To Goo or not to Goo
Cynthia Bates, Whole Body Health
Today I went out to talk to runners training for the marathon. One of the questions that came up was “to Goo or not to Goo” – what do you do to sustain energy on a long run?
Let’s start first with the physiology of the digestive system. Digestion is one of the bodies long-term projects. When our body is under any kind of stress (physical, emotional or psychological) our “Fight or Flight” mechanism switches on and long-term projects like digestion shut down. What this means, is that if you body thinks you need to be running away from a saber-toothed tiger then it’s going to put whatever food comes into the body on hold. What this feels like is gas, bloating, nausea as the food putrifies in the stomach and small intestine. Not good.
So, my first recommendation is to make sure you eat enough extra calories the day before a long run so you don’t need to eat WHILE running. The body can store up to 2,000 calories depending on your size and metabolism which should last you a couple of hours. (More on this in a future posting!)
My second recommendation is to eat some healthy fat 30 minutes to an hour before you run so you have some longer-acting fuel in the system. Something like an apple and 2 Tb of almond butter or ½ cup granola with berries and ½ cup full-fat coconut milk. A client of mine has taken to just downing a spoon of Flax seed oil before he heads out and says it really keeps him going.
However, if you are running over two hours, your body is going to need refueling and something as easily as absorbable as possible, thus the gels and goos.
I have taken a look at the commercial preparations and the “healthiest” ones are those with organic ingredients, rice syrup or honey vs maltodextrin or sugar and include extra vitamins and minerals. But, I have challenged myself to come up with an even healthier alternative….STAY TUNED!