Proper Nutrition, Hydration tackles calorie burn during runs


Have you put on your running shoes, all ready to run a marathon in two weeks? Here’s what you need to keep in mind.

The main focus while running a marathon is mostly on body fitness. What runners often overlook while preparing for a run is nailing that proper nutrition and hydration plan; which is not only essential for good health but also to ensure peak performance on the race day.

Nutrition experts at Nestle, share a few tips on how to maintain that perfect diet for Tata Steel Kolkata 25 K runners this December. Long-distance running demands a full diet renovation to ensure that runners are fuelling their body with all the nutrition it needs. The right proportion of carbohydrates- the primary fuel utilized for the working of the muscles, protein, controlled amount of fat and key vitamins and minerals are required in optimum amounts to help peak his performance.

The experts also feel that the ideal intake for the runners on race day should start with a light breakfast of simple carbohydrates such as cereals with milk, fruits, sports gel or drink, a banana or a granola bar. Building up the fluid levels with water and electrolytes 2 hours before the race to stay hydrated, is advisable.  Runners can fuel up with carbohydrates at 45 minutes from the start of run and continue consuming adequate amounts of carb-loaded gels, bars and chews at regular intervals during the run. Also it is recommended to take almost 400 to 800 mL of fluid like energy or sports drinks per hour during the run.

The ideal post-race nutrition plan should be: within 15mins rehydrate with coconut water or a beverage with electrolytes, followed by a post-race meal with a carb to protein ratio of 3:1 or 4:1.  The post-race meal should consist of simple carbohydrate foods like upma or boiled sweet potato, a fruit a cup of milk based beverage that will provide for the protein. This meal needs to be consumed within the 30 min window post the race, the experts further added.

Bisleri International Pvt. Ltd. associates with Dr. Aashish Contractor (Run and sports medicine expert) to educate the participants at the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K 2017 marathon about the do’s and don’ts related to hydration. Here is what Dr Contractor had to say:

An ideal plan is to drink sufficient fluids to replace sweat losses. It’s a good idea to consume about 500 ml of fluid, 2-3 hours before the event and another 250 ml, 15 minutes before the event.

For exercise lasting less than an hour, plain water is an effective fluid replacement. For exercise, lasting more than an hour, the body needs approximately 30-60 gm of carbohydrates per hour.

This fluid mixture could be obtained from a sports drink, or the very own home-made ‘nimbu pani’, with sugar and a pinch of salt.

After prolonged exercise, most runners tend to be in a slightly dehydrated state, so it’s important to replace the fluids within two hours of exercise. Often sweat loss and urine loss continues in the recovery phase, so it’s advisable to consume 1.25-1.5 litre of fluid for every litre of sweat lost.

Exact calorie burn will vary from person to person, but a ballpark estimate puts the burn rate at about 100 calories per a mile which adds up to 1552.5 calories for a 25K. So we do need to be cautious about the nutrition and hydration before a race.