Water Or Gatorade For A Marathon?

Marathons are sort of like Happy Hour: It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.

It is marathon season virtually year-round, with many major cities having their 26.2-mile runs at virtually all times of the year depending on the weather. And during all times of the year, those who run in these marathons are training five to six days a week, running 80 to 100 miles (or more) every week in order to get ready for the next big race.

One of the questions that have floated around on the internet for years is the great debate for a marathoner: Should a runner drink water or Gatorade during a long run?

Water has its benefits, especially as our bodies are anywhere from two-thirds to 80 percent water. Gatorade, however, supplies sodium and carbohydrates that get lost when we burn energy and sweat during marathons.

Is there a definitive answer?


There is value in using both during a marathon. You are not restricted to one or the other, but keep a couple things in mind.

First of all, when you sweat, you don’t just lose water; your sweat is concentrated salt water, so you are losing sodium, and if you let your sodium levels drop too low, you get nauseous, dizzy and perhaps have seizures or even death consistent with hyponatremia, or what is called overhydration – where you drink so much water that the sodium in your body gets diluted and sweat out and is not properly replenished.

On the other hand, water has no sugar or calories, while Gatorade or other sports drinks have calories and sugar (one 8-ounce cup has 63 calories and 13 grams, respectively), not to mention electrolytes and carbs. A couple of these are valuable during a run, but others (like the sugar and calories) defeat the purpose of the run in the first place.

What has been recommended when it comes to using both fluids is to mix and match. One runner’s forum gives suggestions to alternate between first-aid stations, drinking water at first then switching to Gatorade and back, in order to keep a good electrolyte balance in your body so you don’t let your sodium level get too low, while you take in enough water to keep you hydrated.

The key issue here is to try out both during your training runs and see how you feel afterward because we don’t want you to become injured. The heavy sugar and carbs in a sports drink can upset some stomachs while running, so it’s good to make sure you are plenty hydrated before you run. Tank up on water before you run, and maybe bring a small bottle of Gatorade or other sports beverage while you run, then drink more water after you run to balance out the sodium intake. In general, water is suggested to be sufficient for runs that last 60 minutes or less, but incorporating Gatorade or another sports beverage into your long runs will prove valuable. Perhaps using that 60-minute yardstick as a guide you can find the right balance for your body.

Every body is different, and knowing your body well in terms of what it uses during a run will help you find the right combination that will keep you focused and energetic to finish that marathon, no matter where and what time of year. Be willing to experiment during your training runs and then try to simulate that combination during your marathon and you should be well-equipped to achieve that personal-best every time.

How Marathon Runners Can Stay Hydrated

Running a marathon can be extremely challenging. Even if you’re in great shape, it may be difficult for you to stay hydrated. Here are a few suggestions that will help you to stay hydrated as you run.

Plan Ahead

You’re not going to want to worry about water sources when you’re out running. Plan ahead. Make sure you’ll always have a drink with you. You could carry a single handheld bottle or a multiple bottle belt. No matter what you do, you should make sure it’s easy for you to get a drink when you need it.

You should also figure out where aid stations will be. Try to plan your running route around aid stations. If you don’t you might get into a pedestrian accident while looking for some water.Make sure you’ll be able to stop and get more fluids regularly.

Choose The Right Kind Of Drink

While water will always hydrate you, sports drinks may be even more hydrating. Popular sports drinks can help you to replenish lost electrolytes very quickly. If you do carry a sports drink with you, try to pick one that is sugar-free. Processed sugar can cause serious problems for runners.

Consider Carrying A Hydration Pack

If you’re going to be running for hours, you may have to stop for a refill. However, if you carry a hydration pack with you, you won’t have to stop at all. The right pack will allow you to carry several liters of fluid as you run.

Pack Hydrating Snacks

If you’re snacking while running, you’ll want the snacks to hydrate you as well. Frozen fruit can give you energy and hydration at the same time!

If you’re able to properly hydrate your body, you should be able to finish your marathon. Completing a marathon will never be easy, but it’s simpler when you don’t have to worry about things like dehydration.

For more information, please watch this video:

Handling Pains And Aches When Marathon Training

If you’re going to train for a marathon, you have to be prepared for the pain that comes along with it. There are a lot of options to help with pain. Here you’ll learn about a couple that can keep you from losing out on exercise time due to pain. Once you get older, you will understand that getting injured is simply the cost of aging.

