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Health & nutrition

Remaining healthy throughout your training for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the key to crossing the finish line on race day. Tips from Marathon sponsors Gatorade, Athletico and Mariano’s will help you to finish strong and get the most out of your Marathon experience.


Gatorade-050213 Train with what’s on course. Gatorade Endurance will be on the course before, during and after the race. Grounded in years of hydration and sports nutrition research, Gatorade Endurance products were developed to meet the specific needs of endurance athletes. Learn more about the Gatorade Endurance products that will available on race day below.
Athletico Remain healthy throughout your training. Check out some tips from supporting sponsor, Athletico Physical Therapy on how to remain healthy as you train. At Athletico, we help runners keep running.
Pre-race nutrition from Mariano’s
The Importance of Staying Hydrated: Hydration is important before, during, and after the marathon. Learn strategies that will help you succeed in the Chicago Marathon from Mariano’s Registered Dietitian Peggy Balboa below. And for weekly nutritional advice and recipes to aid your training, visit


Train with what’s on course.

Gatorade-050213The Gatorade Endurance line of products is an elite line of sports nutrition products from Gatorade for endurance athletes who have specific fueling needs. Grounded in years of hydration and sports nutrition research conducted by the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, the Gatorade Endurance line of products help deliver fluids and nutrients endurance athletes need for a training session or race. Learn more about Gatorade Endurance products that will be available on race day below.

Gatorade Endurance is proud to be an Official Sponsor of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, fueling you throughout the entire race.

Here are the products you will find on course:

G__0001_Pouch_final Gatorade Endurance Carb Energy Drink
Where to find on race day:

Start hydration locations

What it does:

Gatorade Endurance Carb Energy Drink is a liquid carbohydrate source with B vitamins, which as part of a daily diet, helps with energy metabolism.
G__0002_Chews_final Gatorade Endurance Carb Energy Chews
Where to find on race day:
Start hydration locations and on course

What it does:

Gummy chews formulated with carbohydrate, sodium and potassium that provide energy when consumed prior to and during prolonged training or racing to help endurance athletes continue to perform at a high level.
G__0003_canister_final1 Gatorade Endurance Formula
Where to find on race day:
Course aid stations (located along the course approximately one to two miles apart)

What it does:

Available in ready-to-drink and powder, Gatorade Endurance Formula is a specialized sports drink with nearly twice the sodium and more than three times the potassium of Gatorade Thirst Quencher to help sustain hydration, maintain proper fluid balance and replace key electrolytes lost in sweat during training and racing.
Gatorade Recover Protein Shake
Where to find on race day:
Runner Refreshment (finish chute)What it does:
Gatorade Recover Protein Shake delivers an effective amount of protein that contains essential amino acids needed to help support muscle rebuilding after training or racing. Gatorade Recover Protein Shake provides 20 grams of protein and should be consumed as soon as possible after exercise.

Where to buy
As you train for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, find out which of these Gatorade products work best for you. Fuel your pre-race training with Gatorade Endurance Formula and other Gatorade Endurance products by finding them at a store near you or ordering online.

Remain healthy throughout your training.

AthleticoRemaining healthy throughout your training for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon is the key to crossing the finish line on race day. Here are some tips from supporting sponsor, Athletico Physical Therapy.

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If you experience any aches or pains as you train for this year’s race, we would be happy to see you for a complimentary injury screening at any of our locations. To request your appointment, click here.

Food for thought from…

Peggy Balboa, Registered Dietitian, Mariano’s

The importance of staying hydrated.
Improper hydration plagues the marathon competitor. Dehydration increases the potential for cardiovascular stress, risk of heat illness, and reduced exercise capacity.  Beginning the race hydrated and staying hydrated is essential for running a successful marathon.

But how much fluid is needed to stay hydrated?  A fully hydrated 70kg (155 lbs.) adult male will average a total body water weight of approximately 60%.  During a marathon, this runner could lose water at an estimated 1-2 L/hour, or more depending upon conditions.  Consuming appropriate amounts of fluid on the days leading up to the event will ensure fluid losses are being replaced.  Monitor fluid losses during training using the sweat rate calculation.

By calculating sweat rate, you will know how much fluid is needed during each hour of the marathon. Practice consuming this amount of fluid prior to event day to understand the maximum volume your stomach can tolerate during exercise without discomfort. Fluid expands the stomach and can cause delayed digestion.  Try 300-400 mL of water (10 to 12 oz.) prior to a practice run to test stomach tolerance.

Begin the marathon fully hydrated.
Prevent dangerous fluid losses during competition by beginning the marathon fully hydrated. Good sources of fluid include water, sports drinks, juices, soups, smoothies, fruits, and vegetables.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends consuming about 5 mL/kg to 7mL/kg (or 300-600 mL) of fluids at least four hours before exercise, along with a pre-event meal. Water is usually sufficient to hydrate before a race, but water along with sodium from food encourages fluid consumption and helps the body to retain water. Within 15-20 minutes of the marathon, take in another 300-450 mL.

During the marathon, hydrate with water and carbohydrate.
Carbohydrates play a role in rehydration.  Too much carbohydrate consumed with fluid will delay gastric emptying and may cause abdominal pain. The amount of carbohydrate consumed with fluids during competition will determine effectiveness of rehydration and contribute to energy.  Consuming 30-60g of carbohydrates per hour of exercise will lead to effective use of energy and fluids during exercise and decrease the likelihood of any abdominal pain.

Optimizing and maintaining proper hydration without overdrinking is a balancing act. To reduce the risk of developing hyponatremia (low blood sodium levels caused by excessive water consumption), sports drinks work well during prolonged exercise. Generally, 4-6 oz of fluid every 15-20 minutes after 30-60 minutes of exercise is recommended. Getting carbohydrate, fluid, and electrolyte can be easily achieved by consuming sports drinks containing 6-8% carbohydrate and 0.5 g/L-0.7 g/L of sodium.

Congratulations, you have finished the marathon!
Now that you have finished the marathon, safely rehydrate to replace all of the fluids and electrolytes lost during competition. Over time, athletes are encouraged to consume 125%-150% of fluid lost during exercise. Determine the fluids needed to rehydrate by using the sweat rate calculated prior to the race.

In addition to fluids for rehydration, don’t forget to replace the sodium lost during competition. Consuming foods with sodium post-race will help stimulate thirst and aid in retaining fluids taken into the body. Examples of salty snacks include pretzels, chips, jerky, pickles, and broth.

Written in conjunction with Peggy Balboa by:
Tessa Adcock
University of Illinois at Chicago Dietetic Intern
American Dietetic Association. Nutrition Care Manual®. Fluid. Accessed March 23, 2010.
Burke L & Deakin V. Clinical sports nutrition.  New York:McGraw-Hill, 2010
Mahan LK, Escott-Stump S. Krause’s Food and Nutrition Therapy. Canada:Elsevier, 2008.
Bank of America World Marathon Majors IAAF