Nutrition, Hydration Tips Can Give Marathon Runners a Leg
SATURDAY, Oct. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Marathons place heavy
demands on the body and runners need to take certain measures to
ensure they stay healthy and are able to cross the finish line,
according to a nutrition expert.
Runners need enough energy to perform at their best and to
prevent injuries, advised registered dietitian Brooke Schantz, of
the Loyola University Health System. She offered a simple guideline
for calorie intake:
- 30 to 60 minutes of activity a day requires 16 to 18 calories
per pound of body weight.
- 1 to 1.5 hours of activity a day requires 19 to 21 calories per
- 1.5 to 2 hours of activity a day requires 22 to 24 calories per
- 2 to 3 hours of activity a day requires 25 to 30 or more
calories per pound.
Runners should consume 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour
when running for more than one hour. Marathon-friendly carbs
include gels, jelly beans, sports drinks, sports bars or a
combination of these products.
Protein is another essential part of a runner's diet because it
increases lean muscle mass and helps in muscle repair. Endurance
athletes should consume between 1.2 to 1.4 grams of protein per
kilogram of body weight per day. But don't exceed more than 1 gram
of protein per pound of body weight per day, Schantz said in a
university news release.
And, she added, runners should avoid high-fiber foods the night
before and the morning of a race because they could cause
intestinal distress and cramping during the race.
It's crucial to drink enough water to stay properly hydrated.
Schantz offered the following fluid-replacement guidelines:
- Two hours before exercise, consume 16 to 20 ounces of water and
drink another 7 to 10 ounces of water 10 to 20 minutes before
- Drink 6 to 8 ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes during
exercise. If you exercise for longer than one hour, consume a
sports drink with 4 to 8 percent carbohydrates.
- After exercise, drink 24 ounces of fluid for every pound lost
Monitoring the color of your urine is a good way to assess your
hydration status. The clearer your urine, the more hydrated you
are, Schantz said.
The Hospital for Special Surgery has more
marathon training tips.
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