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Don’t Hit the Wall: Nutrition 101 for the Marathon.

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Presentation on theme: "Don’t Hit the Wall: Nutrition 101 for the Marathon."— Presentation transcript:

1 Don’t Hit the Wall: Nutrition 101 for the Marathon

2 Carbohydrate – A Runner’s Friend Spares muscle glycogen Consume before, during and after long runs Not all created equally –Simple vs. complex –Enriched vs. whole grain Inadequate carbohydrate intake can lead to: –Protein/muscle breakdown –Decreased ability to burn body fat

3 Protein – Why Do We Need It? Immune function Hormone production Repair damaged muscle tissue (foot strike) Optimize carbohydrate storage in muscles – eat carbohydrate + protein after long runs Help stabilize blood sugar levels when consumed with a carbohydrate meal/snack Gibala, MJ. Protein Nutrition and Endurance Exercise: What Does Science Say? Gatorade Sports Science Institute, Sports Science Library. Accessed 3/06/07. Available:

4 Fat – Friend or Foe? Unlimited storage capacity – 150 lb lean athlete may have 60,000 calories of stored fat Fat not used for energy is easily stored as body fat Fat is not a fast or efficient source of energy – sluggishness during runs if too much During exercise – trained vs. untrained people and women vs. men burn a higher % calories as fat Some fat in the diet is necessary to absorb some nutrients, vitamins and anti-oxidants (carotenoids).

5 Choose Healthy Fats Choose These: Avocado Canola oil Fatty fish – salmon Flax seeds Natural nut butters Nuts, seeds Olives, olive oil Avoid These: Saturated fat High fat animal and dairy products Coconut oil Palm, palm kernal oil Trans fats – partially hydrogenated oils

6 Get That Fluid On Board! Dehydration can start within minutes Fluid intake may not keep up with absorption rate – maximum repletion rate is about 4 cups per hour Even a 1% fluid loss impairs performance Thirst may not “kick in” until 2% fluid loss – or 3 lbs (6 cups) for a 150-lb person

7 Signs of Dehydration Thirst, dry mouth Weakness, fatigue Nausea, vomiting High body temperature Muscle cramps – legs Dizziness, confusion Weak, rapid heart rate Lack of coordination & judgment Horswill, CA. Signs of dehydration. Gatorade Sports Science Institute, Sports Science Library. Accessed 3/7/07. Available:

8 Hydrate Morning, Noon and Night Plain water is OK for <60 minutes of exercise Sports beverages (fluid, carbohydrate and sodium) good for >60 minutes of exercise Carry fluid with you at all times! Pre- and During Run or Race: –Drink at least 16 oz. (2 cups) fluid 1-2 hours before run –Drink 6-12 oz. fluid every minutes during run Post-Run or Race: –Drink at least oz. (2-3 cups) fluid per pound lost –Drink until urine is pale or clear Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and athletic performance. JADA 2000;100(12):

9 Daily Eating, Daily Fuel Eat regularly, every 3 to 4 hours Eat balanced meals – grain/starch, protein, fruit/vegetable, healthy fat Choose whole grains vs. white enriched Fuel your body with nourishing food! Experiment during training! Do not try something new on race day!

10 The “Last Meal” - Meal Before the Marathon High carbohydrate – spare muscle glycogen Easily digestible – low fat, protein, fiber Size of meal depends on time before start Lots of fluid – at least 2 cups per hour Avoid alcohol; limit caffeine and sodium Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and athletic performance. JADA 2000;100(12):

11 What About Carbohydrate Loading? Carbohydrate loading - a technique used to load the muscles up with glycogen, which historically involved more drastic measures Try a “modified” version: –Taper or reduce run-training during the week preceding the marathon –Continue daily carbohydrate-rich food intake during the week preceding the marathon –Consume carbohydrate-rich foods and/or beverages during marathon

12 Fuel-Up During the Marathon Mostly simple, some complex carbohydrates (spare muscle glycogen) Easily digestible and well-tolerated (trial & error) Sports beverage containing water, sugar (7%), sodium and potassium Sports drinks, energy gels, energy bars Avoid anything too concentrated, like undiluted juice or soda Avoid fructose as the first ingredient Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and athletic performance. JADA 2000;100(12):

13 Recovery Meals First 4-6 hours are crucial for optimal recovery and repair. 15 minutes post – high carb beverage 2 hours post – high carb snack, with a little protein, if possible 4 hours post – high carb meal with moderate protein Choose carbs with high glycemic index for maximal muscle glycogen synthesis Drink until urine is pale or clear! Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and athletic performance. JADA 2000;100(12):

14 Vitamins and Minerals Athletes who are at risk for inadequate intake: –Restrict energy intake/severe weight loss practices –Eliminate one or more food groups from diet –Consume high carb, low vit/min-dense foods Women more likely to lack calcium, iron and zinc Some vitamins and minerals compete with each other for absorption (mega doses) Insurance policy – daily multi-vitamin/mineral, plus extra calcium for women Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and athletic performance. JADA 2000;100(12):

15 Weight Loss Success Regular physical activity Moderate reductions in calorie intake Healthy eating patterns and behaviors Keep records of food intake, physical activity, and goals Be mentally ready and committed

16 Keep the Fire Burning! Eat often, every 3 to 4 hours Eat enough to support life! Be physically active most days of the week (run/walk) Pump some iron to help build muscle

17 You Can Do It ! Is your mental tape supportive and friendly?


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