Nutrition and Exercise
Well done to all who ran the 33rd London Marathon on Sunday! Running is a fantastic form of exercise that can have great benefits for the body. However, the amount of excise required for a marathon can have significant health implication. While moderate exercise has been shown to increase the ability of the immune system, prolonged and intensive exercise can cause temporary depression of it. This can lead to an increased susceptibility to infections, such as upper respiratory tract infections. Gastrointestinal symptoms are also common complaints experienced during long runs, with symptoms such as bloating, nausea, vomiting and faecal incontinence often resulting. This can be due to a number of reasons such as reduced blood flow to the gut, anxiety and poor nutrition.
Below are a few tips for fuelling your body during periods of intense exercise:
- Always consume a varied well-balanced diet to ensure sufficient intake of vitamins and minerals as well as fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
- Consumption of sufficient fluids is essential during exercise to prevent dehydration and to compensate for mineral loss. Fluids should be consumed prior, during and after. Choose a sports drink which will help fuel the body and replace lost salts. Also, make sure to avoid alcohol as this dehydrates the body.
- Following exercise try to consume a small amount of carbohydrate as soon as possible to help replenish the body. Bananas or fruit juice are great options.
Anyone undertaking any large amount of exercise may benefit from consulting a nutritionist.