holmberg, H.-C., Plomgaard, P. and Nielsen, J. (2020), Heterogeneity in subcellular muscle glycogen utilisation during exercise impacts endurance capacity in men. J Physiol, 598: 4271-4292. https://doi.org/10.1113/JP280546  
  3. Elo - nutrition with precision.(n.d.) Elo Health.https://www.elo.health/articles/nutrition-for-running-performance/
  4. 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. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-017-0189-4