6 tips for good nutrition while training for a marathon:
- Dehydration is one of the top two reasons runners ‘hit the wall’ during a marathon: Don’t wait to be thirsty to take a drink, as thirst indicates that you are already partially dehydrated! Drink up to 250/300 ml of fluid every 20-30 minutes on a long run and make sure you drink at least two litres of water every day.
- If you’re on a long run of over one hour, water will quench your thirst too quickly before you’re fully re-hydrated, so opt for either a sports drink or make your own (see the recipe above).
- For a run longer than one hour, you need to not only replenish your fluids but also to refuel with carbohydrates. Choose a sport drink, or gels and water, or food and water.
- Be careful not to mix water and sports drinks. You will only be diluting the carbohydrate (energy) from the sports drink, which will delay the supply of energy to your muscles.
- Eat complex carbohydrates (whole grains, wholemeal bread and pasta, quinoa) during training. Use simple carbohydrates (glucose, sugar, dried fruits) during a long run/marathon, for a quick supply of energy.
- Don’t forget protein and good fats! Athletes tend to focus too much on eating lots of carbohydrates for energy, but protein and good fats (omega 3 oils in particular) are essential for muscle repair, hormone production and balance, good skin, and healthy, well-lubricated ligaments and joints.
*metabolism: The rate at which an organism transforms food into energy and body tissue.
International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) (2007), Nutrition for athletics: The 2007 IAAF Consensus Statement.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) (2004), Consensus on Sports Nutrition, 2003, J Sports Science, vol 22 (1): X
Bean, A. The Complete Guide to Sports Nutrition, 2009
Dr F. Batmanghelidj. Your Body’s Many Cries for Water, 2000
Erasmus, U. Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill, 17th printing. 2006
Do you want help to transform your gut or any other health issue?
If you’ve tried many things and want a more holistic, natural approach that combines body, mind, spirit, check the programs I offer in my ‘services’