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Training Foods for Long Distance (Endurance) Training
By Rebecca Mohning   View more articles by this author
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December 15

Endurance events last over one hour and after the first hour of training nutrition plays a vital role in sustaining energy levels. Here are the important guidelines for proper fueling before, during, and after training.


Pre-exercise nutrition for an endurance event should include a meal of 300-400 calories. In the meal you should include mainly carbohydrate with moderate protein and minimal fat. Examples would include bagel with peanut butter, cereal and skim milk with fruit, and banana with fat-free yogurt and whole wheat toast. 


Fuel needs during training include carbohydrate, electrolyte, and fluid replacement. The time to start replenishing is after the first 60 minutes of continuous training. After the first hour make sure to consume 8 oz of electrolyte replacement fluid every 15 minutes and to consume roughly 65 grams of carbohydrate per hour. Electrolyte replacement beverages such as Gatorade also contain carbohydrates for energy as well as sodium and potassium to replace electrolytes lost in sweat. Do not rely just on water for fluid replacement after 60 minutes of continuous exercise; the need for electrolytes is not going to be supplied in the water. Other carbohydrate foods to include during exercise include energy gels and/or fruit. Make sure to try different carbohydrate snacks and drinks to find out what works best, not everything works the same for each person.


Recovery nutrition should include protein, carbohydrate, and fluids within the first hour after exercise. Muscles more efficiently utilize protein and carbohydrate within the first hour post exercise. Some good recovery foods include smoothies, chocolate milk, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and chicken noodle soup.

Remember to properly fuel your body all day long throughout the week to maximize energy levels and performance.

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