Nutrition for Running

When training for the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon, or any race, there is one thing to keep in mind – food is fuel. We’ve asked the expert Michelle Cleland, Registered Dietitian and Wellness Coordinator with Savage and Associates, for tips to keep your body fueled during your next race:  

  1. Eat consistently throughout the day. To avoid poor performance and recovery, regular meals and snacks can be the answer. After an event or training, opt for snacks that include protein and carbohydrates, like a banana and peanut butter.  During an event, a carbohydrate source can help keep energy levels more consistent.
  2. Don’t ignore regular meals. Snacks are important to get enough energy, but meals are where balanced nutrition occurs. Aim to have carbohydrate foods at each meal like brown rice, sweet potatoes, beans, quinoa, etc.
  3. Drink more water. Drinking enough water on pre-race days as well as the day of the event can help improve performance.  Taking in water throughout the day can help keep you hydrated and prevent the sloshy feeling from taking in too much water at once.  During longer events remember to drink throughout the event and remember to rehydrate the day after an event.
  4. Eat a pre-race meal. Eating carbohydrates in the days before the event is important but taking in fuel through food the morning of the event is just as important.  Some of your stored energy will be burned while sleeping, so be sure to eat breakfast before your race.
  5. Eat for recovery. After a race or big run, it is critical to refuel. Refueling should be with foods that contain both protein and carbohydrates.  The combination helps to repair muscles and restore glycogen. The first few hour’s post-race is the best time to take in fuel to replace what you lost while running.