Running a marathon is a demanding physical activity that requires both mental and physical strength. 

To perform at your best, it is crucial to fuel your body with the right nutrition. As a marathoner, you need to be mindful of what you eat, not only before the race but also during the run. 

If you will participate in the Cape Town Marathon, you may wonder what nutrition is available on the course. 

This blog will give you insights into what food and drink options you can expect on the Cape Town Marathon route.

What You’ll Find At Aid Stations Along The Cape Town Marathon

First off, the Cape Town Marathon route has various refuelling stations strategically placed along the course. 

Aid stations along the Cape Town Marathon route are approximately located every 3-4 km (1.9 miles), provide you with water to keep you refreshed and hydrated, Coke for that quick sugar rush, and Powerade to keep those electrolytes in check.

Powerade is formulated with carbohydrates and electrolytes to help restore your energy levels, maintain the right balance of minerals lost through sweating, and keep you hydrated and energized during the marathon. 

At these aid stations, water will be served in cups and not plastic sachets.

Secondly, some stations have a variety of food options to choose from. For example, bananas and energy gels are common snacks available during the race. 

A banana is rich in carbohydrates, potassium, and vitamin C, which can provide instant energy and aid in muscle recovery. An energy gel is a concentrated blend of sugar, electrolytes, and caffeine that quickly boosts energy levels. 

However, when consuming energy gels, it’s essential to wash them down with water to prevent stomach discomfort.

Thirdly, if you’re someone who needs solid food during a marathon, you’re in luck. Woolworths will have a food station at 25 km (15.5 miles), separate from the nearest hydration station. 

It’s worth noting that it’s essential to test out any new nutritional options during your training to ensure they sit well with your stomach on race day.

Can I Carry My Own Hydration Pack?

Suppose you have specific nutritional requirements or a sensitive stomach, you can opt to bring your hydration pack. 

The Cape Town Marathon rules allow you to bring your own refreshments as long as they’re in a disposable container that you can discard quickly and safely after consumption. 

So, if you prefer to fuel your run with a specific brand of sports drink or a homemade snack, you can do that with ease.

While there are many hydration stations along the Cape Town Marathon route, it’s not necessary to stop at every single one of them.

Your individual hydration plan can vary based on factors like thirst, running intensity, and weather conditions on race day.

Post-Marathon Recovery

Lastly, it would help if you kept in mind that what you eat and drink after the race is just as essential as during the run. 

Proper recovery fueling plays a crucial role in helping your muscles recover and replenishing your glycogen stores after a marathon. 

It’s recommended to consume a combination of carbohydrates and protein within 30 minutes of finishing the race to kick-start the recovery process.

However, not everyone may feel like eating a full meal immediately after the race. 

In such cases, a liquid form of nutrition, like chocolate milk, can be a convenient and effective choice. 

Chocolate milk provides the necessary carbohydrates and protein for recovery.

Interestingly, one study has shown that chocolate milk can be a cost-effective and beneficial alternative to expensive recovery products. 

This study found that chocolate milk can help extend the time to training exhaustion and improve muscle repair, both of which are crucial for the recovery process after strenuous exercise like running a marathon. 

So, don’t underestimate the power of a good old glass of chocolate milk after your race!

We have a separate video where we delve into the science behind whether chocolate milk is a great recovery drink for runners.

During the recovery period, it’s crucial to stay hydrated by continuing to drink fluids regularly. 

If you’re considering consuming alcohol after the race, it’s worth noting that one beer isn’t detrimental to your recovery process. However, if you plan on drinking more than two beers, it’s a different story. 

Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration, which can affect your recovery, especially if you’re aiming to bounce back quickly for future races or training.

Beyond dehydration, excessive alcohol intake can also interfere with the absorption of essential nutrients like muscle glycogen and amino acids. 

These nutrients are vital for muscle recovery and repair, so it’s something to keep in mind when making post-race choices.

Related: A COMPLETE Runner’s Guide to the Cape Town Marathon Route

The Cape Town Marathon Route is a stunning course, which is made even better by the availability of various nutrition options. The marathon offers an excellent range of snacks and beverages to keep you hydrated and energized. 

Make the most of these by knowing what is available and planning ahead for the nutrition and hydration you need to tackle one of the world’s most beautiful courses. 

When you finish this race, you’ll feel victorious and fueled for the next challenge. 

So, go ahead, plan your marathon and enjoy the scenic beauty of the Cape Town Marathon Route while keeping your energy levels high.


Devlin Eyden has a passion for seeing his athletes grow and excel. From novice runners or cyclists across all disciplines to elite mountain bikers representing South Africa at World Championships. In addition to helping you ride faster, for longer, Devlin also has the personal touch when it comes to your bike setup, aiming at improving the overall rider experience. With his background as a Sport Scientist as well as a Strength & Conditioning specialist, performance is Devlin’s main priority, be it in the gym, the lab or out on the road or trails. Being a keen runner & cyclist and having completed the Cape Epic among others, Devlin has first hand experience in what it take to reach your goals. If you’re looking for a once-off training program or ongoing, high touch support Devlin has you covered.

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