Let's be honest: there is nothing worse than to finish the half marathon with a thought about a juicy burrito, and then realize you feel sick from this idea.
This is chemistry to blame in the absence of appetite after long races. A 2008 study showed that a 60-minute run increases the production of a peptide hormone that suppresses appetite, and reduces the production of acylated ghrelin, which stimulates appetite.
"Another reason for feeling sick at the finish line is that you consumed not enough food during the race itself," says Ilana Katz, a sports nutritionist from Atlanta.
When our body feels lack of food-supplied energy (and at that time you make extra efforts to reach finish), the body becomes nervous, panic and activates the "fight-or-flight" mode. This is an ancient instinct of self-preservation, it’s like a complex military operation with technology and Bruce Willis, during which your body doesn’t care about juicy burrito – it is all stressed and trying to survive.
Running tip: Our body can absorb one gram of carbs per minute, so consume at least 60 g of carbs per hour during a long race, recommends Ilana Katz. Take it from sports drinks, energy gels or regular food.
After the race, choose easily-digestible foods or special nutritious drinks. If you absolutely do not want to eat after the finish - do not worry.
"Loss of appetite is a temporary phenomenon," says Ilana. "In an hour or two, the appetite returns, and you’ll be ready to eat a horse."