Health & nutrition
Remaining healthy throughout your training for the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K is the key to crossing the finish line on race day. Tips from Shamrock Shuffle sponsors Gatorade and Athletico Physical Therapy will help you as you prepare to kick off the spring running season in Chicago.
Nutrition plays an integral role in race preparation. Not only do the right fuels and fluids help the athlete to perform at their best on race day, they also can get the most out of their training for the big event. Below are a few quick tips from the Gatorade Sports Science Institute.
- Athletes should determine their individual sweat rate and consume fluids with sodium to minimize body weight changes during training and racing
- Recommendations for carbohydrate intake during exercise are based on duration of exercise, not intensity. During training, mix and match solids and fluids to meet both carbohydrate and fluid needs to see what works best for you. Check out what will be offered on course to implement it in your training from the beginning.
- Athletes should consume ~20 g of high quality protein as soon as possible following training or racing to help repair muscle tissue
Athletico Physical Therapy
Remaining healthy throughout your training for the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K is the key to crossing the finish line on race day. Here are some tips from supporting sponsor, Athletico Physical Therapy.
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Go farther more naturally
Training for a race of any length requires more than dedication. You need a proper training regimen and the right fuel to see it through. Yet many runners stick to their regular diets and then lean too heavily on gel packs while training and on race day.
Below, you’ll find five of many runners’ favorite pre-race foods, why they’re great, and how eating more of them can make you better.
Mariano’s top five natural pre-race foods
You simply can’t get enough carbohydrates before a race. But at the same time, you don’t want to gorge on pasta or other super heavy meals. A solution? Oatmeal. It’s lighter, easy on your stomach and loaded with whole grain carbs that will stay with you longer and just the right thing before burning a substantial amount of calories. Just make sure you eat it no less than 3 hours before or after the race.
And if you’re looking for an even bigger boost, try topping your oatmeal with almonds, raisins, and a bit of honey.
Low Fat Yogurt
It’s the perfect running fuel. One cup can give you a quick influx of energy. Yogurt is also heart healthy, an immune system booster and a digestive aid. Low-fat yogurt is also packed with simple carbohydrates (easier for the body to break down) and it has a decent amount of protein for post-race muscle recovery. As a bonus, yogurt is extremely portable and comes in many different flavors.
All hail the king of running fruit. Bananas are packed with carbohydrates and potassium. The carbs will give you the necessary energy you need while the potassium wards off cramping, due to the massive amounts of potassium lost through sweat. Bananas are also loaded with vitamin B6 to help your muscles and keep your immune system healthy. Have one 30-60 minutes before the race for best results.
It’s a classic, but for good reasons. They contain complex carbs, energy that’s not instantaneous, but can be called upon when needed. Bagels (we like whole grain or pumpernickel) are a more substantial option than toast and have plenty of options beyond cream cheese (which we would not recommend because dairy can upset the stomach) Bagels are also best eaten 30-60 minutes before the race. As a bonus, try honey, jams, or just a tablespoon of nut butter or peanut butter for longer lasting battery power.
The potato has gotten a bad rep because we often see it in its fried form, but you can’t beat a healthily prepared potato for its carb-loading benefits. In fact, they are higher on the glycemic index than pasta! Potatoes are also loaded with potassium, (more than bananas) to aid in muscle recovery. Try any kind of potato mashed, baked or boiled for extra energy either for breakfast or the night before a big run.
It’s always a good idea to test drive how your body will react to your pre-race diet choices throughout your training. Remember the golden rule: Nothing new to your system on race day. Good luck!
For more on foods and meal ideas for all your training needs, read our in-house dietician blogs at marianos.com/dietitians.
Fuel your fitness with health key
Staying healthy for race day and beyond is now easier at Mariano’s. We’ve developed a system so you can quickly find the food values that matter to you. It’s called health key. Just look for the color-coded labels throughout the store to instantly identify what’s organic, gluten-free, vegan, whole grain, fiber-heavy, heart-healthy and more. Spend less time searching labels and more time discovering healthier possibilities.
Learn more about health key at: marianos.com/healthy