Nutrition is critical while training for a marathon or half marathon. Carbs, carbs, carbs! If you are on a low carb diet, then STOP. Carbohydrates provide the fuel for runners. Load up!

Carbohydrates will provide glycogen and protein will help repair muscle tissue. Men and women need to consume 2000-2500 calories each day. During training, you will need to add 100 calories per mile you will be running (or try the Caloric Needs Calculator). 65% of your calories should come from carbohydrates, particularly complex carbohydrates. 10% should come from protein (you need 0.5 to 0.7 grams per pound of your body weight each day). 20-25% of your total calories should come from unsaturated fats.

Vitamins are highly recommended and will give you adequate supplies of the minerals your body needs. Take multi-vitamins daily as a supplement. Also, keep in mind you need plenty of calcium and iron. See the nutritional charts for the things you eat and make sure you are getting adequate amounts of both. Stay away from pizza!

Following are good sources of complex carbohydrates and protein:

Good Carbohydrates:

Potatoes, yams, beans, peas, wheat bread, bananas, macaroni, spaghetti, cereal, raisins, apples, bagels, syrup, brown rice, corn, apples, carrots, root vegetables

Good Protein:

Low fat milk, beans, green peas, lean beef, chicken, fish, eggs, cheese, yogurt, nuts, peanut butter, cottage cheese, tofu and soy products

Nancy Clark's Food Guide for Marathoners is an excellent resource for additional nutritional information and highly recommended.

What to Eat and When

In addition to daily nutrition requirements, eating the right food at the right time is essential for maintaining energy during the run and for maximum post-run recovery.

While running, your body depends on glycogen and fat as sources of fuel (primarily glycogen). By increasing carbohydrate consumption in daily meals, you increase your glycogen storage – thus, adding fuel to your tank. While running, you begin to deplete glycogen storage. The longer the run, the more depleted your glycogen storage becomes until it would eventually run out if not replenished. When glycogen runs out, your body transitions to burn only fat. This transition stage is commonly referred to as "the wall". Eating before, during, and after a run will help you maintain adequate glycogen.

When eating before a run, it is best to have a light snack (such as a banana and wheat bagel) an hour before the run. Whatever you choose to eat, it should be something that your body digests well.

Try different foods to see what works best for you. Eating before a run is a good way to help maintain glycogen storage, however we digest foods differently so it is important to test a few different foods before shorter runs before trying something new before a long run.

Consuming snacks during the run, especially runs of 10 to 20+ miles, will help replenish what you burn and give you more energy. The key to eating during the run is that anything you consume should be quick and easy to digest, such as fruits or energy gel/bars. Energy bars are light, small, easy-to-carry, and loaded with complex carbohydrates. Most recommend consumption of one every 30-45 minutes during activity.

How to carry snacks is another thing. Running gear manufacturers are making it easy for runners though by offering a number of belts/fanny packs designed specifically for carrying fluids and nutrition snacks for consumption during a training run. Take advantage of them!

After a run, your body is begging for replenishment. It is mostly begging for more carbohydrates to store as glycogen and for protein to help muscles recover. Our bodies are not very understanding when they don’t get their way and you can bet it’ll make you pay for it by overlooking it’s desires. Within 30-minutes after each run, always feed your body after a run with carbohydrates and protein to help your body recover and be strong for the next run.

Nutritional Supplements

AdvoCare Rehydrate

Reyhdrate Electrolyte Replacement Drink does more than replenish lost fluids, minerals and electrolytes. It sustains energy and muscle endurance with carbohydrates and amino acids. It also contains antioxidants to neutralize the free radicals your body produces during physical activity. Unlike other similar drinks, Rehydrate contains a 1:1 ratio of potassium and sodium - the two most vital electrolytes lost through sweat. And it helps prevent cramping with calcium, magnesium and L-glutamine to support the contraction and relaxation phases of the muscles.

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Spark Energy Drink

I use Spark® Energy Drink to replace my morning coffee and for an afternoon boost. What I love most is the mental focus it provides.

AdvoCare Spark® Energy Drink mix is a unique multi-nutrient system that's designed to provide nutritionally advanced, long-lasting energy and enhanced mental focus.* Its 21 vitamins, minerals and nutrients work synergistically to give you healthy, balanced energy without making you jittery like other caffeinated beverages.*

Spark's unique combination of ingredients gives you fast-acting energy and B-vitamins enhance your body's natural energy-sustaining processes.*

For mental focus and clarity, the neuroactive amino acids in Spark help sharpen your mental focus and alertness by supporting your brain's ability to efficiently transmit messages within the nervous system.* With five refreshing flavors and only 45 calories per serving, Spark gives you a lift that lasts for hours.*

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AdvoCare Snack Bar

Active Snack Bars taste great and are an excellent snack when you’re on the go. I enjoy one every day!

With 10 grams of protein, the Active Snack Bars, available in a delicious double chocolate flavor, is the perfect solution for anyone when a quick, sweet snack is in order. The Active Snack Bar contains a great balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat and may help slow down the food's digestion and absorption.

This helps ensure that the body absorbs all the nutrients, while the craving for something sweet is also satisfied. Each bar combines the right amount of protein with carbohydrates in a convenient snack with only 140 calories and zero trans fats. Now you can satisfy both your sweet tooth and your nutritional needs with the Active Snack Bar!

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24 Day Challenge!!!

Overweight and want to lose weight before you begin training?

The AdvoCare 24-Day Challenge is a great healthy way to lose weight fast. While the diet is quite strict, this plan gets results.

The program consists of 10-day herbal cleanse phase designed to clean out the kidneys, liver, colon, and instestinal system. The final 14 days focus on getting leaner.

This is a great way to trim down before training and ultimately help you to achieve your marathon or half marathon goals.

Learn More

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Have questions or want to try a sample? Contact us

Additional Resources on Nutrition for Marathon Training:

The American Dietetic Association has excellent reports and podcasts on nutrition and athletic performance at which I highly recommend reading.

For an excellent resource on sports nutrition for women, visit Jan Dowell’s

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Additional Resources on Nutrition for Marathon Training:

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has excellent reports and podcasts on nutrition and athletic performance at which I highly recommend reading.

For an excellent resource on sports nutrition for women, visit Jan Dowell’s