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Marathon Nutrition Plan by High5 [ENGLISH VERSION]

If you're tackling a marathon, you've no doubt been training hard for months to be in top shape and ready to line up for those 42 kilometres. One of the essential pieces now is your marathon nutrition plan...

What fuel for the body?

During a marathon, more than two-thirds of your energy can come from carbohydrates. Unfortunately, your body can only store a limited amount of carbs, and as the miles go by, you'll deplete that store. As your carb levels go down, your energy also goes down, and you'll have a harder time maintaining your initial pace. You might even hit the dreaded “wall,” when your carbohydrate stores are so depleted that your muscles are forced to rely almost exclusively on fat for fuel.

The body struggles to convert fat into energy, making it difficult to keep running at any pace. To ensure you have optimal carb levels on race day, you should load carbs in the days leading up to your event and consume carbs during the marathon.

Marathon Race Day Nutrition Plan Energy Gel

During your Marathon

Think of your body's carbohydrate stores as a relatively small fuel tank, which begins to empty when you start running. Your muscles use carbohydrates quickly and can easily deplete this reserve during a marathon. If you supply your muscles with carbs by consuming gel while you run, they will draw less fuel from your carb store and your carb store will last longer. The goal of taking gel during the marathon is to delay the time when you run out of fuel - until you cross the finish line.

It may seem logical that the more gel you can consume, the better - but be careful. You can consume (ie swallow) a lot of gel, but your body can only absorb a maximum of 60g per hour (up to 75g if the gel contains caffeine). Consuming too much gel too quickly can and will cause stomach problems. On the other hand, taking a few gels after 17 miles, as some people do, will only provide a short-lived energy boost. Taking 2-3 gels every hour from the start of your event is optimal and means that by mile 17 you should have a large stock of carbs available for a strong finish.

Go 11 minutes faster

Recent research from the Copenhagen Marathon showed that runners were on average 11 minutes faster when following our marathon nutrition guide on race day, with no extra training and no stomach issues.

Race day breakfast

Marathon Race Day Nutrition Plan


Breakfast should be light and high in carbohydrates. HIGH5 Sports Granola has been specially formulated to support your energy levels and reduce fatigue.

Drink 500ml ofEnergy Drink for extra carbs and to stay hydrated. Take a energy bar to eat on the way out.

Novice runners

Marathon Race Day Nutrition Plan


Take a Energy Aqua Gel Caffeine Sachet every 30 minutes. Use a gel belt to transport your gels.

Experienced runners

If you're eating right, you'll give yourself the best chance of getting that all-important new PB.

Marathon Race Day Nutrition Plan


Take a bag of Caffeine Energy Aqua Gel every 20 minutes. If you find that 3 gels per hour is too much, try to consume as many gels as you can. Practicing using gels during long training runs makes using them easier on race day. Use a gel belt to carry your gels.


Depending on body weight, there is a maximum number ofEnergy Aqua Gel Caffeine that you can take. Any additional gels you consume must be Aqua Energy Gels (without caffeine):

Marathon Race Day Nutrition Plan


You can use theAqua Energy Gel instead ofEnergy Gel, depending on your personal preferences. Both do the same job. The Energy Gel Aqua has a lighter consistency, somewhere between a drink and a gel, and runners generally prefer this. Energy Gel is less bulky and lighter, making it easier to transport in large quantities.

Marathon Race Day Nutrition Plan



Your fluid needs will depend on the temperature on race day and your perspiration. Try to drink water or the course drink regularly. If you are using the course drink, be careful not to consume too many additional carbohydrates from this drink, otherwise you will have to adjust your gel intake. In very hot conditions you may need additional electrolytes. The tabs ZERO individual can be wrapped in cling film and transported during your run. Just drop the tablet into course water for a refreshing electrolyte drink. ZERO does not contain carbohydrates.

At the arrival

Drink 400ml of recovery drink as soon as you are done. Drink another 400ml one to two hours later and have a balanced meal as soon as possible.

Marathon Race Day Nutrition Recovery Plan


Good luck!

caffeine note

If you have a medical condition, including high blood pressure, are pregnant, breastfeeding, or are under 18, do not use caffeine. If you are sensitive to caffeine and suffer a side effect, such as a higher than expected heart rate, discontinue use immediately. If you don't want to use caffeine for any reason, just follow our marathon nutrition guidelines using a caffeine-free gel.


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