By Vishal Patel, Chief Nutritionist
With Fall officially kicking off this past week, we felt like it would be a good idea to post some tips on nutrition and hydration during a marathon. I give this advice to every athlete I work with: practice your fuel strategy. There isn't a one-size-fits-all approach to marathon nutrition. You have to find what works for you, as well as give your body time to adapt, and training runs are the best time to do that. The tips below are a good place to start, but won’t do you any good unless you incorporate them during training.
Aim to consume your meal at least 2-3 hours prior to the run/race. This will give your body time to process the nutrients so they can be used for fuel.
+ Clean carbohydrates: whole grains (oats), fresh or dried fruit, bagels, sliced bread, rice.
+ (Some) protein: Greek yogurt (allow extra time to digest, and stay away if sensitive to dairy), nut butters.
+ DRINK Nuun Performance: begin consuming with meal. Slowly sip on second bottle the last hour before the run/race.
+ Processed foods: anything frozen or pre-prepared.
+ Anything high in fiber
The amount of food/fluids you'll need will vary depending on a number of factors, including gender, age, and fitness. However, as a general rule, aim to take in 16-24 fl oz per hour of a sport drink with carbohydrates and electrolytes, as well as 100-200 calories from food per hour.
+ Sport chews/blocks, rice cakes, energy bars.
+ DRINK Nuun performance: the precise blend of carbohydrate to electrolytes was designed to efficiently move fluid through the body to your muscles.
+ Anything high in fiber or fat
+ Gels, which can cause stomach issues. Their high concentration of carbohydrates pulls water away from your muscles to your stomach. If gels are the only option, eat them slowly (over 10-15 minutes) and always consume them with water.
Thank you for your comment and tips!
Ensuring you derive your energy from simple carbohydrates will lead to your body building up the energy you will require for your marathon, without feeling lightheaded, dehydrated or faint. Also, try not to consume too many forms of sugars as they will lead to an almost instant spike in energy but it will not last you long enough to use to train or run. Most importantly, chart out a schedule for your diet and training and follow it religiously if you’re serious about winning the race.
Great tips!! Thanks! - Laura