Sports nutrition running: nutritional advice for runners and for marathons
A trained runner is familiar with training schedules and their benefits. A well-constructed schedule has a positive effect on the development of muscle strength and endurance. Along with this, the use of sports nutrition is also important for running. Sports nutrition (carbohydrates and protein) can certainly benefit your performance and development. Therefore you should prepare yourself well for an interval, endurance training or marathon and be aware that too little or incorrect nutrition can be disastrous, but eating too much can be too! So with a good sports nutrition package you can achieve your full potential.
What sports nutrition do (marathon) runners use?
In general, runners’ favorite foods are not always the best foods. For the curious reader, we have put together an overview of the 5 most used foods and drinks while running:
Energy gels or sports gels
The correct (and timely) use of the right (sports) nutrition helps you to get the most out of your training program, so you eventually become better and stronger.
The Maxim Training Circle is a handy tool for runners to create an adapted (sports) nutrition plan! In all phases, the use of the right food and especially drinks is essential for a good energy balance, fluid balance and for optimal recovery.
Optimal pre-run preparation
Before going running, the energy stock in your muscles should be as high as possible, because during the run you will have limited access to food and drinks and eating and drinking during the run is often difficult, too. So, a good start is half the battle and after that it is just a matter of replenishing in time. Drink at least 500 mL of Maxim Sports Drink or Maxim Total Hydration beforehand and eat 1 Maxim Energy Bar.
If your training frequency increases, or in the run-up to a marathon or (multi-day) race, we recommend stacking up on extra carbohydrates 2 days in advance. This can be done by making your snacks and meals high-carb by adding extra bread, rice, potatoes or pasta and, for example, eating a Maxim Energy bar as a snack. If you forget to charge properly beforehand, you will have a hard time later on, because during strenuous exercise your body uses more energy than it can absorb at that moment. A good supply is important for efficient and effective energy management!
What kind of sports nutrition do you need while running?
While running, it is important to keep the fluid balance and carbohydrate stock in your body at the right levels in order to perform optimally. Sufficient fluids are essential for a good absorption of sugars in your intestines. Too much sugary food and too little fluid is a nightmare for your intestines and can cause stomach and intestinal cramps, among other things. Plan your usage of energy gels well and do not take too many. They are very concentrated, especially in fast carbohydrates! When you do take one, try to drink something along with it.
During exercise you use a lot of energy and to free up this energy, fluids are needed … perhaps more than you think. Unfortunately, water alone is not enough to keep the fluid balance in your body in check. The effect of a good sports drink with sufficient electrolytes and the right carbohydrate composition is often underestimated!
What is the role of electrolytes and a good carbohydrate composition in sports drinks?
If you are going to exercise for more than one hour, supplementing with fluids, combined with electrolytes and sugar/carbohydrates is recommended.
- Electrolytes, such as potassium, sodium and magnesium regulate the fluid balance in your body, so you don’t drain fluids too quickly. They are also important to maintain a healthy blood pressure and good blood flow to your muscles.
- Fluids support digestion and combustion, maintain your blood pressure, get rid of waste and prevent your body from overheating.
- In addition, you need extra carbohydrates as fuel for your muscles. Preferably a fructose-maltodextrin combination. The different carbohydrate sources ensure an increased absorption in the body.
500 mL Maxim Sports Drink in combination with a Maxim Energy Gel Drink provides the right amount of fluids and energy per hour. Your body cannot process more carbohydrates properly and you do not need them! It just costs energy to process them.
If eating solid food is difficult, or in the last part of your training you can take a Maxim Energy Gel or Energy Gel Drink instead of an energy bar.
What kind of sports nutrition ensures a fast recovery after running?
After a good endurance or interval training you will be exhausted, if you were able to achieve your full potential. The energy reserves in your body will have been used up. Replenishing fluids, carbohydrates and also proteins is important to be able to recover quickly, so you can start your training fit again the next day. This way, you can optimize and build your endurance and strength further. Take a Maxim Protein Bar after the end of your run, preferably within 45 minutes, to nourish your muscles and initiate muscle tissue recovery. Your muscles continue to work hard for a few hours after exercise in order to recover. A lot of fluids are also needed in this process for energy combustion and heat dissipation. Hydrating is therefore very important. You can use Maxim Sports Drink or Maxim Total Hydration to hydrate properly. Drink at least 750 mL.
The sports nutrition plan for runners
Order the Maxim Sports Nutrition Package Running here.