You can try to use over the counter pills to help you with aches and pains. You have to make sure, however, that you don’t take this too far. Taking too many pills and not doing anything else like stretching before you train is a bad idea. You should try to use the lowest amount of pain medication as possible so that you don’t have many side effects, and you should only go this route if you absolutely have to. Avoid getting a prescription for something stronger, too, because that can lead to a lot more problems than just a little bit of pain.

They make heating pads that you can use on areas of your body that are in pain. That can help more blood to flow through and keep pain at bay in general. You’re going to want to look into different braces and anything else you can use if you wan to keep everything in its place while training. If you do get hurt and have to wear something like a wrist brace, make sure you don’t take it off until the doctor says so because you don’t want to keep the injury from being healed before your marathon.

The way to handle aches and pains while training for a marathon have now been shared with you. There are all kinds of over the counter and other remedies. You just have to carefully pick out what is going to work in your situation.

For more information, please check out the following video:

The Benefits Of Building Your Core For a Marathon

When it comes to running, there are a lot of muscles in play. There is so much more involved in running than the simple task of running itself. Your body needs to be fully optimized in various facets in order to not only achieve optimal performance but also to minimize injury risk. If all you are doing to prepare for running is running itself, you are going to be missing out on a lot. Below, we will discuss some of the benefits of building your core for a marathon and how to maximize your life sciences during workouts.

Building Your Core:

1. Health.

One of the best ways to stay healthy as a runner would be to have proper core strength. Injury prevention should be and usually is a top goal for any kind of runner. This is especially true for runners doing any significant amount of endurance running a marathon. Therefore, if Core muscles are important, you will likely be willing to incorporate them into your routine. Core strength ultimately plays a big role in stabilizing your entire body while you are running by helping you maintain a neutral pelvis throughout. Thus, it is going to end up minimizing the amount of breakdown your form takes through fatigue.

2. Faster.

Another benefit associated with having a strong core is the ability to run faster. Stronger muscles will ultimately help you run faster and utilize less energy while you are doing it. Core workouts are able to help allow your body to utilize more muscles during any given workout. As a result, you are going to end up having much more muscle fiber to work with and it is going to keep you from getting tired as fast as you normally would.

Overall, there are a lot of benefits associated with strengthening your core as a runner. The benefits really come out when you are looking for endurance.

Should A Hat Be Worn During A Marathon?

If you’re going to run in a marathon, you may want to know what you’re allowed to wear. One item that may work out well for you is a hat. Here are a few reasons why you should wear one and info on getting the best for you.

You may want to wear a hat to keep the sun away from your face. There are things like baseball caps that are good for this kind of thing. They also make hats that are good for protecting the whole area around your neck and head. But, you have to think about what you can wear that will actually stay on and not get in your way when you’re trying to run the marathon. The last thing you need is to have to hold your hat while running and have it be a nuisance instead of something that is helping you.

When picking out a hat, go with one that’s going to be cost effective and that will work. Just because something is expensive or cheap doesn’t make it a good idea to buy. You should look up what runners wear and then try to find those brands to buy yourself. If you hear, for instance, that one kind stays tight and keep the sun away from your eyes, then that’s better than going with a hat that’s better for gardening or something else. There are plenty of sites that give you gear recommendations that you can go through before making your choice.

Should you wear a hat during a marathon? A lot of people do because it lets them avoid getting sun-burnt and keeps them from getting too much sweat in their eyes. It’s really up to you and your comfort level with wearing one while running.

What To Do If You Need To Use The Bathroom During A Marathon

Marathon runners usually don’t run non-stop for the entire marathon. It’s common for people to stop from time to time. For example, a runner may take a quick break if they think they are going to have an accident.

What should you do if you need to use the restroom? Simply follow these basic steps.

Step One: Get Your Day Off To The Right Kind Of Start

Wake up early on the day of the marathon. Make a point of using the bathroom then. If you relieve yourself before the marathon starts, you’ll be able to wait to use the bathroom.

You may want to take a substance like Imodium before you start running. Imodium is able to slow down movement in your gut. If you take Imodium before a marathon, you shouldn’t have to worry about bowel movements until after the marathon is over.

Step Two: Look For Restrooms As You Run

There should be a number of restrooms available to you as you run a marathon. It’s common to set up portable restrooms at a number of points.

Keep a watchful eye out for these restrooms. If you see a restroom, stop and try to use the bathroom. It’s a good idea to relieve yourself when you can.

