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

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