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Marathon Nutrition Tips: What to Eat Before, During and After Your Race

Group of marathon athletes running on street

Group of marathon athletes running on street

Training for a marathon, half marathon or other endurance race and not sure exactly what to eat when training and on race day? Well, this post is for you! We recently got some marathon nutrition tips from the nice peeps at KIND Bars (we love their Nuts and Spices bars so much that they just won a Noshie!) and we just had to share. So, ready…set…YUM!

Marathon Nutrition Tips: What to Pack in Your Gym Bag

While most marathon-training and race-day bags will be packed with towels, extra sneaks and maybe even a set of headphones, what is more important is the food and drink that every runner should have tucked away!

Pre-Run
Bananas: You’ve all seen runners and athletes alike noshing on bananas before a race or game. Why? They are a good source of carbs and potassium and are a safe pre-run food as they are unlikely to cause gastrointestinal issues.

Cinnamon: Believe it or not, cinnamon promotes blood circulation, which means more oxygen to your muscles. Try grabbing a bar like PowerBar’s Apple Cinnamon so you’re getting protein and cinnamon in one bite.

During Run
Honey: Either grab a small bottle of honey and pack it in your pocket or try Honey Stinger gel packets which include B Vitamins and electrolytes.

Post-Run
Cherry juice: Cherries are higher in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties than many other types of fruit. Cheribound’s original juice is packed with 50 cherries and can be enjoyed warm or cold.

KIND Bars: KIND’s Almond Walnut Macadamia + Protein has an extra boost of protein and is composed primarily of nuts, which help refuel and re-energize the weathered runner.

What are a few of your favorite marathon-nutrition eats? Tell us! —Jenn

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!

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3 Comments
  1. Hi Jenn,

    These are great tips! I’ve never tried these before. I don’t usually mind what I eat after the race. Anyway, thanks for sharing! 😀

  2. Leah says:

    Great article. But make sure you’ve acclimated your body to cardiovascular-friendly foods during your training not just during your marathon. Registered Nutritionist Heather Cherry is a great resource too for what (and how much) to eat during training, prior to the marathon, during a marathon and after.

  3. I’ve found that the although the energy was good from either raw honey or a honey stinger, they were not kind to my stomach. Hammer Gel / GU seemed to provide the same boost without the discomfort. Although I’m sure that will vary from person to person.