Tulsa’s Williams Route 66 Marathon is scheduled for Nov. 22 and 23, and runners are certainly looking to add an edge on the clock. Natalie Sanders, a dietitian with St. John Health System, says the right combination of snacks and beverages prior to the event can help athletes maximize their efforts.

Every body is different, but “generally speaking, about three to four hours prior to race time, 200-350 grams of carbohydrate (should) be taken to maximize glycogen stores at the onset of activity and (to) enhance performance,” Sanders says.

It’s also important to hydrate well – down those carbs with 16-24 ounces of water or a sports drink. An hour before the race, a quick hit of 45-75 grams of carbohydrate can help sustain energy through the run or any exercise used in training to build muscle.

“In order to reach your maximum potential, I believe it is important to cross-train,” Sanders says. “This could include a variety of exercises, such as weight training or other sports like racquetball or soccer.  It’s vital to work other muscle groups and strengthen the entire body.”

A delicious way to get those pre-run, energy-producing carbohydrates is a calorie-dense granola. Add a little peanut butter for an extra push to the finish line.

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