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Marathon Nutrition


What To Eat On The Big Day

Worried about what to eat on the big day? Never fear, Maximuscle is here! To help you on your way, Maximuscle have broken down all the important time points for the marathon and given some of our favourite foody suggestions.


As most marathons usually start in the morning, breakfast is the perfect opportunity to pack in lots of low glycemic index (GI) carbs which will breakdown slowly and release their energy throughout the race. As with anything on marathon day, don’t try something new. Why not try a bowl of porridge with berries and cinnamon, or a pot of apricot and maple syrup bircher on training days to see if they’re a good contender for marathon morning. Try not to have too much fat and fibre with this meal as both can slow down digestion before the race.

Start the race optimally hydrated by sipping on water little and often in the hours leading up to the start line. An easy way to check your hydration status is to check if your pee is the colour of pale straw.


Hopefully you will already have a full tank by this point with your hearty breakfast, but 30 minutes to 1 hour before the race top up your blood glucose levels with a small high GI carb snack. Again, try to establish what works best for you during training runs, giving you the confidence that your food choices shouldn’t give you any nasty stomach upsets on marathon day. Good pre race foods can include a handful of jelly sweets or white bread with jam.


Follow your nutrition and hydration strategy that you’ve perfected during training. Take a look at the Maximuscle ‘Marathon Race Day Nutrition’ article to find out more.


Congratulations you finished! Now it’s time to thank your body and give it a boost of carbs and protein to help replenish what was lost during the race and to help restore muscles. Why not try either an egg sandwich, chocolate and banana milk, or 1 serve of Maximuscle Recovermax which has a 3:1 carb to protein blend and includes electrolytes.

Get a jump on re-hydrating your body as soon as you’ve finished. Aim for 1 – 1.5 litres of fluid for every kilogram of body weight lost with sweat. You’ll know roughly what this is by determining your individual sweat rate per hour during training. Check out the Maximuscle ‘Hydration in Sport and Fitness’ article to find out more.


Continue to replace glycogen stores (the stored form of carbohydrates) used during the marathon. Pack in the protein and a big portion of vegetables along with a source of carbohydrates in your evening meal. Go on, you deserve it! Consider either, steak with mashed potatoes, broccoli and spinach, or if you’re of the vegetarian persuasion; lentil curry with tofu with cauliflower and mixed beans.


Carbohydrate should be king on marathon day to get you through the miles, with the additional focus of protein intake after the race to restore your tired muscles. Make sure to pack in the fruit and veg after the race and stay on top of your hydration levels.