Mumbai Marathon 2019: Three-step plan to a healthy diet

Updated: Jan 17, 2019, 13:20 IST | mid-day online correspondent

Although fats are the largest reservoirs of energy, athletes must keep their fat consumption to a minimum.

Mumbai Marathon 2019: Three-step plan to a healthy diet
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The primary foundation of any sports is food intake. You can be one of the best athletes in the world but your final output depends on the nutrients in your body. Just like following a training regime is significant, your diet plan should work in a similar way. So, by the time the final day of the marathon arrives, your body is familiar with its energy consumption routine.

Dr Santosh Kumar Dora, Senior Cardiologist, Asian Heart Institute recommends a Training Nutrition Trilogy: a three-step plan to a healthy marathon diet to improve your performance on the day of the marathon.

1) Identifying core nutrient groups

The first step is identifying the nutrients which are basic and a must for your diet.

Eat a variety of different foods. There are four major divisions which can form entire meals for a day.

Training Nutrition Trilogy: Three-step plan to healthy marathon diet

a) Bread and cereals

b) Vegetables and fruits

c) Dairy products

d) Pulses like lentils and chickpea

2)Maintaining a regime

Your training diet has the greatest potential for increasing your performance output.

Following are the recommended portions for each of the above food groups containing enough fibre, proteins, carbohydrates and calcium in a day:

a) Bread and cereals- 6 servings

b) Vegetables and fruits- two fruits and three vegetables

c) Dairy products- two portions

d) Pulses like lentils and chickpea- two portions

Carbohydrates are the ultimate source of energy for the muscles. Athletes are expected to consume 50-70% of their energy from carbohydrates.

Proteins and calcium strengthen the muscles and maintain bone mass. Athletes should get at least 15% of their energy from proteins.

Although fats are the largest reservoirs of energy, athletes must keep their fat consumption to a minimum.

Over and above the food intake, your fluid should be carefully regulated at 8 to 10 (approximately 2.5 litres) glasses of water in a day. You will need more fluids if you work out in humid conditions. Keep yourself hydrated. It will regulate the temperature of your body and provide energy. Sports drinks are efficient for re-hydration.

3)Implementing a diet plan on the day

If you have followed the diet plan you created when your training started, it will be very easy to execute it on the day of the marathon. One night before and on the day of the race, do not consume anything exotic. Keep your food intake the same as it has been on other days of training. In this way, your concentration on the day won’t be on your stomach or from where your body is sourcing the energy. 

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