Chinese New Year is upon us! This means, it is time to snack to our heart’s content… or is it?Over-snacking can disrupt your marathon training and your many weeks of hard work will have gone to waste.
One great way to keep up your progress as well as indulge in your favourite CNY goodies is through running of course! We have compiled a convenient list of the 15 most popular Chinese New Year treats and the distance you have to run to burn it off. Since you are already snacking, you might as well make it fun and improve your run!
But if you are looking to snack healthily this Chinese New Year, try our DIY Muesli Balls Recipe, developed by our dietitian friends from SSI! They are yummy balls of goodness that give you an energy boost before your run. Specially made with runners in mind, these are a great source of long-lasting energy for marathon running!
You can also find other running tips on OSIM’s Sundown Marathon page here.
Drink up for the run
Perhaps the most important way to train correctly for a marathon is with proper hydration. Hydrating can help you perform better, keep your muscles functioning properly as well as cool your body down. For long-distance running however, your body loses more than just water, which is why we need something extra to boost our performance.
This is where sports drinks come into play. Many know that consuming a sports drink helps during training, but do you know exactly how? Here are the 5 reasons why a sports drink is beneficial to your overall performance.
1. Prevents muscle cramps
On your journey to the OSIM Sundown Marathon, there will be many long and tough training sessions. When you sweat a lot during these sessions, your electrolyte levels could become too low, potentially causing muscle cramps, which impedes your training progress. Replacing lost fluids with plain water doesn't replace electrolytes, which is why a sports drink is more essential for better training!
2. Replenishes lost fluids
This one seems like common sense, but it is still important to mention! Sports drinks help replace lost fluids, which is particularly important for endurance training. You will need about 1 1/2 cups – 4 cups of fluids for every hour of exercise, depending on the intensity of the exercise and on how much you sweat.
3. Helps body retain water and electrolytes longer
Plain water is lost through the body more quickly than sports drinks. This means that not only do sports drinks replenish important electrolytes, they also can help the body hold on to the ones they already have for a longer time for better performance and recovery.
4. Pre- and post-run energy boost
Some of us may only be able to train early in the morning before work, which means you may not have the time or the appetite for a pre-run snack. A sports drink is an easy way to get some convenient fuel for your session. Similarly, after a tough run, a sports drink can be a quick source of post-run fuel. After your run, we recommend a serving of protein along with the sports drink to help repair muscle fibres and stimulate muscle growth.
5. Enhances running performance
Last but definitely not the least, consumption of sports drinks during a run has been found to enhance one’s running performance. A study published in the "Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition" in 2014 showed that sports drinks helps your body oxidise break down carbohydrates during a run, thus potentially enhancing performance. However, sports drinks that contain more than 10 percent carbohydrates, including soda and some energy drinks, may cause digestive distress and slow your rate of rehydration.
What does this all mean?
While it is undeniably beneficial to consume sports drinks during your marathon training, it is important to choose a drink that has less than 10% carbohydrates for best performance. Most commercial sports drinks have taken this into account, but it is always wise to check.
However, if you would prefer to make your own at home to save money and control the amount of carbohydrates in your drink, have we got a recipe for you! This recipe provided by the Singapore Sports Institute provides electrolytes and 5–8% (5–8 g/100ml) carbohydrates, helping you rehydrate and refuel effectively during your marathon training. Try it out with your favourite juices or cordials!