Good nutrition is an essential part of your fitness plan. Proper sports nutrition is often the most neglected part of a runners training. Eat right and you’ll run better. Your body functions best, and you run better, when your diet includes the right kinds of foods in the right amounts at the right times. A good diet will help you to stay healthy enough to run your best. Running a marathon burns up a lot of energy, so a healthy rich diet is good for you.
Drink plenty of water. Carbohydrates are your friends in a marathon, If you are on a low-carb diet, this must be stopped at once. Carbohydrates provide glycogen, which your body needs to burn in order to produce energy for the race.
Vitamins are also necessary for marathon runners and experts recommend foods rich in nutrients. A multi-vitamin supplement can also provide the required amount of nutrients. You need iron to deliver oxygen to your cells.
A calcium-rich diet is essential for runners to prevent osteoporosis and stress fractures. If you have an iron-poor diet, you will feel weak and fatigued, especially when you run. Stick to foods low in saturated fats and cholesterol. Foods such as nuts, oil and cold-water fish provide essential fats called omega-3, which are vital for good health and can help prevent certain diseases. You need iron to deliver oxygen to your cells. If you have an iron-poor diet, you will feel weak and fatigued, especially when you run.
Nutrition Tips for Before, During and After the Marathon Run
Before the run consume 25-50g of carbs 1-2 hours before exercise. Try an energy bar, toast, bowl of cereal, bagel, or a banana. Avoid foods that are likely to upset your stomach and bowel such as: greasy foods, high-fiber foods, high protein foods, and caffeinated drinks. Drink 8-16 oz. of water or combine with the above in a carbohydrate drink.
During the run consume 25g of carbs for every 45 minutes of exercise. Go for a gel pack or sports bar and remember to wash them down with water. Gel packs typically contain 25-30 grams and are easy to digest. Drink 4-8 oz. water or diluted sports drink for every 15 minutes of exercise. The consumption of sports drinks and carbohydrates during most runs reduces the stress on your body and improves your post-run recovery. After the run consume 25-50g carbs immediately after exercising.
This can be a combination of food and drink. You will need to re-hydrate with water while eating an energy bar, bagel, or some form of carbohydrate. An alternative to combining food and drink is to drink 25-50 grams of carbohydrates in a sports drink if you have a hard time eating right after a workout. Drink 16 oz. of water for every pound lost during exercise and continue to drink water throughout the day. Consume another 25-50g carbs 30 minutes after exercise. One hour after running consume 50-100g of carbs and 20-40g of protein. This is a great time to eat a well balanced, sit-down meal. Soup and a sandwich, salads, whatever suits your tastes. Chicken and tuna are great sources of protein. Consume 50-100g of carbs per hour and 20-40g of protein every 2 hours. Continue to do this for 6 hours after your run. You will find that by following this sports nutrition routine, especially on your long run days, you’ll feel refreshed rather than exhausted after your workout.
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