Marathon excitement is in the air! If you are one of the nervous runners, here’s a basic nutrition tip to help you prepare for the 26.2-mile event:
Carbo-load, don't fat-load!
To their dismay, many runners confuse high fat foods and high carb foods. They fat load. Fat does not get stored in your muscles as glycogen (the fuel needed to prevent you from “hitting the wall”). Only carbs get stored in your muscles as glycogen.
Carbohydrate-rich foods include:
Hot and cold cereals
Fruits- bananas, grapes, raisins, and all fresh and dried fruits and juices
Breads, bagels, crackers – whole grain, so you don’t get constipated
Rice, noodles, stuffing
Pasta with tomato sauce (not cheese sauces)
Quinoa, lentils, beans – but be careful of getting too much fiber…
Baked or boiled (sweet) potatoes (without lots of butter)
Vegetables, particularly carrots, peas, beets, corn, and winter squash
Lower carbohydrate, high fat choices that may taste great,fill your stomach but leave your muscles unfueled include:
Your goal when carbo-loading is to consume about 3 to 5 grams carbohydrates per pound of body weight. Here's a 3,200-calorie menu that provides the right balance of carbs and protein. The menu is wheat-free, to show that even athletes who have celiac disease can still carbo-load!