The nutritional aspect is fundamental in races where the duration of the effort is greater than one hour. T

he question about what to eat before a marathon is recurring, not only among debuting athletes but also among some experienced athletes who have not yet returned to previous meals.

What to eat before a marathon: dinner and breakfast

The pre-race dinner must be easily digested. Most nutritionists recommend an abundant portion of complex carbohydrates (simple pasta, rice, legumes or polenta) with some oil and grated cheese.

Avoid eating cookies and heavy sauces. This will favor your digestion and help you not have heartburn. For dessert you can eat one or two fruits.

The breakfast before the marathon

For breakfast we recommend an infusion (tea, coffee) sweetened or with honey with two or more toasts with jam.

The amount will depend on each athlete, test yourself in long workouts so you will know what to eat before a marathon.

Ideally, you have breakfast about 3 hours before the start to be able to properly digestion.

In this meal avoid milk and drinks that are too cold because they can break you down at the gastrointestinal level.

About 40 minutes before the race you can have an energy drink, half a banana or a cereal bar.

What accustomed marathoners choose to eat

  • Dinner: 1 plate and a half of noodles with olive oil + 1 liter of water + a fruit (banana, apple, etc).
  • Breakfast: Mate or a tea + 3 miñones with quince jam + 1 fruit + 1 liter of water up to 20 ′ before the competition.
  • During the race: I don’t eat anything. Just a little water at each hydration stand and nothing else.


  • Dinner: noodles with olive oil and little parmesan. Approx 200/250 grams of noodles.
  • Breakfast: Guarana tea with two toasts.
  • Half an hour before a Gatorade G1
  • During the race: water and 4 gels .


  • Dinner: a rich pasta, abundant, with grated cheese and some light sauce and dessert fruit
  • Breakfast: the same as always, coffee with toasted bread smeared with something sweet honey or jam, I like it and I like it even if I want to eat from the pre-race nerves, I do it an hour and a half before starting, to digest it well.
  • During the race: I take everything they give me during the journey, even if it is a sip, I am not of the solids or of the fruits, many times, if there is, I like to suck an orange, but nothing to chew, the gels are going to me well, about four in the whole race and one every ten kms.

The 42k is the most difficult tests I’ve run, and at the same time the most rewarding, it always gave me a very special nerve to run it, it requires a lot of precision, you have to stick to a plan, both in rhythms and in food.


  • Breakfast: an infusion like a tea with French bread and jam
  • Dinner: a plate of pasta with oil, cheese and fruits: apple or banana
  • During the race: I hydrate and consume some gel in a certain kilometer.

It should be clarified that food consumption is very personal and you have to be used to eating certain foods. Never try something new before or during the marathon itself.