Thursday, February 7, 2008

Response to Blog Comment from Bobbi – John

Congratulations on both your weight loss surgery and taking on the 26.2. Obviously, I can’t give you any medical advice…However, I can share my experience. “Carbing up” for runners is considered a little bit of a myth by now. The principal of carbo-loading is no longer widely accepted. Most nutritionists recommend a normal balanced diet for everyone – including marathoners AND those post-weight loss surgery.

However, I assume you mean fueling during your run. Being close to seven years post surgery, I no longer have capacity issues that prevent me from consuming enough liquids. What I can share is some insight on how I fuel during runs.

I have tried a variety of products. I have “experimented” with a large number of bars, gels and drinks. My favorite is POW (plain old water). Aside from that, I found as long as I use it during a long run, Gatorade seems to work fine for me. I also drink some before and after vigorous workouts. I have also tried quite a few products for fueling. The two I seem to like are GU (the original energy gel) and “Sports Beans”. Sports beans are electrolyte-enhanced Jelly Beans. These seem to work since I can grab one at a time slowly. I also use a capsule-based product called “endurolytes”, which is an electrolyte replacement capsule. You also want to be careful with some of the commercial products as some of them contain caffeine, which may have undesirable effects.

I would suggest you experiment with some various products and find what works for you and carry it with you in your race. You might want to also see what sports drink is on the course for your marathon. For instance, when I ran the Disney Marathon, they had Power Aide, which I find I cannot tolerate at all.

Finally, I would suggest that you don’t significantly vary your diet before race time since this may result in undesirable digestive side effects.

So I would say, as post-weight loss surgery patients, we are more sensitive to digestive issues related to refueling products as well as caffeine. So, bottom line, I would suggest trying a few different things and testing them all before your race. A good place to obtain different products and samples is at another marathon in your area, the number pickup usually has an expo where vendors of this stuff offer samples as well as opportunities to purchase products at a reduced cost. These expos are usually open to the general public even if you are not participating in that race.

Good luck with your training and your race. If you have any more specific questions, you can e-mail me at


Anonymous said...

You should also check out a new product called AquaJoe. Now you never have to worry about whats on the course.

There is a product video at

Sheila Partridge, MD, Center for Weight Loss Surgery, Newton-Wellesley Hospital said...

I think John Tiso's advice is excellent. One should experiment with products and find out what works well during the training process. "Carbo loading" will only lead to dumping for a gastric bypass patient or fatigue shortly thereafter. The real focus should be on remaining hydrated with electrolyte replacement and paying attention to the post-race recovery meal to replete energy stores. At the Newton-Wellesley Hospital Center for Weight Loss Surgery, we have a registered dietitian, Sue Miller, who is both a runner herself and a dietitian for gastric bypass surgery patients. She can provide helpful advice for gastric bypass patients training for marathons.

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