Marathon & nutrition stress environment

Medical Column for Sports Health

The renowned german sports physician Dr. Rudolf Ziegler, director of sports medicine U-point of the circle mountain road in Heppenheim ,Hessia and chief editor of the magazine “Puls activ” could be obtained from androgon as a medical consultant. He cared for a year the androgon Extreme Sports Team and presents for all extreme sports and athletic interested his medical advice tips.

As a first contribution, we introduce now the advice of a runner with a question at the right time care time during a marathon.

Klaus U. asks:

Dear Dr. Ziegler,

everywhere confusing or even contradictory information circulates about the question of the proper time supply of a carbohydrate drink during a marathon race. Personally I`m anxious to see the clarification. Caught me at this year’s Essen Marathon once again the “man with the hammer” and that at km 32- MT-my current best time is 3:10 hrs-. Certainly your comments will be of great interest.

Sports physician Dr. Rudolf Ziegler answer:

I would like to highlight two aspects in this matter in more detail, but not necessarily the need to do something together:

• First, the question of the right timing supply with a carbohydrate drink during the marathon:

1. The nutritional mood for a marathon day of competition should necessarily begin with the demand breakfast composition. Also the right timing is of great importance. In plain text: Approx. 3.5 – 4 hours before the start rich in protein , fat balanced and consciously to reduced strength. Hence ,e.g. 2 fried eggs in olive oil plus toasted pine nuts, sunflower seeds or cashews with one to 1 ½ slices of sourdough whole grain bread with cheese or ham plus herbal tea and mineral water (still) plus cottage cheese with some fresh fruit. About 30 minutes before the start there is a specific kick for a stable blood sugar, i.e. 1 ripe banana, dried fruit or fruit bars no sugar added and no artificial dyes ,3 parts apple juice and 1 part mineral water (250-350 ml total), etc.. Please, do not forget the conscious bladder emptying a few minutes before the start. During the marathon then, depending on the training status , climate and outdoor temperature, start to drink, i.e., before the thirst begins. Already known, a fluid loss of only 2% of body weight leads to a significant performance loss. After about the first third marathon, it makes sense to reload carbohydrates. Automatically during the entire duration of marathon so always increased stress hormone levels in the blood and fears regarding a reactive insulin-triggered glucose-waste are unfounded. To support the sodium absorption in the small intestine, a beverage supplied in sufficient carbohydrate concentration of at most 1 to 4% (for example, malt dextrin, – a medium-sugar molecule). To stabilize blood sugar as essential to the preservation of the brain and nervous performance (concentration, dedication, neuromuscular coordination) as well as a supplier of energy to working muscles up to 8% sugar solutions may be supplied, in the finished drinks actually always an appropriate mineral content (especially sodium) is attached.

2. The whole liquid & nutrition concept stands or falls during marathon , with the individual tolerance, and hence this must be tested already in the training and test runs’ . The best drink is designed conserving power and you can use anything if you have the gambles average speed and therefore the absorptive collapses in the small intestine, regardless of the quality and compatibility of the chosen or self-made special drink. And then it’s unintentionally well known “top back and exploding out the back”

3. Finally, a few notes to your targeted performance hit. The summit may have and does not necessarily and not primarily relate to a lower energy supply several reasons. Of causal factors for your unpleasant encounter with the man with the hammer would therefore be to call:

- No specific marathon diet during contest preparation,

- early depletion of glucose reserves in the muscles due to excessive speed on the first 25 km(so-called glycogen burst in the working muscles), which also automatically lame fat metabolism,

- not sufficiently compensated fluid loss during the first 20 km below disturbed microcirculation in the working skeletal muscles (difficult oxygen delivery), favored such by extreme climatic conditions on race day,

- About pacing, i.e. too high in relation to the chosen race pace rote acquired aerobic capacity and performance. So that you could be “blue run” more or less as so called in biathlon language. This increasingly provoked thereby increasing lactate concentration in muscle and blood then hinders the provision of energy in the muscles, in addition. Accordingly, you should immediately undergo a professionally run and conducted specifically lactate performance diagnostics, well in advance of the next marathon. Thus you receive reliable and relevant results to your current fitness level and tempo training requirements. No later than 8 weeks before the marathon start should then provide a more lactate diagnostic performance for the fine tuning in the immediate pre-phase competition.

- Not wrong for you would be an occasional laboratory check, in addition to small blood count, blood sugar, also detection of potassium, homocysteine, selenium, creatinine, urea, total protein and TSH.

No question, of course, the three mentioned factors have responsibility for your announced problem.

So, to a new and better next marathon start!

Dr. Rudolf Ziegler

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