Fueling During and After an Endurance Event

women running marathonIn honor of the Little Rock Marathon this weekend, this week’s blog is on eating/drinking to stay fueled during an endurance event, then recovering after. Recipes for a couple of David Rath Nutrition, Inc.’s favorite blender drinks conclude the blog.

During Event

Consuming carbohydrates (especially of high glycemic index) during competition lasting longer than 60 minutes can increase endurance and sustain high intensity performance by maintaining blood glucose levels. This can be accomplished by taking in 25-30 grams of carbohydrate every 30 minutes through convenient, low-fat, carbohydrate-rich sources (e.g. sports bars or gels, bananas, oranges). Drinking sports drinks containing 4% to 8% carbohydrate every 15 minutes will provide the appropriate amount of carbohydrate plus satisfy hydration needs.

After Event

Refueling your body appropriately following activity will assure that you have maximum energy to perform again soon. Carbohydrate-rich foods and beverages should be consumed as soon as possible. Including a moderate amount (about 15-25 grams) of low-fat protein (preferably whey, which can be obtained from dairy foods) with the carbohydrate will optimize energy replenishment, as well as muscle tissue repair and growth. High carbohydrate foods include grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes and low-fat dairy products. Specially-formulated commercial beverages may be preferred, if solid foods are not appealing so soon after activity. An intake of 1.5 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight should be ingested immediately or at least within the first ½ hour, if possible. This same amount should be consumed again two hours later. Following this eating pattern can fully replenish energy stores within 20 hours. Also, be sure to completely rehydrate yourself by drinking plenty of fluids.

Post Competition Refueling Suggestions

The following blender drinks will provide for both energy refueling and hydration:


6 ounces orange juice

½ cup low-fat ice cream

1 medium banana

Ice cubes (optional, but will add more fluid for hydration)

Nutrition Composition: calories – 291, carbohydrate – 61, protein – 5.7 grams, fat – 1.0 gram, calcium – 152 milligrams, sodium – 46 milligrams, potassium – 575 milligrams.


6 ounces grape juice

6 ounces orange juice

1 medium banana

Ice cubes (optional, but will add more fluid for hydration)

Nutrition Composition: calories – 334, carbohydrate –77 grams, protein – 1.7 grams, fat – 1.0 gram, sodium – 10 milligrams, potassium – 1055 milligrams.

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