Many of us dream to cross the finishing line of a marathon once in our lifetime. Though having such a goal is not bad but we must keep it realistic keeping in mind that the whole thing is not a cakewalk. We need to prepare for the run months in advance, do extensive physical training to build the stamina and pay proper heed to our diet.
As thousands of people from different walks of life are gearing up to run the Tata Mumbai Marathon, which is scheduled to be held on January 21st, we speak to renowned sports nutritionist Deepshikha Agarwal, who shares crucial diet tips for marathoners.
What to eat in the morning on the day of marathon?
- Before the commencement of the event, having something substantial is very important. This will make sure you don’t feel hungry during the run and also help you to maintain the optimum levels of glucose in the body.
- Having a carbohydrate-rich meal (around 300 gms) three hours before the event will help to enhance your performance. One can go for a sandwich, idli, pasta and oats kind of snacks. Since marathons generally take place early in the morning, one can have these as early morning breakfast.
- Make sure to eat something light every one hour before the event. The meal should be rich in carbohydrate and low in protein and fiber. You can have fruit juices, mashed potatoes, bananas and energy bars. Avoid bulky meals as it will make you feel uncomfortable.
What to have during the run?
- Fluid plays an important role for a marathon runner, as remaining hydrated throughout the run is the first most crucial thing.
- A marathon runner can consume 500-600ml of fluid 30 minutes before the event, and must drink 100-200ml of fluid every 15 minutes during the event.
- Remember, the drinks one consumes during the run should have less than 5 gms/100 ml carbohydrate/sugar. Try and consume drinks in cold temperature.
Crucial post event diet
- Post the event also, it’s important to replace the electrolyte loss in the body to avoid injuries or simple muscle cramps. Hence, after the race, one should consume a full meal, which is rich in protein and carbohydrate to avoid wear and tear of the tissues. Make sure to have approximately 100 gms of carbohydrates and 8-9 gms of protein in the meal.
- Immediately after the race, you can have one bowl of low fat yogurt, one banana and one glass of orange juice.
- You can also have one bowl of spaghetti with chicken and two slices of garlic bread or chappati roll with paneer.
Here, the quantity of the food might vary according to the food item one selects or his/her body weight.