Best Food for Marathon Runners

Running a marathon is not a joke – those 42 kilometres will require lots of strength and energy, so you have to be prepared in all ways. However, keep in mind that the recovery process is not less important for your health state, so it is important to fuel your body with proper nutrition and keep yourself hydrated enough before and after a race. How to choose the best plan and products? Here are some essential tips for every runner.

Best Food for Marathon Runners
Best Food for Marathon Runners


The most common mistake that many runners are doing is to eat a lot of calories rich food one or two days before the race. People think that they will collect more calories so will have more energy for long-distance running. However, this is an absolutely wrong way of thinking. In this way, the digestive system is overcrowded, so there will be extra air in the intestines and you might feel bloated, feel the pain in your stomach and gain even a few extra kilograms of unprocessed food inside that will make your running just more difficult.

The right vegetables and fruits are the best option to get all nutrition and energy. Basically, there are some food and product you should avoid few days before the marathon such as deep-fried dishes, any kinds of fast and highly salted food, products of processed meat such as sausages and dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, cream or milk.

It is recommended to have the last low-fat, high-carbohydrate and low-fibre meal at least 3 hours before the race.  The best options would be the whole grain bread, peanut butter, and bananas. It’s important to stay hydrated, so drink water or sports drinks, but the consumed amount of fluid cannot be more than 700ml per one time.


When the marathon is finished, you might feel very tired and hungry. Be careful and don’t eat too much of heavy meals because your body is in a shocking state after the distance and the natural functions aren’t working normally. First, hydrate yourself with isotonic drinks as they have very similar salt, sugar, and nutrition concentration as the blood of human beings. Don’t drink too much in one time as it might shock your stomach, so it’s recommended to take a few glasses up to 300ml during an hour. It’s important to not use any alcohol a few days before and after the race to keep the right level of hydration.

Keep yourself from the mistake to eat something right after finishing the race. It is necessary to wait at least one hour and then start with food that contains lots of carbohydrates such as bananas, peanut butter sandwiches, special energy bars. However, the amount of the first meal might be not more than a snack. After 2-3 hours it’s time for another meal that might be bigger, so choose dishes full of proteins, good fats, and carbohydrates. As a result, the perfect options might be eggs, fish, rice, avocado, nuts, and bananas again. Combine meal with massage, bath, stretching and good rest to keep yourself healthy.

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