We all know the importance of pre-race diet, but what about the mid-run snacks or drinks that one needs in order to reach the finish line? Your mid-run fuel is as important as your pre-race meal in order to prevent you from running out of energy, running injury free and to help further boost your performance. These are the food that you can easily take while running, without really loosing your running momentum.
Let’s take look at the most popular available options:
Energy drinks and Electrolytes
Fluids are a great way to quickly inject nutrients into our bloodstream and one of the most popular options available to us are Energy drinks and Electrolytes! Energy drinks are a favourite for runner’s coz it provides the instant energy in the form of calories. While choosing a drink for yourself, please be careful of what you want. The ideal one should have a low sodium concentration and should not be very sweet, meaning the fructose content should be low with a carbohydrate concentration.
While some drinks are loaded with majorly carbs, there are some sports endurance drinks that also come loaded with Electrolytes. Many people are not aware of the exact role of Electrolytes. If simply put, these electrically charged particles help in normal body function and prevents cramping. These includes sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Calcium and magnesium help muscles contract and relax. Sodium and potassium help water stay in the right balance inside and outside of cells. Sodium is the electrolyte lost in the highest concentration in sweat. These are available in powders and can be mixed in water and consumed.
Gels are an alternative to using sports drinks that helps in maintain your energy levels. Gels come in small sachets which is its key advantage. They are easy to carry in a pocket, or can be tucked into your waistband. Gels are a favourite among marathon runners because they’re quickly and efficiently absorbed by the body. Gels come in many flavours including vanilla, chocolate, banana and strawberry.
Sport Jelly Beans are formulated to help fuel the body during intense exercise. The jelly beans are loaded with carbs for fuel, electrolytes to help maintain fluid balance and vitamins to optimize energy release and protect cells against oxidative damage. It comes in small packets and can be easily carried for your long run.
Nutrition/ Energy Bars
Many people don’t like the taste of gels or jelly beans, and for those people the best available option is Bars. Energy bars are loaded with energy rich nutrients. They are usually a pre or post run snack but can also be consumed during a run if you want solid food to easily eat while running. There’s a huge range of energy bars available, though the carbohydrates in different bars tend to come from similar sources: Rice and Oats.