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Nutrition for Marathons

Nutrition for Marathons

Marathon Nutrition

Fueling during your marathon is critical to maintain energy levels and performance over the 26.2 mile distance. As you run, your body progressively depletes its glycogen stores – its main source of fuel. Without adequate replacement, you'll gradually lose steam, find it harder to concentrate, and your pace will deteriorate.

Energy gels and sports drinks provide easily digestible carbs to replenish glycogen on the go. Gels deliver a concentrated 30-50 gram dose of carbs in a portable package that is easy to consume mid-stride. Sports drinks provide lower carb concentrations to sip steadily throughout the race. Aim to take in 30-60 grams of carbs per hour once you hit the 60 minute mark by strategically using gels and sports drinks.

Proper on-the-run fueling enables you to maintain your goal marathon pace through to the later miles when willpower is tested. Experiment with gels and drinks during your long training runs to discover your optimal fueling plan come race day. With dialed-in nutrition and hydration, you’ll be energized, focused and ready to chase your marathon goals.

Energy Gels for Running


Energy Drinks for Running


Energy Bars for Running


Recovery Drinks for Running


Hydration for Running


Staying well-hydrated is key before and during your marathon. Drink 500ml of fluid 2-3 hours before the race start. Once running, aim for 200ml every 20-30 minutes at fluid stations. Water is fine early on, but switch to a sports drink after 60 minutes to replace lost electrolytes and fuel.

Optimizing recovery post-race maximizes adaptation benefits. Consume a mix of protein and carbs within 30-60 minutes of finishing to best refuel depleted glycogen stores. Recovery shakes or bars delivering 0.3-0.5 grams protein per pound of body weight are convenient. Prompt refueling reduces post-marathon muscle soreness and sets you up for productive training ahead as you prepare for your next 26.2 mile challenge.

Marathon Nutrition: Insights

Nutrition for Marathons: FAQs

Why is nutrition important for marathons?

Proper nutrition and hydration before, during, and after a marathon is vital to maintain adequate energy levels, prevent fatigue, and support recovery. Fueling appropriately will help you achieve your marathon goals.

What should I eat the days leading up to the marathon?

Focus on eating high carb foods like whole grains, breads and pastas to fully stock glycogen. Try to eat meals higher in protein as well, like chicken, fish or beans. Avoid high fibre foods to prevent GI issues. Stay well hydrated leading up to race day.

What should I eat the morning of the race?

Stick to easily digested carbs and protein like oatmeal with Greek yogurt, toast with nut butter, or a banana. Avoid high fat and high fibre foods. Drink 500ml of water or sports drink 2-3 hours beforehand.

What should I consume during the marathon?

After the first hour of running, alternate water and sports drinks every 2-3 aid stations. Consume 30-60 grams of carbs per hour such as gels, chews, or sports beans. Don't try new fuels or hydration methods.

What should I eat after finishing a marathon?

Eat a carb/protein snack like chocolate milk or a recovery bar within 30-60 minutes post race. Consume a meal high in healthy carbs and protein within 2 hours to refuel. Continue hydrating and replacing electrolytes.

What diet tips help me recover faster after a marathon?

For 1-2 days post marathon, emphasize healthy carb-rich meals, lean proteins and vegetables to refuel glycogen stores. Keep hydrating with electrolyte drinks. Get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol. Within a week, resume normal balanced diet and training.

Choosing the Best Marathon Fuel

You can utilise our complimentary nutrition calculator to determine the precise amount of fuel required for your upcoming. Our free tool is designed to assist you in planning your nutritional intake, ensuring that you have the optimal energy levels to perform at your best during the event.

By inputting relevant details such as your training intensity, body weight, and the duration of your run, our calculator will generate a personalised nutrition plan tailored to your specific needs.

Take the guesswork out of your fuelling strategy and enhance your performance with our user-friendly nutrition calculator.