SUGAR IS GOING THROUGH a tough time at the moment as the nutritional nasty de jour. Sure, it can be sneaky, tricking its way into our bodies by being added to foods in which you don’t expect to find it, such as bread, pasta sauce and salad dressing. And yes, drinking full-fat fizzy drinks on a regular basis is surefire way to expand your waistline and raise your risk of type 2 diabetes. All of which has seen sugar labelled as a ‘drug’ and ‘poison’.
But runners have particular nutritional demands and as is also the case with salt and caffeine, sugar can play a pretty important role in the running diet – just ask Kenyan elites, who drink tea so sweet it would make a dentist wince. Or witness the spectacular cake table at many postrace HQS. It reminds us that just because a food is demonised by some it doesn’t follow that it has no value for others, and so we explore sugar’s pros and cons for runners in our feature on page 42. Full disclosure: I have a sweet tooth and have been known to fuel long runs on Haribos. But I wouldn’t want to get to the later stages of a marathon and opt not to take on an energy gel or sports drink because I was ‘eating clean’. That way madness (and the wall) lies.
Elsewhere, we bring you carb- and proteinrich pasta recipes on page 62, while on page 48 there’s a comprehensive guide on how to regain your running mojo: you can lose it for many reasons – we show you how to get it back.