Lately I have been reflecting back on the 2011 Baltimore Marathon I ran in mid October in attempts to record some of the lessons I learned about sports nutrition. I have decided these mistakes need to be documented (despite my embarrassment), so I don’t repeat them, and so others can avoid them!
With that said, this blog is about the do’s and don’ts of fiber rich foods and running!
I am very proud of my personal record breaking time I achieved in the Baltimore Marathon, HOWEVER, I took about three more pit-stops than I would have liked to because GI distress, in other words I had to go to the bathroom and trust me it wasn’t fun! I think I could have avoided some of the bathroom stops if I avoided fiber rich foods both before my race and during my race.
Regularly, I am all about increasing my fiber because it aids in weight loss, lowers the risk of diabetes, heart disease, diverticulitis, and constipation. I aim to have the recommended 20-40 grams of fiber a day! I do this by eating fiber rich cereals (my favorite: Fiber One Honey Squares), 100% whole wheat breads, oatmeal, whole fruits and vegetables, nuts, and beans! However, fiber interferes with the essential quick digestion and utilization of carbohydrates needed during long endurance races. Insoluble fiber can be especially problematic for runners because our bodies cannot digest it and thus adds bulk to our stools and helps us do the deed!
The high fiber foods I ate:
- Whole wheat tortilla- 8 grams of fiber
- LaraBars - 4-5 grams of fiber
- Apple- 4 grams of fiber
- Orange – 2.4 grams of fiber
Healthy replacements for next time:
- Orange juice
- Energy Gels
Generally, if a product has more than 5 grams of fiber per serving than it s considered a high fiber source and it probably best to avoid right before or during a run! Overall, Fiber is an essential part of the diet but runners should be mindful when and how much to consume before and during long runs!!