As you prepare for your next marathon, it is essential to focus on the quality of your nutrition. Choosing the right diet well before your race can have a significant impact on how well you perform. In the guide below, learn what sports medicine experts say are the best foods and eating practices for performance optimization.
A Marathon Nutrition Preparation Guide
Best Food Choices
Whether you are performing strength exercises or heading out for long runs, take the time to choose a balanced diet. The best meals and snacks keep you full while offering you the most nutrition possible. Whole grains and starches, lean proteins, and healthy fats are critical.
You should also incorporate plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables. These foods will give you essential vitamins and antioxidants. Ideal pre-workout and post-run snacks include healthy smoothies, natural granola bars, nuts, and Greek yogurt. Some athletes also enjoy snacking on a banana, baby carrots, cottage cheese, or an energy bar.
Meals should include a combination of the above nutrients. Start with oatmeal, barley, brown rice, quinoa, or sweet potatoes. Add a protein like eggs, Greek yogurt, beans, or fish. Incorporate avocados, nuts, or olive oil. Don’t forget a vibrant addition such as blueberries, acai berries, apples, asparagus, tomatoes, or spinach.
Smart Eating Practices
Begin eating the foods and nutrients above as early in your training as possible. As with all healthy diets, you should avoid empty calories and focus on eating foods that give me the most nutrients per calorie. Many marathon runners enjoy snacks with a combination of carbs and proteins before and after workouts. They also try to eat small meals every 3-4 hours.
Listen to your body while training, especially on long runs. You may need a protein and carbohydrate-rich snack while on the road or trail. Finally, don’t forget to pair your food with plenty of electrolytes and water.
Every marathon runner trains hard for their race. Fueling your body correctly with the right diet can give you the strength and stamina to perform. If you are in to win, it also helps to partner with a sports medicine and performance optimization team like IMUA Orthopedics, Sports & Health in Honolulu, HI. To make an appointment to discuss your physical health or nutrition, call them at (808) 521-8170. For information about their orthopedic and wellness coaching services, visit their website.