Marathon Nutrition Challenge Week 2
When training for a marathon it is vital that you don’t neglect the “nutrition” training as well as the physical training. So each week we will focus on a different component of nutrition for endurance running. There are four primary categories of sports nutrition:
- Daily food choices
- Before exercise
- During exercise
- After exercise
Our desire is that each week you will focus on the weekly challenge and allow it to become a new healthy habit. Then the next week build upon what you have learned. So let’s begin to build our nutrition foundation on hydration.
Water comprises 60% of your body weight. It has several essential functions, namely:
- Water regulates body temperature during exercise.
- Water protects and cushions vital organs.
- Water aids in digestion.
- Water prevents dehydration.
- Increases the production of new muscles and blood cells
You may have heard the advice to consume “8 glasses of 8oz of water a day”. This is great advice because it is easy to remember! The Institute of Medicine recommends that men consume 3 liters (13 cups) and women consume 2.2 liters (9 cups) of water each day. This is higher than the catchy “8 glasses of 8 oz a day”. However, even this recommendation may not be accurate for everyone. Individual factors, where you live, and how much you exercise can all affect how much water your body needs to function properly.
Some individuals rely on thirst to dictate when and how much they should drink. Unfortunately, most of us don’t recognize the cues that our body sends to us until it is too late and we are already experiencing the beginning signs of dehydration. So how do we determine how much water we need each day?
Let me begin with a quick side-note- as a runner we will discuss “bodily issues” more than may be socially acceptable. This you will discover…right now in fact… Let your urine by your guide. The goal is to have very light yellow or clear urine. If your urine is dark yellow or smells, immediately go get a big drink of water and increase the amount of water you are consuming.
So the challenge this week is to determine how much water you need to drink to maintain a light yellow or clear urine. For a few days it may be helpful to track the number of cups of water you drink. Or you may want to invest in a quality water bottle such as THIS ONE. Then just make sure that you record how much you are drinking to achieve the goal! We would love to conduct a little experiment of our own so once you have determined your “magic number” let us know! (Not to mention, commenting is our way to ensuring that you commit to the challenge!)