Nutrition For Runners Who Want To Go The Distance

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Proper nutrition is crucial for a runner, particularly if you are a long distance runner, if you want to have enough energy to complete a race, or to simply meet your personal running goals. When running, your body needs 10 to 20 times the energy it needs while resting. Proper nutrition will ensure you have the energy you need when you need it.

Simple and Complex Carbohydrates

It is understood that runners need to get most of their calories from carbohydrates. The problem is many people do not know exactly what foods are high in carbs. Even pasta is only about 80 percent carbs with the rest being protein and fat. To get enough calories that are beneficial to you means your diet should consist of 15 to 20 percent proteins, 30 percent fat and 50 to 55 percent carbohydrates.

To make things more difficult, there are two kinds of carbs: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates include sugar, honey, sweet and soft drinks the get most of their calories from sugar. Runners should get only 10 percent of their carbohydrates from simple sugars. Complex carbohydrates come from the starch in plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, pasta, legumes and bread.

The Glycogen Story

When training for a marathon, or even a half marathon, the average person will likely require about 2,500 calories a day. This is necessary to maintain glycogen stores in the muscles. Glycogen is a polysaccharide of glucose which provides quick energy storage in a human’s cells. It is an energy reserve that can be quickly mobilized to meet a sudden need for glucose. The only problem with glycogen stores is that they are easily depleted and must be replenished.

Normally, a body can store about 2,000 calories of glycogen. Because a runner depletes this amount by about 100 calories a mile, by around mile 20 in a race, runners experience extreme fatigue. This can be delayed by carbohydrate loading before the race. The night before the race, or even a long practice run, it is important to consume a carbohydrate rich meal. It is advisable to top off the tank, so to speak, by eating a light carbohydrate meal right before bed.

Practice Makes Perfect

Every runner is different, so practice what works best for you. Some runners prefer eating a breakfast that carbohydrate rich before the race. Check to see if this routine will upset your stomach before taking off on a marathon race. Practicing ahead of time will let you know what foods work best with your metabolism. Don’t wait until the day of the race to find out this information.

Hydration is Important

Once the race starts, hydration is very important. But like figuring out what food routine works best for you, take time to figure out what drinking routine works best for you.

Drinking while running isn’t easy, but it can be learned with practice. Gulp the fluid too quickly and you could spend a mile coughing and gasping. If you stop to drink at the aid stations, you will loose time. Unless you grip the cup carefully, you will spill half the contents onto the ground. Learn the technique before your race begins. Also learn how much water you should drink during the race so you will not spend precious time in the restroom along the route.

Multivitamins are Essential

Multivitamins are also essential to ensure that you are getting enough of the proper vitamins and minerals in your diet without eating to excess. Vitamins in table form often deliver only about 10 percent of the nutrition to the body. VIBE solves that problem.

Liquid VIBE is different. Within seconds after taking VIBE, a full 97% of the nutrients you need for performance are absorbed into your body at the cellular level. And that is important. Because the faster needed nutrients get to your cells the more you’ll be able to get out of your exercise and training regimen.


Source by Karen Vertigan Pope

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