Everything you need to know about the nutritional support of marathon athletes

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Glucose, glycogen stores, carbohydrates and essential dietary supplements for runners.

The marathon is not a simple matter. Every person who decides to cover the 42 km of this race trains for months and follows a specific exercise and diet program.

There are several ways to approach both racing and training. When it comes to nutrition, things are more specific.

In the marathon the load of the aerobic mechanism of energy production and the muscular system of the participants lasts continuously from 2 to 2 and a half hours (for high level athletes) and up to 4 to 5 hours sometimes (for amateur athletes).

Let’s take the things from the beginning. The participants in the marathon:

1st They need to replenish glycogen stores in the muscles as well as liver glycogen to support continuous and uninterrupted energy production. This requires, in the previous days (from 3 to 6 days before), a intake of 6-8 grams of carbohydrates / kg body weight per day.

So an 80-pound man should get between 480 and 640 grams of carbs a day, and that’s not just possible with food, because it requires very large amounts of food and, of course, very good carb quality design.

A very good quality solution are scientifically designed dietary supplements such as Herbalife24’s Rebuild Endurance sports nutrition series Herbalife Nutrition, which contains 36 grams of quality carbohydrates (various molecular weights) per serving that are good for storing and filling , but also to stabilize blood glucose levels.

2nd Blood glucose levels need to be stabilized during the race to provide energy to their hard-working muscles.

An action that requires the intake of 30-40 grams of carbohydrates per hour. The only way to achieve this is to use low-dose, low-osmotic dietary supplements so that there is no bloating and stomach bloating. One such supplement is Prolong of the Herbalife24 series, which can be used during the race and contains maltodextrins, ie medium molecular weight carbohydrates that do not create hyper-secretion of insulin to metabolize (something prohibitive during the race) nor increase the osmolality of the solution to diffuse nutrients and fluids into the tissues.

3rd A very important element that every marathon runner should pay attention to is his good hydration, as well as his electrolyte balance. Both of these prerequisites require 30-40 ml of water per kilogram of body weight per day for the entire previous week. As well as the intake of 150 ml / water per 30 min during the race and this can be achieved by using the CR7 of the Herbalife24 series, a dietary supplement that dissolves in water and creates a solution with hypotensive action (does not create osmotic effects) and contains electrolytes, potassium – sodium – magnesium. Elements absolutely necessary for the onset and continuation of muscle contraction. Without them, there is a suspension of muscle function.

4th Particular emphasis should be placed on the post-exercise rehabilitation required after the race to avoid possible catabolism (weight loss) following such a demanding and long-term task.

Another area in which Herbalife Nutrition innovates by designing a post-exercise meal is just for that purpose. These are Rebuild Strength which contains high biological value proteins from two different sources (whey and casein), each with its own priorities as well as carbohydrates of different units of glucose and CE vitamins for stopping the release of free radicals. are created during the race and oxidize (wear out) the entire body of the participants.

George Moulinos, MS. PhD in Exercise & Nutrition Physiology, Professor of Physical Education, Physiotherapist, Ms. PhD in Sports Medicine

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