Plastic bottles and foil packages for mid-run snacks are out. Gels, bars and drinks can provide all the energy you need to make it to the end of the marathon. Whether you’re running thousands of miles or a million, these mid-run snacks are all natural and provide efficient fuel. And when you’re not running with thousands of others, you can sweat hard at Las Vegas Henderson gym. Here are 9 mid-run snacks to improve your marathon endurance and energy.
The general rule for staying hydrated during long runs (an hour or more) is 8 oz. of fluid per 15 minutes. Sadly, longer runs mean you’ll need more sodium and potassium. Simply add a teaspoon of salt to your water bottle. (Salt is important for keeping your cardiovascular function in prime shape during the run.)
Time yourself to consume 7-15g of carbs every 15 minutes (for runs that last longer than an hour). This is a general gauge to boost your energy levels so you can maintain speed and stamina. That’s why electrolyte-filled sports drinks are a phenomenal “weapon” to have. The higher amount of sodium the better.
It’s on this list because baby food has a lot of sugars, from fruit, and it can easily be stored in ziplock bags to carry. Its “mush” means that your body uses less energy digesting baby food, making it easier for your system to absorb its nutrients. If the thought of gulping down baby food disgusts you—and why wouldn’t it—you can use a steamer or microwave to soften fruits and vegetables yourself.
Watermelon is one of those fruits high in calories (46g), carbs (11g) and potassium while still refreshingly cooling down. For much-needed sodium, sprinkle with sea salt. Watermelons can be sliced into pieces, and then be pre-frozen in plastic bags.
Cherries are high in fiber. On the bright side, they do their part to help you when you’re running. Dried cherries are great at reducing muscle soreness. This is good if you’re running for more than an hour or two and needs all the help they can get.
Sugary candies and gummies are not a bad idea to consume while you’re running for long distances. Here’s why: these candies have no fat and no fiber. Meaning they don’t slow you down – but, because they’re full of sugar, they provide you with a sugary rush. Just don’t depend on them for nutrients.
If you want something that’s high in carbs, chock full of electrolytes, with the perfect ratio of fructose to maltodextrin – gels are worth the price. They’re portable, can be ingested anywhere, and are an odd mix between a liquid and real food.
Pretzels are processed only minimally. One ounce of these “secret weapons” provides x2-4 the amount of sodium of commercial sports drinks. They have neither fat nor fiber, meaning no upset stomach. They’re not a bad option when things are right and you’re running out of fuel alternatives.
One medium-sized banana has roughly 30 grams of simple carbs. This means it’s just as effective as an expensive energy drink. Not to mention that bananas provide oxidative stress. (Making it easier for your bloodstream to absorb the nutrients.)
Although these snacks will give you the nutrients you need to ensure you see the finish line of your marathon, feel free to sub these options with your own. The point here is that your snacks need to be full of simple carbs—for the fuel—and easy to digest, so you can receive that fuel in the quickest amount of time possible. Forget about regular diet rules: they simply don’t apply for long-distance runners. The faster your body absorbs carbs, spiking your insulin levels, the faster your muscles will feel replenished.