For those runners traveling to Cape Town to run the Cape Town Marathon, many of your pre-race meals could be from convenience stores and coffee shops. Andrea du Plessis gives some pointers to navigate towards healthy meals for runners.

Convenience Stores:

Try These:

Protein bars (look out for the ones lowest in sugar)


Nuts and trail mix portions

Fresh fruit or fresh fruit salad

Dried fruit

Plain yoghurt

Healthy wraps and sandwiches

Salad Bowls

Ready-to-eat meals (Many convenience stores and supermarkets offer healthy, prepared meals, such as stir-fry bowls, salads, sandwiches, soups, wraps and vegetable dishes.)

Think twice:

Sushi (usually a “go-to” healthy option, but it’s not worth the food safety risk before the race)

Yoghurt drinks (low in fat, but loaded with sugar)

Toasted sandwiches (greasy fillings with unhealthy processed oils)

Muesli bars: these often contain the same amount of sugar and fat than regular chocolate bars

Empty kilojoules (lots of energy, very little nutritional value)

Cola drinks and other soft drinks

Flavoured mineral water (often contains same amount of sugar as soft drinks)

Chocolates and sweets

Pies and pastries

Chips and crisps

Muffins (cake dressed up as health food)


Try these healthy options:



Matcha Green Tea / Rooibos Tea Latté or Cappuccino

Rooibos tea or herbal tea

Freshly squeezed fruit juice (in moderation)

Breakfast Options:

Muesli with fruit & yoghurt

Fried, poached or scrambled eggs on toast: add avocado, cheese, tomatoes or mushrooms



These are PACKED with sugar, refined starches and fat (even if they contain carrots and bran).

Light meals



Salad or stir-fry bowls

Soup with bread

Steak or fish with vegetables

Think twice


Fruit juice: unless freshly squeezed, fruit juices are almost always sweetened.

Milkshakes and smoothies


Muffins: packed with sugar, refined carbohydrates and processed fat

Cheesecake, chocolate cake, carrot cake, lemon meringue, apple crumble, etc.

Croissants and other breakfast pastries: high in refined carbohydrates

Breakfast Options:

Fry up: Nothing wrong with eggs, but before the race, it may be best to avoid eating processed and smoked meats.

Waffles (that would be ideal to enjoy after the marathon!)

Light Meals:

Chips: avoid eating deep fried foods. Rather opt for baked potato or steamed vegetables instead.

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DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.