Tuesdays are Chat-Days for the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON Community. In the last #BMcommunity Meet-Up on Facebook and Twitter on 25th August, PowerBar Nutrition Expert Corinne joined to answer user's questions about sports nutrition. Her most helpful insights are summarized as follows:
What sort of meal plan should I partake in for the last week leading up to the race? When should the "carb loading" begin?
Carbo-loading is a tried-and-tested method designed to maximize the glycogen stores in your muscles (i.e. fuelling your muscles energy reserves). The recommended strategies have evolved a lot in recent years. The methods recommended nowadays are much simpler: in the last three days leading up to a competition, you should follow a high-carb, low-fibre, low-fat diet while also tapering your training. In this so-called carb-loading phase, the most suitable nutrition consists of carbohydrate-rich foods such as pasta, rice, mashed potato, dried fruit and fruit smoothies.
Some simple advice for mealtimes includes: fill your plate with two additional helpings of rice, potato or pasta than you would normally eat, choose a banana instead of low-calorie soft fruit (such as berries) for dessert, and for a snack between meals an energy bar or a few raisins are good options. It's important to understand that effective carbo-loading leads to increased fluid retention (carbohydrates are stored as glycogen in combination with water in the muscle), which increases your body weight. As a result you’ll notice that you're slightly heavier than usual. It's therefore important to test this sport nutrition strategy before a long and intensive training session. But rest assured that carbo-loading can lead to performance improvements during long endurance activity.
What should I eat before-during-after the marathon?
First of all: Never try something new on race day!
BEFORE THE RACE: Consume the last big meal 3 to 4 hours before the race: easy to digest, low in fat and fibre (e.g. easy digestible cereals with banana, sandwiches / bread rolls with ham or jam), combined with sufficient fluid. The closer in time you get to the race, the smaller the portions should become. Up to 60 minutes before: carbohydrate snacks (e.g. Energize Wafer) with sufficient to drink. In cases of high levels of competition nervousness, liquid food, such as sports drinks or Powergels dissolved in water, can usually be tolerated better than solid snacks.
DURING THE RACE: As a rule of thumb, depending on each person's tolerance, a carbohydrate intake of up to approx. 60g per hour combined with sufficient fluid.
AFTER THE RACE: Your body especially requires three things. Most importantly, carbohydrates to refill its depleted glycogen stores. Furthermore: Fluid and electrolyte for efficient rehydration and some protein for the muscle repair process. Practical examples are: Recovery Drinks, Semolina or rice pudding with fluid.
How many gels do I need during the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON?
That's a very individual decision, but you should definitely try how many you might need during training in the weeks leading up to the event. As a rule of thumb though, depending on each person's tolerance, a carbohydrate intake of up to approx. 60g per hour (e.g. 1 PowerGel every 30 minutes) is a sensible amount for a marathon. And remember it is also important not to neglect your fluid strategy.
Would you suggest to consume gels with caffeine in the middle of the race, or towards the end?
Corinne advices to take the caffeinated Gel in the middle of the race instead towards the end. Interesting information about caffeine and sports performance/mental boost can be found in her Blog article at http://bit.ly/1GBQgnz.
The next #BMcommunity Meet-Up takes place on 1st September, 6 p.m. and focuses on SPORTS MEDICINE, but before
PowerBar's support doesn't end here. Thinking that you're stronger than you think,PowerBar wants to help you with 10 free energy packages to reach new energy levels even before the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON!
To win, we'd like to see how you POWER through training. Take a strong POWERpic and share it via Instagram, Twitter und Facebook including #together42, @berlinmarathon and @PowerBarUK! Winners will be notified on Monday, 31st Aug.