What diet is good for a marathon?

Website design By BotEap.comNutrition is often an overlooked element of marathon training. The right nutrition plan will make those long training runs seem so much easier!

Website design By BotEap.comFood is your source of energy. All foods are made up of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and fiber. Carbohydrates are linked to energy production, complete proteins are linked to tissue repair and building, fat provides fuel for the body, and fiber is fiber.

Website design By BotEap.comMost foods will have trace amounts of all of these macronutrients, but each one is usually rich in one. ALL are necessary in your diet.

Website design By BotEap.comcarbohydrates

Website design By BotEap.comYour body burns carbohydrates more efficiently than fat or protein. Consider increasing your carbohydrate intake to 60-70% of your daily food intake.

Website design By BotEap.comRunners benefit the most from the amount of carbohydrate stored in the body. Carbohydrates produce more energy per unit of oxygen consumed than fats. What this means is that you get more energy for running when your body burns carbohydrates than when your body burns fat or protein. Because oxygen is often the limiting factor in long-duration events, your body will have an easier time using the energy source that requires the least amount of oxygen per kilocalorie of energy produced. (energy is measured in kilocalories)

Website design By BotEap.comYour body makes energy by converting carbohydrates into glucose. When you exercise at a moderate pace, carbohydrates provide 40 to 50 percent of your energy requirement. As you begin to run harder, carbohydrates provide a higher percentage of your energy needs. It is difficult for your body to break down protein and fat into glucose to provide energy. Therefore, your body first burns carbohydrates. The harder you work, the more difficult it becomes for your body to devote energy to breaking down protein and fat. That energy could be used to propel you forward in the race.

Website design By BotEap.comThe best sources of carbohydrates for your marathon training

Website design By BotEap.comCarbohydrate needs are commonly based on the runner’s body size and activity level. Runners who engage in low-intensity, moderate-duration exercise require 5 to 7 g of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight. In contrast, those who participate in long-duration, high-intensity exercise require 7 to 12 g of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight.

Website design By BotEap.comAll carbohydrates are not created equal.

Website design By BotEap.comThe best sources of carbohydrates in your diet

  • Fruit,
  • vegetable,
  • Integral rice,
  • enriched whole grain breads,
  • whole grain cereals,
  • oatmeal,
  • Beans,
  • vegetables
  • sweet potatoes
Website design By BotEap.com(Note: Cheetos, cookies, and tortilla chips are not listed.)

Website design By BotEap.comfat

Website design By BotEap.comThe next macronutrient the body will use during exercise is fat.

Website design By BotEap.comFat is not the enemy. The fat created from an excess of cheetos is. (Remember that excess of any macronutrient (carbohydrates, proteins, fats) is converted to fat). For moderate exercise, about half of total energy expenditure is derived from free fatty acid metabolism. If the event lasts more than an hour, the body may use mostly fat for energy. The use of fat for fuel depends on the duration of the event and the condition of the runner. Trained athletes use fat for energy faster than untrained athletes. (This is one of the long-term adaptation mechanisms in marathon training.)

Website design By BotEap.comThe best sources of fat in your diet

  • walnuts
  • Seeds
  • nut butter
  • fatty fish
  • fish oil supplements
  • flax seed oil
  • Safflower oil
  • canola oil
  • sunflower oil
  • corn oil
  • Lawyers
  • egg yolks
Website design By BotEap.com protein

Website design By BotEap.comAfter carbohydrates and fats, proteins provide the body with energy. You also need protein to repair muscle tissue that is damaged during exercise. While exercise can increase an athlete’s need for protein, most Americans tend to eat more than the recommended amounts of protein.

Website design By BotEap.comA protein intake of 10 to 12 percent of total calories is sufficient. Most authorities recommend that endurance athletes consume between 1.2 and 1.4 grams of protein per kg of body weight per day. Remember, extra protein is stored as fat.

Website design By BotEap.comIt’s doubtful that you need extra protein, which is likely that you need to be more mindful of where you get your protein.

Website design By BotEap.comWomen trying to lose weight by cutting calories often forego healthy protein sources for bagels. Don’t get me started on my “bagels are empty calories” tirade; For now, all I’ll say is that high-protein foods include lean pork and beef, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, tofu, and low-fat dairy products. Include lean sources of protein in your marathon training diet.

Website design By BotEap.comThe best sources of protein in your diet

  • lean pork and beef
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • eggs
  • low-fat dairy products
  • Broccoli
  • Beans
  • Corn
Website design By BotEap.com fiber

Fiber helps the body stay healthy and can prevent heart disease. Getting enough may be easier than you think.

Website design By BotEap.comSoluble fiber, found in oats, barley, beans, apples, oranges, and other fruits and vegetables, can help prevent heart disease by lowering LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol levels. Set a goal to eat 20 to 35 grams of fiber every day. The best way to do this is to eat a wide variety of whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits and vegetables.

Website design By BotEap.comFiber also keeps the intestines regular. This is key to avoiding discomfort in your long workouts.

Website design By BotEap.comThe best sources of fiber in your diet

Website design By BotEap.comInclude more fiber in your eating plan by adding vegetables to stews and stews. Add oatmeal to meatloaf, breads, and crackers. Fruit in cereals, as a snack and in salads are other options.

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