These days, trying to run a marathon without drinking along the way was also defined as a purely mental disorder or a first-class attempt to self-destruct, however the status quo until the 1960s. People think drinking a cold drink will give you a slit in the running, “said Amby Burfoot,” the 1968 Boston Marathon Champion and RW Editor. As for eating? It is unthinkable. The concept of sports nutrition does not exist today, Said Tire Co-Founder of Honeycomb Cocktail, an energy products company. He became very hungry in triathlon so he ran in the 1980s and he would devour the whole chicken after crossing the finishing line. It’s been cooked but still … because of those poultry-devouring days, science has helped athletes understand the appropriate exacerbation and fueling power, and today, athletic nutrition has become a multibillion-pound international industry. While running insist on their favorite brands, the principles are the same: simple carbohydrates, electrolytes, caffeine, carb-to-protein ratios and protein for resuscitation. Take a look at some of the major milestones – how they are and their continuing value to today’s runners.
1965: Sports drinks
Until the 1960s, athletes didn’t fully understand the importance of hydration (aside from drinking water when they were thirsty). But then researcher Dr Robert Cade (a former 4:20-miler) suggested a cocktail of sucrose, glucose, sodium, potassium and phosphate as a tonic to deliver a competitive edge to athletes in hot weather. This mixture of sugar and electrolytes, soon called Gatorade, after the Florida Gators American football team, on whom it was first tested, was a success. ‘The early version had too much sodium for runners,’ says Burfoot, who participated in a 1970 study, but formulas were refined and the rest is running history.
In the late 1970s, Dr David Costill (the first researcher to investigate whether sports drinks actually worked) and others began publishing studies suggesting that caffeine could boost endurance. Marathoners responded by drinking coffee before races. Now you can do more than reach for the cafetière, with a cornucopia of caffeinated sports nutrition products delivering a kick from drinks, chews and gels.
1986: Energy bars
In the 1980s, top-ranked Canadian marathoner Brian Maxwell began to experiment with portable carb sources that could sustain his blood-sugar levels in the later stages of races. He and his partner started distributing logs of oat bran, sugar and protein, which became popular first with Tour de France cyclists. Competitors soon followed Maxwell’s PowerBar, and now scores of brands target everyone from ultra runners to desk jockeys.
1993: Energy gels
Back in the day, runners sucked on packets of honey for a quick sugar hit during races. By the late 1980s, the UK and New Zealand led the way in gooey proto-gel formulations that became popular with runners. Then, in 1993, runner and chemist Bill Vaughan formulated a portable fuel that would release its energy faster than existing bars. His blend of complex and simple sugars with amino acids (the building blocks of protein) gave endurance runners a boost – GU had arrived.
2006: Chocolate milk
In developing the diffusion of nutrients, the researchers published some surprising news: Milk provides the ideal formula for resuscitation, especially with the addition of a little chocolate syrup. Studies in the International Journal of Nutrition and Exercise magazine show that metabolic discovery of protein-rich chocolate milk is better promoted by recovery than by Gatorade and other products. News Update Runners are guilty of happy super-foods, suggesting they can work as well as useful experiments. Chocolate milk ratio of 4: 1 optimal recovery of carbohydrate protein is also cheap, replenishing water (providing supplementary body fluids and electrolytes) and delicious.
2012: Beef jerky
Runners’ growing preference for unprocessed foods – and an urge to get clean after our collective 20-year sugar bender – helped propel the Paleo diet and other low-carb eating strategies into popularity. Sports foods and drinks started including various amounts of protein, and runners took to snacking on beef and bison.