good marathon snacks? (Read 1337 times)


Fight The Future

    I've been taking gels in my last couple of marathons, and they seem to go down OK, but I'm wondering if there are more natural foods that people have successfully used during their races? I saw an article recommending pretzels and dates, and that sounds pretty good to me. Not sure if the fiber in dates is really what I want during a race, though. Could be problematic, after a while. Any other suggestions for good complex or simple carb snacks that are easy to carry and eat?

      I've taken fig newtons, but they kind of need to be chased with water.  I found Justin's honey almond butter in little packets at the health food store.  I bought a couple, but haven't used them yet.

      Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject. - S.J.

      Best Present Ever

        The Justin's products are awesome for backpacking and traveling, but they don't have a ton of carbs - 11 or 12 grams for the sweetened ones, with almost 200 cals. That doesnt seem like great marathon fare. I've puzzled over the same real-food dilemma. Some of the things that work aren't all that portable (bananas get squished for example) or are hard for me to swallow while running (I like fig newtons for long runs when I don't mind stopping for a minute). For races, I usually use candy (gummies) or gels, which aren't really less 'real' than candy.

        A Saucy Wench

          is the rest of your life pristine real food? I am not trying to be snarky, just,  what you consume during the race is such a small small small portion of the food choices in your life and frankly at a time when you can probably "get away" with it.  If the rest of your life is pristine it probably doesnt matter and if it isnt, this probably isnt your "low hanging fruit" for improving your diet.


          You can try pure honey, but most of the individual packets either arent pure or dont open easily on the go.  Beyond that most carbs are bulkier and or messier than gels.


          Pretzels are usually more if you have problems with salt intake and/or if you have problems taking in enough sweet carbs without upsetting your stomach (that's my issue, but only if I am undertrained and running a slllllooowww marathon). 

          I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets


          "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7

            I am not trying to be snarky


            Ah, for some of us it comes so naturally! Wink


            Fight The Future

              Ah, for some of us it comes so naturally! Wink


              Yes!  Roll eyes

              Demon of Bad Decisions

                You name it, I've consumed it during a race.  The thing is, the "real" food I have consumed is during an ultra, where taking in calories solely in gu and liquid form turns brutally unappetizing, thus making it unlikely that I will fulfill my calorie needs.  This still is just a supplement to gus and sports drink.  I could not see substituting or supplementing with real food at the marathon (or even 50k) distance.  For one, it is just impractical to carry around and then eat real food.  At that intensity, chewing on and trying to get down fruit, pretzels, cookies, etc just requires too much effort, not to mention the addition of water to get it down.  (At an ultra you just eat at the aid station, or carry it until you hike a big uphill, and you usually are carrying liquids to help it out.)  Another thing is, I just don't believe that real foods digest into energy that can be used quickly.  When I have a gu, I feel better within 5 or so minutes.  My mood lifts and my body feels better.  I don't know if that is the fuel or the caffeine, but this does not happen when I eat real food.


                I suppose you can try honey, but Ennay is right.  The only other option I can think of is making your own gel/gu.  I have heard this is becoming more popular, especially amongst the natural food people and those trying to save a few bucks.

                I want to do it because I want to do it.  -Amelia Earhart

                  Agree with WrigleyGirl. For marathons, it's just Gatorade (or equivalent) for me. Even gels need just as much water as you'd drink Gatorade in the first place to absorb them.

                  Fast is better than long

                    I'm a honey fan. It's natural and in the worst case scenario, it isn't as unappealing as other items when it reverses direction. I do agree it should be taken with water, but for me a big swig is enough to take in water to mix the honey.


                    Turns out the best thing to eat during a marathon is what you ate on you long training runs. I wonder why all plans have long training runs; or is it to practice race day procedures, hmmm.



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                    Runs With Kid

                      I haven't tried it myself, but one of my friends who's an ultra trail runner and her husband who does crazy 24 hr mountain bike races, swear by Infinite Nutrition.  It sounds appealing to me since I have a hard time to "eat" while running, but don't have any issues drinking.  I'd be interested to hear anyone elses opinion on the product if you've tried it.  I'll starting to train for a fall marathon, haven't done a full marathon since 2007, so I'm trying to get up to speed on all things new in the running world. 


                        On a couple of my longer runs (started trying to hold out on my under 15-mile runs), I've been bringing along Sunrype FruitSource Plus Veggies (raspberry orange seems particularly edible while running). They are a little harder to eat while running but I have done it (end up breathing a bit harder).


                        I run. Therefore I am.

                          I generally go with a McRib sandwich Super Size Fries and a large thick creamy chocolate shake.  Give it a try...let me know how it turns out for ya !  Shocked

                          You don't need shoes to run anymore than you need a hat to think.

                            I generally go with a McRib sandwich Super Size Fries and a large thick creamy chocolate shake.  Give it a try...let me know how it turns out for ya !  Shocked


                            Is this before or during the run?

                            Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject. - S.J.

                              Now I want a burger and fries, thanks a lot! I'm training for my first ultra, experimenting with candy and mmm mmm mmm cookies. Twizzlers just tastes gross until after mile 15. My grand plan is to eat in training the same that they offer at the event.
                                I must admit that I never considered making the decision based on how it looks partially digested! ;-)