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Thread: Nutrition Tips for Marathon Runners

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    The Lone Ranger Lieutenant General rishabhd's Avatar
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    Default Nutrition Tips for Marathon Runners

    Proper nutrition and perseverance in training is the cornerstone of any marathon race. The basis of marathon nutrition should be that the increased nutrient requirement of the body be met while it is being trained to compete for the race day. Thus pre event nutrition is important for improving race day performance.

    Also, marathon runners need to know which nutrients to avoid in order to stay away from exhaustion and gastric upset on the race day. Today, Dr. Kamna Desai shares some quick nutrition tips for marathon runners
    Wo Acha Hay Tou Behtar, Bura Hay Tou Bhi Qabool
    Mizaaj-E-Ishq Mein Aib-O-Hunar Dekhe Nahi Jatay...!!!


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    The Lone Ranger Lieutenant General rishabhd's Avatar
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    Pre event Nutrition

    While training, if marathon runners do not eat enough food at frequent intervals they will not meet the basic requirement of the body and hence will not get enough nutrients to sustain the high intensity activity. Gradually, they will start showing symptoms like chronic tiredness, muscle pull, cramps, dizziness, frequent illness, poor concentration, weak performance and delayed recovery.

    So the basic requirements will be met by eating a variety of food from all the major food groups like

    Cereals (6-11 servings / day)

    Vegetables (3-5 servings / day)

    Fruits (2-3 servings / day)

    Milk and Milk Products (2-3 servings / day)

    Pulses / Nonveg (1-2 serving / day)

    Fluids (10-12 glasses / day)
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    The Lone Ranger Lieutenant General rishabhd's Avatar
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    Diet Plan

    A diet plan must meet the basic as well as increased nutrient requirement during training to positively impact the performance on the race day.

    One may need to take in higher quantities of calories coming from carbohydrates and protein in order to fuel their higher metabolic rates. Therefore, the most important nutrients when it comes to running are carbohydrates, proteins and water.

    Carbohydrates provide the necessary fuel during training and performance. During training days low glycemic index carbs should be choosen over high GI as it provides energy for a sustained period during long runs.
    Wo Acha Hay Tou Behtar, Bura Hay Tou Bhi Qabool
    Mizaaj-E-Ishq Mein Aib-O-Hunar Dekhe Nahi Jatay...!!!


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    The Lone Ranger Lieutenant General rishabhd's Avatar
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    Carbohydrates are important

    Carbohydrates provide the body with instant energy. Excess carbohydrates are stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen.

    After about 90 mins or more of rigourous activity the glycogen stores of the body are not enough to sustain it.

    Carbohydrate loading needs to be done 4-5 days prior to the race day. The aim of carbohydrate loading is to top up liver and muscle glycogen stores to delay fatigue, thereby enabling the body to maintain high intensity activity during longer runs.

    Therefore, it is a widely used procedure amongst marathon runners to increase the glycogen (stored glucose) by 200-300% to fuel the body and sustain the activity by delaying fatigue.

    In the final week before your marathon, taper exercise while increasing carbohydrate intake to 9-10 g of carbohydrate per kg of body weight.

    One may gain some weight in case the overall calories are increased and not maintained during carbohydrate loading. So the easiest way to increase you carbohydrate intake is by replacing most of the fat in your diet with carbohydrate.

    On the event day moderate to high glycemic foods can be included in breakfast such as cereals or oatmeal with skim milk or yoghurt with dry fruits and nuts, low fat pancakes with fruits, fruit salads with yoghurt, baked potato with pasta in a tomato based sauce, breads with jam or honey/ vegetables rolls with low fat spreads, vegetable sandwiches and ripe bananas, cereal or sports bars.


    Wo Acha Hay Tou Behtar, Bura Hay Tou Bhi Qabool
    Mizaaj-E-Ishq Mein Aib-O-Hunar Dekhe Nahi Jatay...!!!


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    The Lone Ranger Lieutenant General rishabhd's Avatar
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    What runners need...

