Top Nutrition Tips for the MS Moonlight Walk

By Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian, Glenn Cardwell

The perfect energy snack.

Bananas are nature’s energy snack and an excellent source of carbohydrate in the form of natural sugars and starch which provide sustained energy for both work and training. Runners love the banana both pre-event and post-event because it is easy to peel, easy to eat and provides delicious carbohydrate for muscle fuel. Try a banana 45 minutes before the Challenge begins.

Breakfast smart.

Breakfast is a particularly important meal for all active people. Breakfast eaters are generally clearer thinkers and better fuelled for any exercise. A breakfast of cereal, milk or yogurt, and a sliced banana is an excellent start. Allow 90-120 minutes between breakfast and the start of your morning training, so the food has had time to leave your stomach and not bounce around inside you.

Drink water to replace your sweat losses.

If it is a warm day, the best drink to have is water. Drink some water in the 5-10 minutes before the start of the Challenge. It takes about 20 minutes for each cup of water to get from the stomach to the small intestine where it is absorbed and replaces water lost as sweat during the run. During training, it is smart to drink early and drink small amounts frequently to minimise your risk of a stitch.

Good for the guts.

The banana offers fibre to help keep you regular, resistant starch that helps protect the bowel from cancer, and antioxidants too. It is easy to see why it is a favourite energy snack from the office to the sports field.

Kill the slump.

Whether at work or home, if you are feeling a bit of a slump or just a bit peckish mid-morning or mid-afternoon head straight to the fruit bowl. The best snack is fruit and the ideal long-lasting energy snack is the banana – no fat, low Glycemic Index, super-tasty, and packed with nutrition.

Refuel.

To quickly rehydrate after the Challenge (or training), you can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. It is a myth that tea and coffee will dehydrate you. Just remember that a cup of milky coffee, such as flat white and cappuccino can provide quite a few kilojoules (100-180 Cals; 420-760 kJs). Black coffee and tea have no kilojoules. Of course, water is still the perfect rehydration choice. As your muscles will need carbs too, eat wisely after you finish the event. Sandwiches or pasta are common choices, along with the trusted banana.

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