Marathon Training 101: How Your Body Processes Carbohydrates

Marathon Training 101: How Your Body Processes Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of fuel while training for any athletic event, so it's important to eat the right foods that are sufficient in the right nutrients for optimum performance!

During digestion, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, the body’s main source of energy, and released into the bloodstream. When not used, this glucose is stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen. Stored glycogen can be used as energy when glucose in the blood stream runs out, which happens daily as mileage increases. Eating the right carbohydrates can ensure glucose and glycogen levels are adequate to keep you going throughout training and during race day.

Your carbohydrate requirements depend on the level of activity you engage in on a given day and on your weight. The chart below gives an overview of the average recommended intake of carbohydrates.

To convert your weight in pounds (lbs) to kilograms (kg), simply divide your weight by 2.2.

Ex: 150lbs ÷ 2.2 = 68kg

Take your weight in kilograms (kg) and multiply it by the grams of carbohydrates recommended for you, depending on your activity type.

Ex: 68kg x 3g of carbohydrates = 204g of carbohydrates per day

By blending fruits and other carbohydrate-rich foods like veggies and grains, you are providing your body with a source of nutrition that is absorbed faster. It's also shown that iquid supplementation (smoothies or Blasts) can help support muscle growth.

Including complex carbohydrates in your daily diet is easy to do when you're Blasting. Using foods like bananas, sweet potatoes, grapes, quinoa, rolled oats, kiwi, mango, oranges, pineapple, beans, beets and peas, can easily help you reach your carbohydrate needs for the day.

Feeling bloated or gassy with your new, high fiber eating regimen? Check out these quick tips:

  • Be aware of the age of your produce. The older your produce, the higher the number of microbes it contains, which can cause excess gas and bloating.
  • Drink water throughout the day.
  • Try simplifying your Blast; use greens, 1-2 fruits and 1 serving of nuts or seeds.
  • Avoid dried fruits; these can be hard to digest and may cause increased gas and bloating.
  • Watch sugar content. Use lower glycemic fruits like apples, pears, figs, grapefruit, cherries, berries and apricots.

When you fuel your body the right way, your body will perform so much better than you ever thought possible - just wait and see!

Try our Hit the Pavement Blast for a tasty treat before you next training session.

Registered Dietitian, Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics

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