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Don’t Hit the Wall: Nutrition 101 for the Marathon


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Don’t Hit the Wall: Nutrition 101 for the Marathon. Carbohydrate – A Runner’s Friend. Spares muscle glycogen Consume before, during and after long runs Not all created equally Simple vs. complex Enriched vs. whole grain Inadequate carbohydrate intake can lead to:

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Don’t Hit the Wall: Nutrition 101 for the Marathon

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Don t hit the wall nutrition 101 for the marathon l.jpg

Don’t Hit the Wall: Nutrition 101 for the Marathon


Carbohydrate a runner s friend l.jpg

Carbohydrate – A Runner’s Friend

  • Spares muscle glycogen

  • Consume before, during and after long runs

  • Not all created equally

    • Simple vs. complex

    • Enriched vs. whole grain

  • Inadequate carbohydrate intake can lead to:

    • Protein/muscle breakdown

    • Decreased ability to burn body fat


Protein why do we need it l.jpg

Protein – Why Do We Need It?

  • Immune function

  • Hormone production

  • Repair damaged muscle tissue (foot strike)

  • Optimize carbohydrate storage in muscles – eat carbohydrate + protein after long runs

  • Help stabilize blood sugar levels when consumed with a carbohydrate meal/snack

Gibala, MJ. Protein Nutrition and Endurance Exercise: What Does Science Say? Gatorade Sports Science Institute, Sports Science Library. Accessed 3/06/07. Available: http://www.gssiweb.com/Article_Detail.aspx?articleid=719&level=3&topic=2


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Fat – Friend or Foe?

  • Unlimited storage capacity – 150 lb lean athlete may have 60,000 calories of stored fat

  • Fat not used for energy is easily stored as body fat

  • Fat is not a fast or efficient source of energy –sluggishness during runs if too much

  • During exercise – trained vs. untrained people and women vs. men burn a higher % calories as fat

  • Some fat in the diet is necessary to absorb some nutrients, vitamins and anti-oxidants (carotenoids).


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Choose These:

Avocado

Canola oil

Fatty fish – salmon

Flax seeds

Natural nut butters

Nuts, seeds

Olives, olive oil

Avoid These:

Saturated fat

High fat animal and dairy products

Coconut oil

Palm, palm kernal oil

Trans fats – partially hydrogenated oils

Choose Healthy Fats


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Get That Fluid On Board!

  • Dehydration can start within 15-20 minutes

  • Fluid intake may not keep up with absorption rate – maximum repletion rate is about 4 cups per hour

  • Even a 1% fluid loss impairs performance

  • Thirst may not “kick in” until 2% fluid loss – or 3 lbs (6 cups) for a 150-lb person


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Signs of Dehydration

  • Thirst, dry mouth

  • Weakness, fatigue

  • Nausea, vomiting

  • High body temperature

  • Muscle cramps – legs

  • Dizziness, confusion

  • Weak, rapid heart rate

  • Lack of coordination & judgment

Horswill, CA. Signs of dehydration. Gatorade Sports Science Institute, Sports Science Library. Accessed 3/7/07. Available: www.gssiweb.com/Article_Detail.aspx?articleid=428


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Hydrate Morning, Noon and Night

  • Plain water is OK for <60 minutes of exercise

  • Sports beverages (fluid, carbohydrate and sodium) good for >60 minutes of exercise

  • Carry fluid with you at all times!

  • Pre- and During Run or Race:

    • Drink at least 16 oz. (2 cups) fluid 1-2 hours before run

    • Drink 6-12 oz. fluid every 15-20 minutes during run

  • Post-Run or Race:

    • Drink at least 16-24 oz. (2-3 cups) fluid per pound lost

    • Drink until urine is pale or clear

Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and athletic performance. JADA 2000;100(12):1543-1566.


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Daily Eating, Daily Fuel

  • Eat regularly, every 3 to 4 hours

  • Eat balanced meals – grain/starch, protein, fruit/vegetable, healthy fat

  • Choose whole grains vs. white enriched

  • Fuel your body with nourishing food!

  • Experiment during training!

  • Do not try something new on race day!


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The “Last Meal” - Meal Before the Marathon

  • High carbohydrate – spare muscle glycogen

  • Easily digestible – low fat, protein, fiber

  • Size of meal depends on time before start

  • Lots of fluid – at least 2 cups per hour

  • Avoid alcohol; limit caffeine and sodium

Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and athletic performance. JADA 2000;100(12):1543-1566.


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What About Carbohydrate Loading?

  • Carbohydrate loading - a technique used to load the muscles up with glycogen, which historically involved more drastic measures

  • Try a “modified” version:

    • Taper or reduce run-training during the week preceding the marathon

    • Continue daily carbohydrate-rich food intake during the week preceding the marathon

    • Consume carbohydrate-rich foods and/or beverages during marathon


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Fuel-Up During the Marathon

  • Mostly simple, some complex carbohydrates (spare muscle glycogen)

  • Easily digestible and well-tolerated (trial & error)

  • Sports beverage containing water, sugar (7%), sodium and potassium

  • Sports drinks, energy gels, energy bars

  • Avoid anything too concentrated, like undiluted juice or soda

  • Avoid fructose as the first ingredient

Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and athletic performance. JADA 2000;100(12):1543-1566.


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Recovery Meals

  • First 4-6 hours are crucial for optimal recovery and repair.

  • 15 minutes post – high carb beverage

  • 2 hours post – high carb snack, with a little protein, if possible

  • 4 hours post – high carb meal with moderate protein

  • Choose carbs with high glycemic index for maximal muscle glycogen synthesis

  • Drink until urine is pale or clear!

Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and athletic performance. JADA 2000;100(12):1543-1566.


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Vitamins and Minerals

  • Athletes who are at risk for inadequate intake:

    • Restrict energy intake/severe weight loss practices

    • Eliminate one or more food groups from diet

    • Consume high carb, low vit/min-dense foods

  • Women more likely to lack calcium, iron and zinc

  • Some vitamins and minerals compete with each other for absorption (mega doses)

  • Insurance policy – daily multi-vitamin/mineral, plus extra calcium for women

Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and athletic performance. JADA 2000;100(12):1543-1566.


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Weight Loss Success

  • Regular physical activity

  • Moderate reductions in calorie intake

  • Healthy eating patterns and behaviors

  • Keep records of food intake, physical activity, and goals

  • Be mentally ready and committed


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Keep the Fire Burning!

  • Eat often, every 3 to 4 hours

  • Eat enough to support life!

  • Be physically active most days of the week (run/walk)

  • Pump some iron to help build muscle


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You Can Do It!

  • Is your mental tape supportive and friendly?