Step Three: Don’t Hold It

If you do have to use the bathroom, you shouldn’t hold it any longer than you have to. If you wait too long to use the bathroom, you could wind up giving yourself a bladder infection.

You don’t have to run an entire marathon without using the bathroom. It’s perfectly alright to take a quick break to handle your bodily functions. Once you’ve finished, you can get back to your run. Completing the marathon will be easier if you take care of your body.

For more information on the subject, check out this video:

The Best Sports Drinks For Runners

It’s vitally important for runners to keep themselves properly hydrated. While water usually provides ample hydration, athletes like runners may benefit from the additional hydration that sports drinks provide. Here are some of the best sports drinks for runners.

BodyArmor SuperDrink

If the weather is hot, ordinary water may not cut it. Instead, you may want to rely on the extra hydration that coconut water provides. If you don’t like the taste of coconut water, try BodyArmor. It tastes like fruit; most people love it!

Reliant Recovery Water

This sugar-free water has a great flavor, and an ample amount of electrolytes as well. It also contains vital minerals and nutrients. It can give you the fuel you need to complete a long run.

Zico Pure Premium Coconut Water

This water has plenty of electrolytes and a massive amount of potassium. You don’t need to snack on bananas when you’re running; you can just drink this water instead.

Nature’s Best Isopure

The bright colors of Isopure are eye-catching! However, this drink isn’t just pretty. It can help your body to recover lost electrolytes, and it can also provide the protein you need to finish a long run. This drink can be an excellent source of energy.


Gatorade is the most famous sports drink on the market. It’s known for being effective, and it provides consumers with plenty of different options.

Powerade Zero

Powerade is an affordable calorie-free sports drink, and it has all of the electrolytes you could need. It comes in an array of flavors; you can select the flavor that’s most appealing to you.

If you’re an athlete, you should take a closer look at the best sports drinks for runners. Carrying one of these sports drinks with you will allow you to maintain your hydration when you go out for a nice long run.

Why Calcium Is So Important For Runners

Runners are constantly pushing the limits of their body’s in several different ways all at once. If they aren’t getting enough oxygen they can’t perform and if they don’t get enough of certain minerals such as iron, calcium, sodium, magnesium, and potassium they’ll fail as well. Iron is needed to for the hemoglobin to carry the oxygen to the cells, sodium and potassium are used by the nerves to fire messages to the muscles. Plus calcium and magnesium are needed to build strong bones. Runners, in particular, have problems with stress fractures because their bones can’t take the beating.

Eating A Lot Of Calcium Is More Important For Runners

Since the bones are made primarily of calcium it stands to reason that eating a diet high in this mineral is important. If you don’t eat enough you body will leach the calcium out of your bones to use in other processes. This leaves your bones weaker and in danger of stress fractures.

Most adults require about 1,000 mg per day of calcium but a runner would be better off getting at least 1,200 mg to make sure they don’t go into what’s called negative calcium balance. A negative balance occurs when your body is using bone calcium in other processes because the diet is lacking. The body will resupply the bones when more calcium is consumed in the diet.

Dairy products are some of the best and easiest sources of calcium in the form of milk, yogurt, cheese and other great products. There is also a lot of calcium in many green leafy vegetables but not near as much as what’s in dairy products. While it’s best to get your calcium from the diet, it wouldn’t hurt to add some to the diet in the form of a supplement to ensure that you’re getting all that you need and avoid injury.

Best Movies about Marathons

Sports movies in general (at least, the good ones) have the wonderful habit of being absolutely inspiring. Which is quite funny when you think of it, considering how sedentary you need to be to watch them in the first place. With wonderful stories, most of them true or at least steeped in some degree of truth, they tell the tales of courage in the face of adversity, team-building with unlikely brothers or sisters, or they may simply tell the story of a few people looking to be the best at what they did and were willing to sacrifice a whole lot just to accomplish that. If you have ever run a marathon (or even just tried to get through 26.2 miles in one go), you’re probably very aware of the process and the difficulties with completing it in the first place. And watching a movie that can tell a heart-wrenching tale to add to that effect will generally not be lost on the audience.

