What to Eat for Peak Marathon Performance

Nutrition can have a substantial impact on muscle tone and enable you to get the most out of your upcoming marathon. The book Nutrient Timing for Peak Performance by Dr. John Ivy and Dr. Robert Portman is a good read for anyone looking to time your meals for better race times.

Here are some tips to get you started:

More: How to Create Your Marathon Nutrition Plan

Pre-Marathon Food Ideas

  • Banana with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
  • Low-fat yogurt and a piece of fruit
  • Oatmeal with skim milk and fruit
  • Pancakes with syrup
  • Trail mix with nuts and fruit
  • Granola with low-fat milk and fruit
  • Smoothie with low-fat yogurt, fresh fruit, wheat germ or flax meal

During a Marathon

Cortisol is a hormone that breaks down muscle and is produced by the body during a workout. Cortisol generates fuel by breaking down the muscle.

More: How to Fuel for a Marathon

Insulin is a hormone that works against cortisol to help prevent muscle breakdown. Therefore, during a marathon, it is important to consume both carbohydrates and protein.

Carbohydrates will trigger the body to make insulin, which will decrease the amount of cortisol produced. This will decrease muscle breakdown. Protein will help sustain your workout, provide lasting energy, and allow for faster recovery.

More: Are You Eating Enough Carbs?

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About the Author

Kait Fortunato

Kait Fortunato is a dietitian living and eating her way through Washington, D.C. She enjoys marathon training and helping others meet their nutritional goals.

Kait Fortunato is a dietitian living and eating her way through Washington, D.C. She enjoys marathon training and helping others meet their nutritional goals.

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