October Newsletter


In This Issue
Race Week Fueling for Marathoners!
Intuitive Eating 101 - What Is It...and Is It For Me?
Nutrition Energy
In the News!

Lauren Antonucci, MS, RDN, CSSD, CDE, CDN

Lauren Antonucci, MS, RDN, CSSD, CDE, CDN

Nutrition Energy

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Email: info@nutritionenergy.com

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Issue: #108 October 2019

Race Week Fueling for Marathoners!

For those of you who run marathons, you push yourself through many hard workouts, give up time with friends and family and prioritize training over other activities. Hopefully you also pay attention to your daily and long run fueling, and are feeling confident as we approach the NYC marathon race this Sunday. Now that you are tapering, you are likely both excited to see your long training runs come to an end, and looking for final ways to help you successfully make it through 26.2 miles. All of the hours of training have ensured that you are prepared for the marathon. Now is the time to trust in the training you have done, and count on rest, recovery and nutrition to help you push your performance even further. What you eat and drink over the next several days can help you maximize your energy and performance on Sunday.  We will guide you through the process of optimally fueling up for race day now.


Three days prior (Thursday-Saturday)


Carbohydrate loading:

Carbohydrates are needed to help fuel your body during your long 5-borough run ahead. Carbohydrate loading is a technique used by athletes to maximize glycogen stores by eating carbohydrate-rich foods. The glycogen stores within your body will be depleted within 90 minutes unless you fuel up before and during your marathon. And despite that fact that the 2 hour marathon barrier has recently been challenged, running a marathon will always take longer than 90 minutes...and a lot longer for many of us.


As you continue to taper your training over these final days, increasing your carbohydrate intake will help you increase your glycogen stores thus increase your available energy and performance on Nov 3rd. In these final few days before your event, you should decrease your overall intake of protein and fiber and increase your carbohydrate intake in their place. In order to gradually increase your glycogen stores.


This is the time where we want you to give yourself the go ahead to skip the vegetables with lunch and/or dinner and decrease your intake of protein in favor of more carbohydrates. Since the long strenuous training is behind you, your protein needs are greatly decreased this week. Swap out some of your usual protein and vegetables for more pasta, bagels, rice and/or potatoes. Again, your mantra this week; Think (and eat!) more carbohydrate heavy meals to help increase your glycogen stores.


Fueling The Night before

You will want to avoid high fat and spicy foods the night (or two) before your marathon, in order to minimize any risk of GI distress they might cause. In addition, avoid introducing any new foods or unfamiliar foods into your eating plan (for the same and hopefully obviously reason). Stick with foods you have been eating over the past weeks and months of training, as you know that you respond well to those foods and that eating them will leave you feeling comfortable when you toe the line on Sunday morning. Again, focus on eating high carbohydrate foods you know that you like AND that sit well in your stomach.


Sodium needs vary widely  among athletes because of our widely varied sweat rates as well as a wide range of sodium content in our sweat. Most marathoners will want to increase their sodium intake the night before, to help ensure you are adequately hydrated and ready to sweat on Sunday. Great ways to do this are to include a soup in your meal and lunch or dinner, sprinkle Parmesan cheese on your pasta, drink some tomato/V8 juice or just add some salt to your food.


We all know that fiber is an essential part of our normal diet and long-term health. While this is true as an overall health premise, eating fiber the night before a marathon (or long run) can prove to be problematic for runners. High fiber foods should be avoided in the 2-3 days prior to any endurance event in order to minimize your risk of GI distress and bloating. We know your love your beans and veggies-and we love them too, just give them a pass for a few days and welcome then back into your life on Sunday night. You will be glad you did when your gut is happy on race day.


Marathon Morning

Pre-marathon breakfast can be especially tricky when running late starting races such as the NYC marathon. Your start time may be as early as 8:30 am or as late as 11:00 am. Since most of you will be up by 5 am, it is important to fuel your body more than once before the race. The good news is that you will be up early enough to eat breakfast with plenty of time to digest it before the gun goes off. For those of you starting at 8:30 am, you will want to focus on eating a carbohydrate rich breakfast by 6-6:30. For everyone else, who is going to be up for more than 3 hours, you'll benefit from eating twice; likely around 5-6am and again 1-2 hours before YOUR start time.


In case you need a reminder, a carbohydrate rich breakfast will help replenish your glycogen stores and ensure you are ready to run your best. Although each athlete is different in terms of which specific foods and amounts they are comfortable eating the morning of a marathon, there are some general guidelines most everyone should follow; nothing new on race day for starters, and choose plenty of low-fat, low-fiber, carbohydrate rich foods.  Popular and easy to digest carbohydrate breakfast items include oatmeal, toast, bagels, fruit, crackers and energy bar, or even rice or baked potatoes.


Fueling During 26.2!