The 2004 film, “Saint Ralph,” tells the story of a child’s desperate attempt to avoid becoming an orphan, by performing a miracle such as winning the Boston Marathon. While the story itself is fictional, the dedication and perseverance displayed within it are examples that director and marathon winner Mike McGowan hoped to instill within the titular character to inspire others. Ralph is a 14-year old boy without a father and with a mother who enters a coma following treatment for an illness. He falls into the less-than-good graces with the headmaster of his Catholic school and, as part of his penance, he is required to enlist with the cross-country team. During the process, Ralph struggles with the reality of his mother’s situation and believes that the only thing that could prevent him from becoming an orphan is a miracle – a miracle like winning the Boston Marathon. Being directed by a former marathon runner brings a genuine authenticity to the movie, and as the movie is set in 1954, McGowan notes that the movie focuses on the “uncomplicated nostalgia” of the sport and reinforces traits such as dedication, concentration and incredible work ethic.

Spirit of the Marathon” is a 2007 non-fiction film that operates more like a documentary than a movie. Directed by another experienced marathon runner in Jon Dunham, the film actually takes place on four different continents and features a slew of athletes and marathon inspirations to tell the stories of six runners in a culmination of their journey toward the Chicago Marathon. Featuring the professional talents of Deena Kastor of California and Daniel Njenga of Kenya, along with four other amateur athletes, the movie acts more as a sports documentary that details the intense process of preparing for a marathon – in the case of two of the competitors, their first ever marathon. A sequel product, “Spirit of the Marathon II” was released in 2013, featuring the stories for four experienced marathon runners and three more amateur athletes, all who reveal their personal stories of setbacks with pain and loss, a growing determination and ultimately the training, dedication and ability to fulfill their goals of completing a marathon. There are marathons all over including New York and Pennsylvania

Has Anyone Ever Died Running a Marathon?

Consider the sort of people that take part in athletic events. You would probably consider the vast majority of them to be in rather excellent physical condition compared to the stereotypical sedentary lifestyle that others tend to lead. This is generally a requirement in many sporting events since they have a particularly high demand on the human body. And we are all aware of injuries that can take place in many of these arenas. Contact sports in general have a long history of taking a toll on athletes. But, there are other sports and athletic competitions that you may not consider to be so dangerous for people. Yes, these sports require a lot of physical exertion, but the risk of injury or long-term damage to the human body is not nearly as severe, right? Unfortunately, this is not at all the case, especially in instances involving endurance running such as marathons. In fact, without proper conditioning (and possibly even with such conditioning), participants in marathons are still at risk for physical consequences up to and even including death.

In fact, the odds of a participant dying in the midst of a marathon is surprisingly common compared to the likes of athletes suffering from life-altering injuries. Although competing in marathons is often thought of as the zenith of physical health, the risks associated with running a marathon are much greater than many might seem to account for. Several deaths are recorded every year due to various reasons, many of them surprising considering the peak health that most marathon runners find themselves to be in.

There are actually a number of reasons that someone might succumb during a marathon. For one, it’s a stretch of 26.2 miles. Many of us probably don’t even drive that far for our daily commute to work. During this stretch, there are several factors that can come into play, a common factor among them being heat stroke. Considering the strain put upon the body for that stretch of running, even in ideal weather conditions, the body can only sustain so much in the way of heat exhaustion before giving out. And in order to combat the effects of heat stroke, staying consistently hydrated plays a great part in a runner’s plan to cover those miles. However, this can work against the body as well in large doses. Hyponatremia, also commonly known as “water intoxication,” is a condition involving an imbalance of sodium levels within the body potentially caused by over-hydrating. This often results in fluid imbalance within the body, and can cause a person to have headaches, seizures, succumb to nausea and vomiting, and even result in comatose states or death.

However, the most common cause of death during marathons is heart attacks. The extraordinary stress put upon the body during a 26.2 mile run translates to that stress applied to the heart. And while exercising the heart is often seen as a good thing, exercising it so rigorously and over a long period of time can actually have adverse effects. In fact, researchers have determined that the strain of running a marathon can increase the risk of a cardiac episode by seven times the normal risk factor. And even if you don’t happen to suffer a heart attack in the midst of a marathon, the long-term effects can still be devastating. Studies have shown scarring on heart muscle in some of the most dedicated marathon runners in their later stages of life. Other studies have determined that extended strain can result in abnormalities in how blood is pumped through the heart, and the inflammation suffered on the heart as well as decreased blood flow during a marathon can cause many segments to lose functionality, further contributing to the risk of a heart attack.

Although sheer numbers obscure the statistic of mortality rate among marathon runners (28 reported deaths among over 3.7 million participants during or up to 24 hours after finishing a marathon in the United States between 2000 and 2009), the strain on the body is undeniable. Even if the odds don’t necessarily portray a high mortality rate, the long-term side effects on your physical health may not, in fact, be worth it.