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Eating the Night Before Competition

On the night before competition, marathon runners often get together and eat pasta. That may not be such a good idea.

Marathon runners know that how long they can exercise muscles depends on how much sugar, called glycogen, they can store in muscles. When a muscle runs out of its stored sugar supply, it hurts to exercise and becomes difficult to control. Eating a high-carbohydrate meal, such as pasta, helps to load muscles maximally with sugar. The pre-race meal cannot load muscles as it takes at least 10 hours to refill muscles with sugar. However, on race day, they pay a price because high carbohydrate, low-fiber foods cause constipation. So they have to stand in long lines, waiting to use the portable johns. Had they eaten their carbohydrates in high-fiber foods the night before, they could have concentrated better on their upcoming competition.

Checked 8/9/08

May 12th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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