nutrition by liz marino 

The Cleveland Marathon is excited to partner with registered dietitian and board certified specialist in sports nutrition,  Liz Marino, RD, LD, CSSD for the 2019 race!

As a 2019 participant of the Cleveland Marathon, you will have access to nutrition advice, recipes and food/nutrition facts related to health and running.

Beginning in January, Liz will provide weekly tips to help set you up for your best race yet! Stay connected to make sure you don't miss out on any valuable information!

Visit the Cleveland Marathon BLOG for all Tips by Liz

You may also find the tips on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.



Liz Marino Pic

Liz is a Pittsburgh based registered dietitian and board certified specialist in sports nutrition. After graduation from the University of Akron, Liz worked with the athletic department at the University of Toledo developing their sports nutrition program. She's worked with individuals, teams and athletic trainers to educate on the importance of fueling for sport and adopting health-promoting behaviors throughout college life and beyond. While Liz enjoys working with all different athletes, she has a strong passion for working with runners as she is a marathoner herself.

Liz's focus in sports nutrition is teaching how to fuel, recover and maintain a strong nutritional state in order to prevent injury, adapt to training and feel psychologically well so that you can thrive in and beyond your sport.

Liz is currently the Mid-Atlantic Regional Nutrition Manager with the Renfrew Center for Eating Disorders. She has been working on developing and implementing an evidenced-based protocol for addressing exercise in the treatment of eating disorders. She is excited to join the Cleveland Marathon team to educate athletes and promote healthy behaviors in order to enhance performance and improve quality of life.

nutrition weekly tips

January 1, 2019
Happy 2019! Looking to run your first half marathon, take on the full or toe the 10k line in Cleveland this year? Congrats on your commitment! New Years is often a time of resolutions and (re) commitment for many people, especially when it comes to health. This year, I challenge you to make a POSITIVE action-based goal instead of a negative one. For example, if you want to start eating more whole grains, a positive goal would be "Increase my whole grain choices for breakfast" whereas a negative goal would be "stop eating cinnamon rolls for breakfast."  Restrictive, rule-based goals can put you in a negative mindset, while setting a goal that puts you in the drivers seat will help you feel success #MINDSETMATTERS

 January 7, 2019

Let's talk about health trends...there's so much nutrition information out there, with so many conflicting messages! One day coffee is good, the next it's not. Right now, people are piling on the fat, but not too long ago there was a fat-free frenzy. With all this, it can be easy to get confused and lose trust. The truth is nutrition science is messy. Because we're all a little different, it is very difficult to make generalized "good" and "bad" statements that apply to everyone. What is helpful for someone, might be harmful for someone else. A great example of this is including nuts in your diet. Great for someone who is trying to incorporate healthy fats, not so great for someone with a nut allergy.  Also, because humans are so complex it is difficult to prove causation: saying that changing x, causes y to happen. Nutrition science is great and necessary to further our understanding of the role food plays in health, but often times initial studies that are very specific are interpreted as fact for a large group of people while this might not be the case. So if you see a flashy headline about a new health claim, take a moment before you start that new juice cleanse or cut out a food group and ask yourself the following:
  • Does it sound too good to be true? 
  • Is it a sustainable change?
  • Does it make sense long term for my life?
  • Is it selling a product?
Below is a link to a clip from the host of Last Week Tonight on "Scientific Studies." It's a little less than 20 minutes long, but it worth the watch.
January 14, 2019
Cold weather is upon us. Raise your hand if you'd take rosy cheeks and a cold nose over a puddle of sweat any day. Anyone else feel like they don't break as much of a sweat in the winter?  While there are a lot of factors that contribute to fluid loss including individual sweat rate, length of exercise and clothing worn, it may feel like you're not losing as much fluid as in warmer months because sweat dissipates into the cold air quicker than in the heat. You also might not be craving an ice cold water after a workout because colder conditions don't stimulate the drive to drink like hot ones. However, your body still needs fluids to keep you healthy! Make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day in order keep everything from your muscles to your immune system working well. Take your post-run chocolate milk up a notch and warm up with some hot chocolate!

 January 21, 2019

Marathoners, training starts soon! We are 16 weeks out from race day-don't let cold and flu season hurt your game! Here are some ways food can help you stay healthy:
  • Drink fluids through the day. Like I mentioned last week, your drive for thirst might be less than you feel it in the heat. Staying hydrated will help you train better, in addition to keeping you flu-free.
  • Pack in those fruits and veggies: It's not just the vitamin C here, my friends. Fruits and veggies are packed with all sorts of different nutrients that aid your immunity.
  • Cut out Crash Diets: These super low calorie diets can compromise your health.
  • Get your vitamin D: Sources include fatty fish (salmon, sardines), fortified OJ, dairy and cereal, egg yolks and mushrooms.
Already feeling down? 
  • Ginger can help combat nausea
  • Turmeric is a known anti-inflammatory 
  • Stay hydrated and make sure to get plenty of rest.

January 28, 2019

Headed to or hosting a Superbowl party this weekend? Check out these recipes for some delicious game day dishes that really pack a punch of nutrients! 

Spicy Guacamole 

7-Layer Dip

Sweet Potato Hummus 

Buffalo Chicken Dip 

February 4
I need a detox....from all the diet talk. I'm happy the quick fixes and magic pills of January are slowing down, because they are often missing the big picture. 
Let's get back to basics here. Your body needs calories to work. Calories come from the breakdown of fat, protein and carbohydrates (macro nutrients). Foods that contain carbs, fats and protein also give us essential vitamins, minerals and fiber, which is why it's important to have all the food groups!  While everyone's needs are a little different, try to incorporate the following components on your plate to make sure you're meeting your body's needs. 
  • Grains/Starches (Oats, Wheat, Barley, Rice etc)
  • Protein (Fish, Eggs, Meat, Dairy, Tofu etc)
  • Fat (Oils, Nuts, Seeds etc)
  • Produce (Fruits and Veggies: the more color, the better!)


