Competition General Marathon Nutrition

Nutrition tips for marathons – before, during and after the race

Those who have finished a marathon know the overwhelming emotions you get once you’ve crossed the finish line. However, in order for this to happen, the right nutrition is crucial, and it helps you to run the 42.195km without cramps and without hitting the wall. 

The most important limited energy source for a marathon runner is carbs. Especially during the last quarter of the distance they begin to vanish. Thus, if you don’t refill carbs on the way, you will hit the notorious wall after km number 30.

Many runners are nervous before a marathon. This has an effect on the nutrient intake by the intestine. Therefore, it is important to eat easily digestible foods like white bread with honey or a fast digestible müesli on the day of the marathon. Professionals often drink regeneration drinks as Isostar Reload After Sport. This provides you with fast accessible Energy without putting stress on your intestine.

Approximately one hour before the start, you can even fill your carbohydrate and mineral savings via an isotonic drink such as, for example, Isostar Hydrate & Perform. Small sips until right before the competition provide your body with both nutrients and water, both of which you will need during the race.

Your tactics for during the race should be: Never miss a refreshment station, even if they might be crowded with other runners. This is the best way to prevent cramps and it helps you to avoid hitting this famous wall. It is further important that you test the drinks, bars (e.g. Isostar Endurance + bar) or gels (e.g. Isostar Energy Booster or Isostar Actifood) in your training prior to the competition. Not everyone tolerates a given supplement. Solids are generally tolerated less during running because of the percussion on the intestine. Here, too, it is recommended to test things beforehand.

After a marathon is before a marathon. Although you might not aim for the next goal right away, be aware that, in the days after the event, your body has a lot of recovery work to do. Regeneration should thus be the main focus. You will be likely to feel like eating sweets more than you would normally. Try to eat more fruits during this time and to also compensate for the increased need of proteins. Here, delicious protein concentrates like Isostar Reload After Sport might help you to cover these cravings without having to eat a lot of chocolate or other sweets.

Those who provide their body with the energy it requires can reach their goals more easily. We hope that these nutrition tips will help you to reach your goal and to be able to live the emotions mentioned at the beginning.

Nutrition tips for the last 3 days before the marathon:

The estimated need for carbohydrates during these three days is around 8 to 10 g per body weight per day. That is, a person weighing 75kg should consume 750 g of carbs per day. This is a lot! However, it is important in order to optimize the energy savings and to lay the basis for your body to be able to perform at its very best for 3 to 5 hours.


  • 200 ml of fruit juice
  • 1 yogurt
  • 50 g of müesli
  • 5 slices of bread
  • 1 pear or 100 g of grapes
  • 1 fruit compote (100 g)


  • 1 big plate of pasta (300 g) or rice (260 g, cooked)
  • or semolina or some other grain (330 g, cooked)
  • potatoes salad (1 bowl)
  • 3 slices of bread
  • 1 fruit or 1 pudding
  • 1 cup of milk + Isostar Endurance + bar 
  • 1 banana or some other fruit


  • 1 big plate of rice (or pasta or potatoes)
  • 1 salad
  • 2 mushroom crêpes
  • 2 slices of bread
  • 1 yogurt
  • 1 compote or 1 fruit

And the little extra for during the day: The drink Isostar Hydrate & Perform – adapt the amount to the size of the meals. An optimal supplier of liquid is Isostar Endurance + Sport Drink. Liquid is important for a successful uptake of carbohydrates.


This blog entry was provided by Isostar. If you want to read more about Isostar and their products and services, click here


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