Boost, protect and recover with VITAL to run your best marathon

JULY 20, 2016

With the right information and support, preparing for a marathon doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Vital Health Foods, the continent’s biggest nutritional-supplements manufacturer and a sponsor of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, is committed to helping you in your journey to run your best marathon. Here’s how, with the right nutritional tips, you can boost your energy, protect your immune system and help your muscles recover.  

“You need to start training at least four months before the race, especially if it’s your first marathon,” advises Elana Meyer, former Olympian and Sanlam Cape Town Marathon ambassador. And while undertaking a training programme is important, your diet is every bit as critical. B vitamins, which are contained in spinach, lentils and poultry, help convert energy from food. To meet your body’s increased demands during training, add a Vital VÖOST B-vitamin supplement to your morning smoothie.

Because your training for the marathon will take place during winter, you also need to ensure optimum nutrition to avoid invading cold and flu viruses. “Increase your vitamin C intake, as exercising depletes vitamin C levels by 50%, and can up your chances of getting a viral or bacterial infection,” says Andrea du Plessis, Vital Health Foods’ nutrition expert and a Sanlam Cape Town Marathon runner. You can get your daily recommended dose of 1 000mg of vitamin C by eating five guavas or 10 oranges, or you can take just one Vital Maxi C tablet.

The body needs sufficient time to recover from strenuous exercise, and dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt are known to help your muscles recuperate. “Whole milk and yoghurt contain the perfect natural balance of whey and casein proteins,” explains Du Plessis. A glass of milk 30 minutes after training is a great way to replenish your proteins, carbohydrates and electrolytes.

Du Plessis, who ran the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon last year, thought when initially taking on the challenge that it would entail hard training and sacrifices. But now she knows different. “Having first-hand experience has enabled me to use my know-how to give tips and advice to fellow runners, and helped to make training for the race fun and exciting,” she says. “Thank you to Elana Meyer for challenging me to participate and Vital for the opportunity.”