Fueling The Marathon: Tips To Staying Hydrated And On Top Of NutritionDec 6, 2019
By: Lauren Keating
Part of the training for a marathon is building the endurance to be able to go the distance as well as nailing down nutrition and hydration needs during those training runs.
Training sessions are the ideal times to practice what is consumed on race day. This includes learning how to listen to the body to know when it is going to need fuel before bonking occurs.
But no matter how well we have this down pat, if we know anything it’s that sometimes things happen during the race.
Not drinking enough water or falling behind on consuming our Kramp Krusher energy chews can throw us off for miles—and could even lead to us sitting on the sidelines instead of finishing if we don’t get back on track.
When it comes to fuel during the marathon, these are the top tips to stay hydrated and on top of our nutrition needs.
Fuel Early And Frequently
It’s important to stay on track when it comes to calories consumed as well as glucose intake to fuel the muscles during an endurance event.
Marathoners need to start feeling early. Aim to get at least 30 grams of carbohydrates per hour. This is the equivalent of one gel, but one package of Kramp Krusher dummies give runners 38 grams of carbs.
According to research, meeting carbohydrate needs as well as properly staying hydrated can improve performance in the marathon anywhere from two to 20 percent depending on the athlete.
Even at two percent, this breaks down to shaving two minutes and 30 seconds off for an elite 2:15 marathoner.
Take the first five Kramp Krusher energy chews 15 minutes before the race. Then eat another five pieces every 30 to 45 minutes throughout the marathon.
Always make sure to drink water when consuming.
Choose Nutrition With Sodium
When we sweat we lose salt. We need salt, sodium, to regulate the amount of fluid in the blood. Without enough sodium in the body, the marathoner could suffer from hyponatremia, a serious condition that can be fatal.
Sodium helps hydrate, aiding in a faster absorption rate of fluids.
Kramp Krushers contains natural electrolytes to aid with hydration. It has real seal salt at 310 mg per serving to help keep sodium levels up so that performance does not suffer.
Having nutrition with sodium is also important in hotter and humid races where we tend to sweat more.
Drink More In Warmer Weather
It’s crucial to continue to drink throughout the entire marathon in warmer weather.
Dehydration is no joke. Signs of dehydration include headaches, dizziness, and dry mouth.
When dehydrated, it can take up to 45 minutes to properly hydrate again after consuming about two bottled waters. Don’t let this derail you from the marathon.
At the same time, listen to your body especially your stomach. It’s best to drink only six to seven ounces of water every 15 minutes of running or 24 to 28 ounces per hour.
Anything more than can cause that sloshing sensation in the stomach or result in over-hydrating.
Warmer marathons might then require adding in salt or having a sports drink to continue to further stay hydrated.
Remember that the amount of fluids needed during the marathon depends on the runner’s body size, their pace, and the heat.
Make sure to drink 1.5 to 2.5 cups of water two to three hours before the race. Use the bathroom before starting the race and then take a few sips before starting.
A good strategy is to then drink at aid stations, taking small sips from personal water bottles when thirsty.
Avoid The Caffeine
Some marathoners are all about fueling with sports nutrition products that contain caffeine. Some studies found caffeine can boost performance. However, there are also negative side-effects associated with caffeine.
First of all, those with sensitive stomachs might find themselves running to the bathroom or experiencing cramps.
Others might find that caffeine gives them headaches or makes them jittery.
Avoid the caffeine and go stimulant-free with Kramp Krushers. Marathoners still get all the performance boosts without the caffeine thanks to its calcium lactate that offsets fatigue. This is better than caffeine which just masks fatigue while calcium lactate prevents it.
It also is fast-acting, easy on the stomach and includes up to 84 peak performance events like magnesium and iron.
Master Drinking On The Run
While there is water typically on course, the runner should have their personal water supply on hand. Do so by either using a hydration vest or belt.
Take small sips to prevent cramping and always drink when fueling.
Take advantage of the water at the aid stations. Master drinking without slowing down by squeezing the paper cup to easily drink without spilling or choking.
How much salt do you need while running?. Matt Fitzgerald, Active https://www.active.com/articles/how-much-salt-do-you-need-while-running
11 Marathon Fueling Tips for a Faster (And More Enjoyable) Race, Matt Fitzgerald, Healthynomics https://www.healthynomics.com/marathon-fueling-tips/
The 10 Rules of Proper Marathon Fueling, Tara Martine, MS, RD, LDN, Women’s Running https://www.womensrunning.com/2016/08/nutrition/10-rules-of-marathon-fueling_63109