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The Runner's Diet Before and During a Half Marathon

July 02, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 211

Running in a half marathon is no easy feat because one has to put in demanding hours of training. One should follow a diet which consist of protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and water before and during the race.

Endurance athletes need more protein than do inactive people. Protein is the building block of muscles and helps build muscles and repair damage making it a vital part of a pre and post workout meal. Lean proteins like poultry, turkey, tofu, lentils and beans are healthier choices than high-fat protein sources like red meat. Protein drinks and protein bars may be consumed but with caution since these contain high amount of sugar and fat. A healthy percentage of a daily caloric intake for a runner is no more than 30 percent of energy from protein sources.

A chicken breast has about 25 grams of protein and an egg has 8 grams. Protein intake should be about 0.75 grams of protein for each kilogram of body weight. Carbohydrate is the energy source of the body metabolism. Carbohydrates can be simple or complex. Simple carbohydrates like sports drinks and fruits give fast sources of energy. They are easily digested and provide the body with the needed energy quickly. Complex carbohydrates are pastas, oats and other whole grains. They take longer to digest and will give one the energy over a longer period of time. Runners usually need both kinds of carbohydrates.

The simple carbohydrates should be eaten shortly before the training or race. Runners should get at least 50 percent of their daily calories from complex carbohydrate sources. Processed junk food like candy, cookies and sweetened breakfast cereals may seem like a fast source of energy but they do not contain the fiber which slows the digestive system enough to obtain most of the added nutrients.

There are fats which are considered healthy and these are the unsaturated ones such as olive oil, fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, soybeans and sunflower oil. The saturated fats and Trans are the unhealthy fats and should be avoided. These fats can be found in animal products such as meats and dairy. Unhealthy fats should not compose more than 10 percent of one's total daily calories. When the race is more than an hour, runners depend on their healthy fat to give them the energy and fuel their bodies. Runners who log miles training for a half marathon will need to obtain about 20 percent of their daily calories from fat.

Runners have to be properly hydrated before working out or race and have to replenish the water loss after a workout or a race. Athletes are recommended to drink 128 oz. of fluids each day. Water is needed to cool the body and make the muscles and organs function properly. Drinking water while running is critical in keeping the body cool. Eat easily digested complex carbohydrate-rich food one hour before the race. Example, oatmeal with banana or wheat bread with a peanut butter are popular breakfasts before the start of a half marathon. During the race or event, one should ingest a high carbohydrate gel fruit or drink a protein carbohydrate drink every 4 or 5 miles. Drink a half cup of water every mile.

About The Author: Hi, I am Anastashia Chaves, I would like to learn more about writing blogs, I'm a self-motivated person. My hobby is surfing on different informative websites that helps me on improving my writing skills. Thank you very much.

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