More and more British Columbians are checking “run a marathon” off their bucket list. Last year, over 14,000 runners participated in the BMO Vancouver Marathon and this year organizers are expecting more than 15,000. Plus, we’re giving away a powered by chocolate milk water bottle and t-shirt, a lululemon running jacket and a pair of nike FREE running shoes.
These thousands of athletes likely know that nutrition is a key component of achieving success on race day. However, there may be a few nutrition tips the average marathoner may not know, such as the benefits of having dinner for breakfast to stock up on carbohydrates and protein or recovering from your run with a glass of chocolate milk to restore glycogen levels.
Below are the top five nutrition tips for runners training to complete the 42.2 km/26.2-mile challenge, according to Registered Dietitian, Kenton Delisle.
1. Pre-race meal – It is recommended that endurance athletes eat two to three hours before any race. Choose foods high in carbohydrates and low in fat. Fat takes longer to digest and may lead to discomfort if eaten close to strenuous activity. Examples of good pre-race meals:
- Cereal, milk, fruit, toast
- Yogurt, bagel, fruit
- Toast, egg, milk
- Small portion of pasta with tomato sauce
- Soup, sandwich with lean meat, milk
2. Carbohydrates – As you run, you use up the glycogen in your body. Depleted glycogen stores lead to reduce endurance, fatigue and exhaustion and delayed recovery. Eating carbohydrates is the only way to maintain and refill muscle glycogen stores, getting you ready for your next training run. Athletes should be replenishing their glycogen stores after 60 minutes of strenuous exercise by eating or drinking foods and beverages high in carbohydrates. Examples of foods high in carbohydrates, which are good to eat during exercise:
- Granola bar
- Dried fruit
3. Hydrate – Fluid’s most important role during activity is regulating body temperature. We sweat to remove heat generated by active muscles. Heavy and prolonged sweating can lead to dehydration, which is a major cause of fatigue and poor performance, as well as delaying recovery after exercise. The recommended daily fluid intake for woman is nine cups (2.2L) and 13 cups (3L) for men, and that’s before additional fluid needs due to activity and/or warm weather. Be sure to hydrate before, during and after exercise.
4. Protein – Protein builds, repairs and maintains muscle tissue. While those involved in endurance or strength training have an increased requirement for protein, you’ll be covered if you follow Canada’s Food Guide. Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide has generous allowances for protein that covers even the highest protein needs. Sources of protein include:
- Lean meat, fish, poultry
- Milk, cheese, eggs
- Legumes, grains, nuts, seeds
5. Post race – Refueling after exercise, ideally within the first 30 minutes, is key in helping your body recover and prepare for the next workout or competition. Research shows that a beverage containing both carbohydrates and protein, and in an ideal ratio as found in chocolate milk, can be more effective at increasing next-workout performance than a conventional carbohydrate only sports drink. Chocolate milk includes the right mix of protein and carbohydrates to repair and refuel exhausted muscles, plus it is almost 90 percent water and contains electrolytes, such as potassium and sodium, to rehydrate and help replenish what’s lost in sweat.
Vancity Buzz in conjunction with nutritionist Kenton Delisle are giving away the following: 1 pbcm water bottle, a pbcm t shirt, 1 lululemon running jacket and a pair of nike FREE running shoes. To ENTER simply do one of the following:
1. Retweet the following
- I entered to win a lululemon Jacket, Nike shoes & more via @Pbchocolatemilk, @cwistal & @VancityBuzz http://bit.ly/h1XsyS RT to Enter!
2. Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/VCBuzz
Contest ends Saturday April 30th, 2011. Winner will be selected at random.
Kenton is a former competitive athlete who has worked with athletes providing nutrition training. He is a Registered Dietitian and is currently a Nutrition Educator for the BC Dairy Foundation.