Most marathoners should aim for 30-60 grams of carbohydrates per hour. Adequate carbohydrate intake will help delay fatigue during your run. Sports drinks generally contain 14 grams of carbohydrates per 8 oz (as is the case for Gatorade Endurance which will be served alone the NYC marathon course). The cups offered at the aid stations will often have only 2-4 oz of Gatorade, providing about 3-7 grams of carbohydrates. The Honey Stinger organic energy gels which will be provided to you at miles 11 & 18 contain 24 grams/pouch. Think through your nutrition plan before race day to ensure you know how much sports drink you plan to drink and where you are going to get all of those much needed carbs. You'll want to fuel early and often-start before you think you "need" to.


Fluid intake for Marathon Day

As you know, It is important to focus on fluids both before and during your race, however this does not mean you need to be chugging countless bottles of water for all 4 hours you are awake on race morning. About 4 hours before your start time, drink 2-4 ml/lb (~10-24 ounces) of fluid. Drink another 8-16 ounces of fluid 2 hours out from your race start.


Once you begin your run, unless you have done sweat testing in training and know you sweat either much more or much less than "average", most marathoners should aim to drink 6-7 ounces of fluid every 15 minutes, which comes out to about 24-28 ounces per hour.


The NYC marathon will have aid stations every mile beginning at mile 4, where you can choose to take and drink either water or Gatorade Endurance. While you are resting your legs on Saturday, you may want to take a few minutes to look at the course map and see where the aid stations are, so you can plan your fueling strategy by mile and landmarks along the course


While most marathoners are more inclined to fall behind their fluid needs during an endurance event such as a marathon, and MOST of you will want to make an effort to stay on top of your hydration, drinking too much, especially too much plain water too early will result in earlier and more frequent bathroom breaks along the course and not better hydration. Do drink sports drinks or take other products containing salt as you practice in training, to ensure you are well hydrated.


Good Luck!

We, at Nutrition Energy, are excited for this weekend, and hope that this has helped you in your final preparation before the marathon. If this has brought up any questions or last minute nutrition and hydration concerns, feel free to contact us ASAP so that we can respond to you before Sunday morning.

Remember-Nothing New On Race Day...and Please Listen to your Gut !

Intuitive Eating 101 - What Is It...and Is It For Me?

Have you been reading and wondering about intuitive eating?
Well, we have certainly been fielding a lot of questions about it and discussing it with our clients in sessions, so thought it was time to discuss it with you all here. Intuitive eating is an eating approach that encourages getting in touch with your body cues including hunger, satiety, satisfaction. This can of course be a great mindset to eating, and is one we generally encourage, as you re-learn that you are free to eat what you want and what your body needs, without feeling guilty. The core concepts of intuitive eating include not denying yourself of any type of food and trusting your body more. We all experience food cravings and it is absolutely okay to indulge in those cravings while fueling your body in a healthy way. The intuitive eating approach encourages you to rely on your hunger and satiety cues, in turn allowing you to trust your body to guide you in your food choices and how much of each food you want to eat. It is important to note that intuitive eating isn't a diet plan, so there isn't a diet outline on what to eat and what not to eat. As stated before, the beauty of intuitive eating is that you're not restricted to a diet.
While intuitive eating may be considered the gold standard for a healthy relationship to food and eating, it isn't for everyone, and that is just fine. If, in reading about intuitive eating, you find yourself overwhelmed or getting increasingly anxious about how to begin eating this way, it may not be the time for you to jump right in and embrace it. You may first need to remind yourself of the importance of eating all foods and nourishing your body each day. Intuitive eating is a learned skill and it may take a while before you're there.
If, in reading this you feel that you either already practice some of intuitive eating's core concepts and want to continue with them or are ready to explore moving towards that way of eating and listening to your body, it may be a great time to start paying attention to what your body is telling you and move towards intuitive eating and enjoy the journey of progressing towards it.
For those who have been relying on information, such as calories, macronutrients or a "diet plan" to guide your eating rather than listening to your intuition, this can be both a challenging but rewarding/freeing journey. Intuitive eating is more than just being in tune with your body cues, it is about respecting your body and leaving out guilt-provoking thoughts. When you make peace with food through intuitive eating, the eating experience will be much more enjoyable and you don't have to worry about being your own "food police". 

If you would like to continue this important conversation with one of us, please shoot us an email or give us a call. We are happy to help.

A Note from Lauren...

The New York City Marathon is coming around the corner - good luck to all racers (including NE's own Brandy, who is running her 2nd NYC Marathon)!  Remember to listen to your body and fuel appropriately to prevent any injuries and maximize your performance!   Also, congratulations to all Kona Ironman World Championship athletes and all other fall marathoners!  

For those of you who want to not be surrounded by candy after October 31st - consider donating to troops overseas or other charitable organizations, including Treats for Troops, Operation Gratitude, Operation Shoebox, and Ronald McDonald House Charities.  You can also save candy to use on your holiday gingerbread house!

What ideas do you have for leftover candy (other than eating it!).  Are you running the marathon this weekend?  Tag us in your social media updates or let us know on Twitter  @NutritionEnergy , Instagram ,  or  Facebook so we can watch your progress!

Lauren Antonucci, Director
Nutrition Energy