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What to Eat During a Marathon

Posted May 16, 2023 by Michelle Boltz, MS, RD, CSSD, LD


During race dos and don’ts:

You woke up early and followed our tips for what to eat before a race. Now your race has started – see what to eat and drink during a marathon. We’ll see you at the finish line! 

Do: include about 30-60 grams of carbohydrate per hour.  

Some examples include:

  • Sport drinks (with ~6% carbohydrate solution; 6 g carb per 100 mL)
  • Gels
  • Gummies
  • Beans  

Do: drink early and often.

Hydration is key. Every 15 minutes or so, take a few sips.  It is recommended to drink about 0.4-0.8 liter per hour.  

Do: include sodium in order to avoid hyponatremia (low blood sodium).  

In order to replace electrolytes lost in sweat (mainly sodium), sports drinks are a good option.  

Don’t: eat or drink anything that you have not tried during training. 

Continue consuming foods you have previously tried during training. You never know if a new food or liquid will agree with your stomach. 

Stick to these tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and ACSM.

Read on to learn the best way to refuel your body post-race.



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