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Cam Levins’ race nutrition of choice is Black Cherry Lemonade

Cam Levins broke the Canadian marathon record fueling with sweet tea

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The list of people to recognize from today is countless. This was a decade in the making and I want to say THANK YOU and express my gratitude for all the people and process that made this happen. First and foremost, my family- everyone was here in #toronto this weekend, which rarely happens. Thank you for making this a priority for the year and for supporting my passion even when I was on crutches and couldn’t walk @suutfxc and @erickhoule : the boys strung me along during training in the spring to help get me back to fitness, Eric helped supervise my workouts and his wife Diane kept me well fed during altitude training in Cedar City, Utah Trent Stellingwerff for his brilliant mind and knowledge regarding nutrition and fueling (my wife loved decorating my bottles and may never let me return to track now) My physio team: both @kurtmarionlmt and @davidmchenry13 (Portland), and Dutch and Stephen Workman (Cedar City) who kept me in one piece during this whole buildup @ryan.p.vail and @reidcoolsaet for letting me pick their brains on this whole marathon beast- they are both great guys and great role models My agent, @flynnsports @raypflynn , my sponsors @hokaoneone and @polarglobal for sticking with me and working to create these opportunities Finally, to @alnbrookes @runcrs @scotiabank for inviting me to #stwm last year to preview the course and for the incredible hospitality and organization this year. Everything I could have possibly wanted for my debut was in place with amazing pacers and meet staff/volunteers, (that tracked down my bag hours later) and they have consistently hosted an event that is world-class and high quality. I may be a west coast boy, but Toronto will always have a special place in my heart. 📸Cole Burston/Canadian Press

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Cam Levins broke the Canadian marathon record yesterday, running 2:09:25 to break Jerome Drayton’s 43-year-old record by 44 seconds. The lead pack went out quickly, but Levins was patient and ran a perfectly paced race, maintaining consistent splits through the entire 42.2K. 

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What was Levins’ nutrition of choice for his race? Country Time Black Cherry Lemonade, as it turns out–no fancy hydrogels for this guy. Trent Stellingwerff, physiologist and Director of Performance Solutions at the Canadian Sport Institute, said Levins chose the drink because he loves the taste, and it met the carbohydrate requirements for his race. “The basics of sports drinks are having a glucose-fructose blend, and being sure that the athlete enjoys the taste, to prevent flavour fatigue.” Stellingwerff also highlights the importance of practicing with the drink beforehand. 

Marathon start line.

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However, Stellingwerff stresses that race-day carbohydrate intake only accounts for the final one to two per cent of performance. “That 98 to 99 per cent is coming from Cam’s genetics, training ethic, injury status and pursuit of excellence.”

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Race day nutrition is about enjoying what you’re taking in, and ensuring that you’re getting enough. The Levins model is evidently effective, and shows that you don’t need anything special on race day, just what works for you.