What to Eat for Peak Marathon Performance

Immediately Following a Marathon

The 45-minute window following a marathon is when your body is extremely sensitive to insulin. A common theory is to only consume protein following a workout, but we also need carbohydrates to help with insulin production and to drive muscle building.

Without consuming adequate carbohydrates, the muscles can become insulin resistant. Liquid meals are also recommended as they are more easily absorbed.

More: 4 Fully Loaded Meals to Carry You Through Race Day

Post-Marathon Food Ideas

  • Roll with turkey
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
  • Salted pretzels with peanut butter
  • Fruit smoothie with milk
  • String cheese and crackers

Everyday Nutrition

In between workouts, a healthy diet consists of carbohydrates, lean protein, healthy fats, and snacks throughout the day. These macronutrients work together to replenish muscle glycogen and synthesize new muscle. It is recommended that an athlete consume the following percentages of their total calorie intake:

  • 21 to 24 percent protein
  • 43 to 46 percent carbohydrates
  • 33 percent fat

More: 5 Best Carbs for Athletes

For more specific recommendations based on your height, weight, gender, and activity levels, see a Registered Dietitian.

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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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