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Now that the weather is cooler, many athletes are ramping up their training for Fall endurance events such as a marathon, century bike ride,or tennis tournament. If you feel confused about how to maintain energy during extended exercise, use this handy guide as a tool to figure out your target intake. Because each person’s body responds differently to food during exercise, experiment during training, observe the benefits (or costs), and tweak accordingly!


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Carbohydrate intake

during exercise

<45-60 minutes--

A pre-exercise meal (oatmeal) or snack (banana) will do the job to keep you adequately fueled during the workout

Exercise 1-2.5 hours30 to 60 grams carb/hour

Consume 120 to 240 calories of carbs in the form of sports drinks, gummy candy, gels, dried pineapple, banana, and other commercial or standard foods

Exercise >2.5 hours60 to 90 grams carb/hour

For long events like an 100 mile bike ride, Ironman triathlon, or trail run, target 240 to 360 calories per hour from a variety of carbohydrates, including fruit, chocolate bars, and cookies, as tolerated. 


To avoid “flavor fatigue”, include not only sugary sweets (sports drinks, candies and gels) but also peanut butter and honey sandwiches, beef jerky, granola bars, chicken broth, cheese sticks, and other foods that offer savory and salty flavors. Be sure to experiment during training to figure out what you can tolerate!


Fuel wisely and have fun. There's no need to hit the wall!




For more information: Nancy Clark’s Sports NutritionGuidebook, Food Guide for Marathoners, or Cyclist’s Food Guide.

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If you are among the estimated 1% of the population that has celiac disease and 6% that has non-celiac gluten sensitivity, you’ll feel better if you eliminate wheat, rye, and barley from your diet. While this can be managed relatively easily at home, eating becomes more difficult when traveling and ordering restaurant food. Here are a few tips for successful gluten-free dining on the road:


• When traveling, always carry “emergency food” that doesn’t spoil, such as dried fruit, nuts, and gluten-free energy bars (such as Lara, KIND, Odwalla).


• When eating in a restaurant, you'll have to quiz the staff and carefully order your food.


--Is the omelet made on the same grill as the pancakes?

--Is the gluten-free toast made in the same toaster used for wheat breads?

--Does the salad come with croutons?

--Can the gluten-free sandwich be prepared on a paper towel or surface not used for wheat breads (to prevent cross-contamination)?

--Has the turkey been injected with flavor enhancers?

--Is the hamburger 100% beef (with no fillers) and not cooked on the same surface as the toasted buns?

--Are the French fries cooked in the same oil as the breaded chicken?

--Are the steak tips marinated in a gluten-containing sauce?

--Is the rice cooked in broth with unknown gluten-containing seasonings?


As you can imagine, this all requires a patient waiter and an understanding chef. But the good news is, more and more restaurants are offering a gluten-free menu. Plan ahead and google “restaurants with gluten-free menu Boston” (or whatever your city), and you’ll find several options. And to be 100% safe, you might want to travel with your own gluten-free pasta and request it be cooked in fresh water, in a clean pot, and drained into a clean colander.


For more information and a helpful book by gluten-free expert Shelley Case RD, visit

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When a dietitian volunteers to bring dessert to a dinner party, what does she bring? Here’s what I offered … and folks loved it! Peach & Gingersnap Sundaes are not only yummy, but also enjoyably “light” after a hearty meal and deliciously different. Give ‘em a try?


This is just one of 70 recipes from my Sports Nutrition Guidebook --and is also available on my app, Nancy Clark’s Recipes for Athletes


Peach & Gingersnap “Sundaes”:

Delightfully different and yummy-good, this is a welcomed snack for kids as well as an easy dessert for company dinner.

You can prepare the yogurt and gingersnaps ahead of time, and then add the warm peaches at the last minute.

The recipe can be easily adapted using different fruits and flavors of yogurt.

You can also easily cut the recipe and make a single serving just for yourself.


1 tablespoon margarine or butter

1 15-ounce can diced peaches, or 2 cups fresh or frozen peaches, diced

2 tablespoons brown sugar

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

12 gingersnap cookies

4 6-ounce containers vanilla or peach yogurt, lowfat or fatfree


1. Melt butter or margarine in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the diced peaches, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cook, stirring occassionally, for 2 to 5 minutes, or until the peaches are hot. Remove from heat.


2. Meanwhile, place the gingersnaps in a sturdy plastic bag; seal the bag. Crush the cookies to course crumbs with a mallet or rolling pin.


3. To serve, spon the yogurt into the bottom of 4 dessert dishes. Sprinkle with gingersnap crumbs, dividing evenly. Top with the warm peaches, and enjoy.


Yield: 4 servings

Nutrition Information:

Total calories: 1,100

Calories per serving: 275

Carbohydrate 47 g

Protein  8 g

Fat  6      g

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Nancy Clark RD CSSD

Nancy Clark RD CSSD

Member since: Jul 8, 2007

Hi! I specialize in nutrition for exercise, and help active people figure out how to manage food, weight, exercise, energy and enjoyment of eating. Let me know if you have any questions!

View Nancy Clark RD CSSD's profile