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Now that the Pittsburgh Marathon is Over, UPMC Offers Post-Race Health Tips

 PITTSBURGH, May 3, 2015 – If you finished one of today’s races in the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, congratulations are in order. Even if you weren’t able to finish, better luck next time. For everyone who competed, here are some ideas about how to better recover from a long-distance run.
 
The following tips are offered by:  
 
Of course, you should consult your personal medical and/or nutritional advisers about any special needs you may have.
 
• Eat and drink after finishing!Gulp down a salt-replacement sports drink and/or water. And consume a salty snack, at least.
 
• Water is recommended, but... – If your urine appears dark or tea-colored, it might mean you are dehydrated. Drink plenty of fluids as soon as possible. Plain water is advisable, but sports drinks are a good choice because the sugar in them aids in sodium absorption and other positives for you. If problems persist, you might have a more serious condition, so please seek medical help in the Finish Line medical tent or a physician or emergency department near you.
 
• Replace what you’ve lost – Over the next several hours, drink 24 ounces of fluid for every 1 pound you have lost with:
o Juice – tart cherry is recommended (8 to 12 ounces maximum, along with water), for reducing inflammation and providing antioxidants
o Low-fat chocolate milk
o Sports drink
• Eat something later. Or, if you are too tired to chew, have ice cream or a smoothie, and then eat a full meal later – Your post-Marathon meal should include some carbohydrate and protein:  
o A steak, baked potato and vegetables
o Grilled chicken, pasta and salad
o Fish, corn, rice and vegetables
• Avoid deep-tissue massage for 72 hours, at least – It may cause increased release of myoglobin from damaged muscle tissue and can lead to serious issues involving the kidney, for instance.
 
• Take care of blisters: 
o Keep the blister clean, dry and either covered or padded
o Avoid “popping” the blister
o If that is unavoidable, use sterile implements, puncture it at the base, and drain the fluid
o Don’t peel off the skin
o Cover the blister with a thin layer of antibiotic ointment and dry, sterile gauze
• Take a cooler shower than normal and rest.
 
• Avoid non-prescription, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) until a minimum of 6 hours after the finish – Hold off ibuprofen or naproxen due to secondary risks of low-sodium levels, organ or kidney damage, and gastrointestinal bleeding.
 
• Avoid taking supplements that act as stimulants – Such ingredients as in decongestants (pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine) or stimulants (amphetamine, dextroamphetamine) could increase the risk of heat illness.
 
• If pain persists or worsens, seek medical attention for further evaluation – If you continue to feel ill after the race, with severe muscle or back pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, or inability to drink fluids, seek medical treatment.
 
As medical sponsor of the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, UPMC Sports Medicine provided free training seminars for marathon participants, as well as medical support along the race course and at the start and finish lines. With UPMC’s Department of Emergency Medicine, UPMC Sports Medicine assembled a team of medical volunteers from UPMC, other local hospitals, the City of Pittsburgh’s Bureau of Emergency Medical Services and other local EMS departments to provide medical care to the thousands of runners on race day. UPMC is the official medical provider for the event, as it has been since the first Pittsburgh Marathon in 1985.

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