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Mid-run snacks can be a great way to boost your energy levels during a marathon and help you to perform your best. The snacks need to be packed full of energy yet easy to digest (fast-working carbohydrates). Here are a few options to consider:
Isotonic energy gels
These gels are specifically designed for athletes and typically contain a combination of carbohydrates, electrolytes, and caffeine. They're easy to carry and can be consumed quickly, making them a convenient option for mid-run fuel. Taking an energy gel during a run can help provide a quick boost of carbohydrates and other nutrients to sustain your energy levels. The timing of when to take an energy gel can vary depending on the duration and intensity of your run, as well as your individual preferences and needs. We would recommend you try out Here are some general guidelines:
Longer Runs: For runs lasting longer than 60-90 minutes, consuming an energy gel can be beneficial. During these runs, it's recommended to take an energy gel every 45-60 minutes to help maintain your energy levels. This timing allows for a steady supply of carbohydrates to fuel your muscles and prevent fatigue.
High intensity workouts: If you're engaging in high-intensity workouts such as interval training, hill repeats, or tempo runs, you may benefit from taking an energy gel before or during the workout. These sessions can deplete your glycogen stores more rapidly, so consuming a gel 15-30 minutes before the workout or halfway through can help sustain your energy.
In particular, bananas are great as a mid-run snack. Just one average-sized banana contains an average of 27g of fast-digesting carbs. Top tip: the riper the banana, the simpler the sugars. This means the sugars will be absorbed quicker into your bloodstream.
Raisins and dates are also a great mid-run snack. They are full of natural sugars and potassium; also helping to provide the energy you need mid-run.
Sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade can help replenish electrolytes and fluids lost through sweating. They can also provide a source of carbohydrates.
Trail mix (nuts, seeds and dried fruit) is a great option as it provides a mix of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. This is also easy to transport.
Jelly-based sweets are a great energy booster for mid-run as they are packed full of sugar, yet have very little fat or fibres to slow down the absorption rate. It is important to note that most runners will struggle to consume any more than 60g of carbs per hour.
Jelly Babies contain 4g of carbs per sweet
Percy Pigs contain 7g per sweet
Jelly Beans contain 1g per sweet
Wine Gums contain 4.6g per sweet
Haribo contain roughly 4g per sweet
It's important to note that everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. It's a good idea to experiment with different types of snacks during training to see what works best for you before race day. Also don't forget to hydrate! Drinking water and electrolyte replenishing fluids throughout the race is just as important as fuelling with snacks. In conclusion, mid-run snacks can be a valuable tool for boosting energy levels during a marathon. Experiment with different options during training to find what works best for you and make sure to practice taking them in during your training runs.