The Best Cereals for Runners

Written by colin rowe
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The Best Cereals for Runners
Cereal offers an energy source for your morning run. (Yagi Studio/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Many of us enjoy a run before work to keep us in shape, but it is important to make sure you eat the right food before going for a run. Running requires a large amount of energy so it is important to make sure whatever cereal you choose is high in carbohydrates and low in sugar. It is also recommended that you only use semi-skim or skimmed milk on your cereal to reduce the fat intake. There are many options available to you which can be purchased easily from any local supermarket.


This oat-based cereal is a source of carbohydrates and, as it can be heated up, is especially good if your fitness regime involves running through the winter months. Fruit or even low-sugar preserves can be added to liven the taste.

Wheat Biscuits

Regardless of whether you are buying the leading name or the supermarket's own brand, wheat biscuits offer the correct balance of carbohydrates and fibre to get you through your morning run. Any fruit can be added to this cereal, but avoid the temptation to add sugar as this will reduce the benefits.


There are many muesli variations available now in a number of varieties that offer runners a nutritional breakfast. Traditionally muesli is served with yoghurt, honey and fruit and appears much like a dessert topping. However, recently many mueslis are offered as a breakfast cereal we recognise that is served with milk. Both options work equally well, but if you are going for the traditional make sure you use low-fat yoghurt.


Similar to porridge, but served cold with milk, this cereal combines oats, barley and other grains to provide a great runners breakfast which already comes with nuts and fruit in the cereal to improve the taste.

Cereal Bars

Technically these are not a cereal, but they have become increasingly popular over the last few decades. They are convenient and often come with a fruit-flavoured centre or mixed with nuts and dried fruit. Make sure you check the label first for the sugar content.

Added Sugar and Fat

Although all the cereals above generally come without any added sugar or fat it is important to check. A lot of these healthy cereals are now being branded for children and so come with extra sugar which may cancel out some of the benefits of running. It is also important to remember that not all cereals are food for running. Anything sugar-coated or chocolate-flavoured may be favoured by children, but will not benefit you when running.

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