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Weight loss during marathon linked to quicker finish time
Runners who gained the most weight by drinking the most liquids performed the worse, the study authors noted.
By Robert Preidt HealthDay
Runners who lose 3% or more of their body weight during a marathon finish the quickest, researchers have found.
The study included 643 contestants who completed the 26-mile Mont St. Michel Marathon in France in 2009. The runners were weighed immediately before and after the race. The degree of weight change ranged from an 8% loss to a 5% gain.
All of the participants were advised to drink either 250 milliliters of water (about half a pint) or an energy drink every 20 minutes. The temperature during the marathon ranged from about 48 to 61 degrees Fahrenheit, with moderate humidity, and a strong wind.
The study findings were released online Dec. 21 in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
The fastest runners, who finished in less than three hours, lost 3% of their total body weight, compared with a 2.5% loss of body weight for those who took between three to four hours to complete the race, and less than a 2% loss of body weight for those who took four hours or longer. Those who gained the most weight by drinking the most liquids performed the worse, the study authors noted.
Neither age nor gender affected weight loss during the marathon, the researchers pointed out in a news release from the journal's publisher.
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