What do marathon runners eat for breakfast?

This question is about Running

Elle Penner, MPH, RD

Most marathon runners eat carbohydrate-rich foods for breakfast to top off muscle glycogen stores and provide quick-burning fuel during the race. Including a little protein and fat helps with satiety and steadies the release of glucose into the bloodstream. 

If you’re running a marathon soon and are wondering what you should eat for breakfast, here are some delicious (and nutritious) options. Just be sure you give yourself enough time to digest your food before running; this is typically at least 90 minutes for a small meal, or 3-4 hours for a larger meal. 

Here are 20 popular breakfasts marathon runners eat: 

  1. Bagel with cream cheese or nut butter

  2. English muffin with peanut butter and honey

  3. Oatmeal topped with sliced banana

  4. Granola with Greek yogurt and fruit

  5. Cereal with milk and a piece of fruit

  6. Fruit smoothie made with tofu, yogurt, avocado, or almond butter 

  7. Almond butter and banana sandwich

  8. Whole-grain waffles topped with fruit and a drizzle of maple syrup

  9. Fruit salad paired with an egg or yogurt

  10. Whole-grain toast with avocado or nut butter

  11. Fruit bowl topped with ½ cup cottage cheese

  12. Veggie egg muffins with whole-grain toast or fruit

  13. Peanut butter and jelly sandwich

  14. Ricotta toast topped with honey and fresh berries

  15. Whole grain pasta topped with pesto or a drizzle of olive oil and grated parmesan 

  16. Breakfast burrito with potatoes, egg, and veggies

  17. Sliced apple with peanut butter 

  18. Muffin topped with nut butter or an egg on the side

  19. Whole-grain banana pancakes and yogurt

  20. Almond butter-banana roll-up

three smoothie recipes in individual jars with striped straws