Fitness

Running: Hydration and fuel

By: Karen Kwan

Photography by ©iStock.com/klohka Author: Canadian Living Credits: Photography by ©iStock.com/klohka

Fitness

Running: Hydration and fuel

By: Karen Kwan
1. What to drink before a run, and when
"Drink one to two cups of water within one hour before you run," says Stefanie Senior, a registered dietitian with Athletic Edge Sports Medicine in Toronto.

2. What to eat before you run.
Eat carbs an hour before you run. "Your snack should be low in protein and fibre. Try a slice of toast with fruit spread and a cup of milk," says Senior.

3. What to drink during your run
Bring water; for a run lasting longer than 60 minutes, be sure to bring a sports drink or gels to fuel up on your carbs and replenish your electrolytes. Senior recommends looking for a drink or gel that provides: 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per litre from various sources, such as glucose, fructose and sucrose, to help with absorption; 460 to 690 milligrams of sodium per litre; and 78 to 195 milligrams of potassium per litre. However, be sure to consume it slowly.

4. What to eat after you run
"Post-run, eat a meal that focuses on carbs but is higher in protein than your prerun snack," says Senior. Look for a ratio of four grams of carbs to every one gram of protein. The goal is to replenish glycogen levels (the stored carbs in your liver and muscles) and aid in muscle repair and recovery. For a meal two hours after your run, try whole-grain pasta with lean meat sauce and a spinach salad; for a snack, which you should eat within 15 to 30 minutes after your run, try a cup of plain yogurt with 1 1/2 cups of berries.

5. When to load carbs
Carbo-loading (eating eight to 11 grams of carbs per kilogram of body weight per day for one to three days before your race) may be helpful if you’re running for 90 minutes or longer. Taper off exercise to make it more effective.

Click here for more tips for the beginner runner. If you're more advanced, check out our tips for the more experienced runner.
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Fitness

Running: Hydration and fuel

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