    Runners need to eat and drink early in the morning during marathon runs. They should aim to have a breakfast meal with more than 200 g of carbohydrate about three-four hours prior to the race. Avoid a heavy breakfast just before the run. Eating a banana 20 -30 mins before the marathon is suggested.

    Higher levels of activity also mean more perspiration, especially in warmer environments. This makes it important to stay hydrated and maintain the levels of electrolytes. Drink plenty of fluids each day; body also needs water to store the extra carbohydrate. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and during runs. One can also opt for coconut water, soups, buttermilk, etc during the training days. The fluid replenishes the water lost due to sweat and urination. During runs one can ideally take electoral or ORS solution or a sports drink, as along with the fluid it also replenishes the lost electrolyte.

    Avoid alcohol and excess of tea coffee consumption during training. Also avoid fruit juices while on the run as the most common symptoms of citric acid overdose include stomach cramps or even muscle pain.

    Runners need to pay attention to what and how much they are drinking before during and after long runs.


    Wo Acha Hay Tou Behtar, Bura Hay Tou Bhi Qabool
    Mizaaj-E-Ishq Mein Aib-O-Hunar Dekhe Nahi Jatay...!!!


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    Hydration

    Ideally a marathon runner needs to consume at least 2 glasses of water before training and runs to avoid injuries. Marathon runners whose water consumption is less may face dehydration. Apart from headache, heatstroke, fatigue; dehydration can be fatal on the run.

    On event day, maintain hydration by drinking at least 2 glasses of fluid or water with your pre-event meal, and then continue to drink water up to start time.

    So a marathon runner can take a glass of water 30 mins prior to the run and 1 glass before one takes flight.

    Once the race starts runners need to drink according to thirst. Avoid drinking more water than required as overdoing would result in bathroom halts while on the run.


    Wo Acha Hay Tou Behtar, Bura Hay Tou Bhi Qabool
    Mizaaj-E-Ishq Mein Aib-O-Hunar Dekhe Nahi Jatay...!!!


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    Importance of protein

    Lastly proteins are important for marathon runners, as protein is required to maintain the muscle tone of the body. Also it is important for injury and tissue repair. Proteins also improve the immunity and satiety factor of the body. It helps in building stamina during marathon runs.

    Increase consumption of milk and milk products, dals and pulses, eggs and non vegetarian foods. Whey proteins would be recommended specially for vegetarians if the recommended 1gm of protein per kg ideal body weight in the diet is not managed.
    Wo Acha Hay Tou Behtar, Bura Hay Tou Bhi Qabool
    Mizaaj-E-Ishq Mein Aib-O-Hunar Dekhe Nahi Jatay...!!!


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    Marathon runners need to be aware about their requirement as far as nutrition and training is concerned. Because it is possible that if one ignores this, serious repercussions can set in; repercussions like binge eating, compulsive training / exercise, etc. A few more things that runners need to keep in mind are:


    • Maintaining a healthy body weight is imperative.
    • Avoid excess fats, salt and spices in the diet.
    • Avoid gastric upsets on the day of event (eat a fiber rich diet/take a mild laxative a day prior in case you are constipated/chew well/avoid acidity).
    • Nutrition is of utmost importance.
    • Avoid compulsive training.
    • Take proper rest.
    • Rehydration is a must.
    • Carbohydrate loading is recommended.
    • Pre event breakfast meal should be early.
    • Right clothing (not too loose/tight) is recommended.
    • Invest in a good pair of running shoes.
    • Warm up and cool down before each training and running session.
    • Carrying a sports bar during the run.
    • Do not overestimate your abilities; make sure the run is comfortable.
    • Post event nutrition is equally important to ward off injuries and illness.
    Wo Acha Hay Tou Behtar, Bura Hay Tou Bhi Qabool
    Mizaaj-E-Ishq Mein Aib-O-Hunar Dekhe Nahi Jatay...!!!


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    Nice Tips For runners but there is no option for this.i never went for jogging also.

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