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Is Fast Food Bad for a Marathon Runner?

Marathon Runner Top Questions

“Just how bad is fast food for a marathon runner? Does it really factor into your time that much?” - Amy

Mary Hartley, RD, had some great insight on this topic. Interestingly enough, research about performance time and diet isn’t clear, but there’s still plenty to cover on the subject.

“Carbohydrates enhance running times and junk food has those, but food is more than carbohydrates and calories. The vitamins, minerals, and other chemicals in food are needed to extract the energy," she explaind. "Specific nutrients, such as the amino acid creatine from food or supplements, can improve performance. In the short run, fast food might not matter much, but a steady diet of junk in the absence of wholesome food will make it hard to run. With a bad quality diet, fatigue sets in more quickly and that leads to injuries that affect time. Runners need to eat a balanced diet of high quality food just like everyone else.”

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