February 11

Cup of Joe, anyone? 
Don't worry, this isn't a post about coffee being "good" or "bad"...Everyone is different and paying attention to how foods work in your body is important to help you take care of it.  Let's just take a look at how coffee can affect you're game.
  • The caffeine in coffee is stimulant, which is shown to help with exercise performance related to decreased rating of perceived exertion. It may help you feel more awake.
  • The caffeine can act as a diuretic (meaning you'll lose more fluid via urine) BUT only if you don't drink it on a regular basis. If you do, your body is used to it and it is (by nature of being fluid) helpful in hydration. 
Of note: moderate intake of caffeine per day is 250mg...8 ounces of black coffee has about 90mg. 

February 18

Why chocolate milk? A few months ago, there was a post about what's best to eat after a workout and we got many enthusiastic replies about chocolate milk! Chocolate milk if absolutely a great way to replenish and repair after a workout. Why? Because your body needs protein, carbs, vitamins, minerals and fluid to recover before the next workout. What are some other tasty ways can you meet these needs? Salty: Hummus and Pretzels, Popcorn and String Cheese Sweet: Banana and Peanut Butter, Fruit and Yogurt Parfait Crunchy: Trail Mix or Tuna and Crackers On-the-Go: Yogurt -Based Fruit Smoothie or a Granola Bar with Protein

February 25: 
Sports Drinks: Do I Need Them?

Great question here. Sports drinks contain fluids, electrolytes and carbohydrates. All of these components can be performance-enhancing when used correctly.

In general, the average person doesn't need a sports drink for exercise less than 60 minutes, in normal conditions. As long as you've got water and are going to eat relatively soon after your workout, sports drinks likely won't provide any additional benefits. If you've got a longer session, back-to-back workouts, or are running in high heat, sports drinks can be a convenient way to get electrolytes, fluid and energy (via sugar).
  1. The sugar in sports drinks is used as a readily available source of energy for your muscles so that they can keep working at a high intensity!I In some cases, the presence of these sugars in the mouth can decrease your "rating of perceived exertion" which means you may feel some mental relief from the physical stress of exercise. The theory here is that your central nervous system senses that energy is on the way and your brain can say "keep going!"
  2. The fluid here works like water in the sense that it's there to keep you hydrated, keep your temperature regulated and all for the transport of nutrients through your body.
  3. The electrolytes (for example, sodium) help retain ingested fluids, and is important in maintaining a healthy fluid balance.
So if you've got a long, hot workout ahead, you may consider trying a sports drink and seeing how you feel. As always, see what works for you!

March 4:

What is RED-S?
Want to take a moment to bring awareness to Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S). The International Olympic Committee states "The syndrome of RED-S refers to impaired physiological function including ...metabolic rate, menstrual function, bone health, immunity, protein synthesis, cardiovascular health. The underlying problem of RED-S is an inadequacy of energy to support the range of body functions involved in optimal health and performance."  
If you're not giving you body enough energy to support all the things you're asking it to do, somethings going to give. If you're wondering why you're not improving, feel lousy or down, take a look at what you're eating and make sure you're fueling your body. Ask yourself: Am I eating throughout the day?  Do I feel excessively hungry often? Am I choosing a variety of nutrient dense foods? Am I trying to cut calories/could I be cutting too many calories? Would I describe my eating habits as 'restrictive'? 
The chart below illustrates some of the side effects of energy deficiency.  
March 4 Tip

March 11

Nutrient Profile: Vitamin D
Anyone else missing the sunshine here in northeast Ohio? Did you know that sunshine helps your body make Vitamin D?
Many people know about the role of vitamin D in bone health, but did you know that vitamin D functions in some ways like a hormone? In some studies, low vitamin D status is associated with depression. Vitamin D also functions in the skeletal muscle, plays a role in inflammation and your immune system.
It's a pretty important nutrient! While vitamin D supplementation without deficiency is not shown to improve athletic performance, supplementation with deficiency can often be helpful for general health.  Until that sun comes on back, try to incorporate vitamin D-rich foods like fatty fish, egg yolks, mushrooms and fortified milk and talk to your doctor to learn more.

 March 18 - Iron

Ladies, this one is for you! Let's talk about iron. (Men, you have lower requirements and higher capacity to store iron, so it's likely you're getting what you need.)

Iron is crucial in the making of hemoglobin (which give oxygen to your muscles! It's also used in producing energy. To sum it up- you need it to live and need more to support your running. If you don't have enough in storage, your muscle function and your aerobic training will suffer.

  • Animal sources of iron include red meat, dark poultry, eggs and fish. 
  • Plant sources of iron include tofu/soy, lentils/beans, nuts/seeds and some whole grains (as well as fortified cereals).

Iron from animal sources is more easily absorbed, but you can improve absorption of plant sources by combining them with vitamin C, A, citric acid and/or fermented foods. 

This is as simple as adding an orange to your fortified cereal in the morning!

To Note: there's no medical justification to taking supplements in the absence of low stores, and can cause unwanted GI distress so talk to your doctor if you've been feeling weak, out of breath, lack of appetite or have noticed a higher heart rate. 

This link has the recommended daily amounts based on age and sex, as well as lists of iron-containing foods. Check it out to find sources you enjoy.