Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Best Beverages for Marathon Runners

Whether you live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and are training for a coastal marathon, or you’re in Boulder, Colorado training for a marathon in the Rockies, there are certain beverages that can help fuel a better performance. For those running for 90 minutes or less, plain water is fine, which will help replace fluids lost from sweating while preventing dehydration, but for marathon running, fluid intake is far more important. In addition to water, your body needs carbs and sodium.

A DIY Sports Drink

Many sports drinks contain all sorts of unhealthy additives that don’t do your body, or mind, any good when you’re trying to win, or simply finish the race. You can make your own healthy drink by combining one-part water with one-part fresh-squeezed orange juice and just a pinch of salt. You’ll get the fluid you need along with the carbs and nutrients in the orange juice, including potassium. This mineral that’s lost as you sweat is important for regulating fluids and maintaining mineral balance in the body’s cells as well as helping muscles contract.


Contains a good amount of sodium to help replace the amount lost from sweat, while its salty taste encourages more drinking, a benefit for marathon runners whose bodies need the fluid to keep going.

Tea or Coffee

While it’s somewhat controversial, drinking a cup of tea or coffee 30 to 45 minutes before a run does provide an energy boost that allows athletes to work harder, thanks to the caffeine content in either beverage. The caffeine may also help to improve glucose absorption so that muscles are refueled quicker. It’s best to drink only a limited amount, however, as caffeine can also be dehydrating.

Carrot Juice

The morning of your marathon, you may want to drink a glass of carrot juice. It not only contains lots of vitamin A, but phosphorous, which boosts the body’s metabolic rate and ensures optimal use of energy in the body while reducing muscle pain after exercise.

Beet Juice

About an hour before the race, try drinking a glass of beet juice. A study conducted out of Saint Louis University in Missouri found that consuming beets can “acutely improve running performance.” The results revealed that runners who ate beets 60 minutes before a race were able to run 3 percent faster, with the biggest improvements found during the last leg. The researchers noted that they believe the nitrate in beets helps to reduce the oxygen cost of endurance exercise, allowing the runner to use up less energy to produce the muscular force need to propel forward. It also increases nitric oxide production and improves blood flow, allowing muscles to perform more efficiently.

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