Diet & Nutrition

Diet to be followed
  • Carbohydrates: potatoes, yams, beans, macaroni, spaghetti, brown rice
  • Proteins: chickpeas, lentils, nuts, paneer.
  • Fat: fish
  • Calcium: low-fat dairy products, calcium-fortified juices, beans, eggs.
  • Iron: lean meat, green leafy vegetables and shrimp.
  • Multi-vitamin supplements

Your body needs the right food to replenish its supplies during training and on race day. Running a marathon burns up a lot of energy, so a healthy rich diet is good for you.

Experts recommend you eat 5 to 6 small, well balanced meals, each day. After each run during training, it is very important to eat within 30 minutes so that your body can recover lost nutrients and have sufficient supplies to repair.

Carbohydrates  are your friends in a marathon. If you are on a low-carb diet, this must be stopped at once. Carbohydrates provide glycogen, which your body needs to burn in order to produce energy for the race. So your diet needs to be rich in carbs. Foods for marathon training include: potatoes, yams, beans, macaroni, spaghetti, brown rice among many others.

Proteins  are essential in marathon training because they help repair and restore muscle tissue. They are also important as a source of energy. Indian foods high in protein include: chickpeas, lentils, nuts and paneer.

Vitamins are also necessary for marathon runners and experts recommend foods rich in nutrients. A multi-vitamin supplement can also provide the required amount of nutrients.

A high fat  diet can quickly pack on the pounds, so try to make sure that no more than 20 - 25% of your total diet comes from fats. Stick to foods low in saturated fats and cholesterol. Foods such as nuts, oil and cold-water fish provide essential fats called omega-3, which are vital for good health and can help prevent certain diseases.

A calcium-rich diet is essential for runners to prevent osteoporosis and stress fractures. Good sources of calcium include low-fat dairy products, calcium-fortified juices, leafy vegetables, beans, and eggs. Your goal should be 1,000 to 1,300 mg of calcium per day.

You need iron to deliver oxygen to your cells. If you have an iron-poor diet, you will feel weak and fatigued, especially when you run. Men should aim for 8 mg of iron a day and women need 18 mg. Good natural sources of iron include lean meat, green leafy vegetables, nuts, shrimp, and scallops.

Small amounts of sodium and other electrolytes are lost through sweat during exercise. Usually, electrolytes are replaced if you follow a balanced diet. But if you find yourself craving salty foods, it may be your body's way of telling you to get more sodium. Try drinking a sports drink or eating some pretzels after exercise.