We’ve all been there. We put in the work and trained hard only to have our pre-race dinner set us back. Just like having the perfect training plan, eating the right food is essential to a good performance. But what should a pre-race dinner consist of?
A golden rule of race nutrition is to never eat something that you don’t normally consume. If you haven’t eaten it in the past, don’t try it before a race. I remember simply eating a different kind of bar than I’m used to, and it completely ruined my run. Stick to foods you know are good fuel that your stomach can handle.
While different distances require different nutrition plans (for example, you’ll need to carb-load for marathons, but not 5ks) there are basic foods that will enhance or inhibit your overall performance, no matter what kind of race you are running. Plan to eat lean protein, such as chicken or fish, along with plenty of leafy greens and other vitamin-rich foods.
Slow-burning carbs are excellent for fueling your run. Oatmeal with protein powder is a good option, as well as whole grain bread with peanut or almond butter. I like to eat some kind of bar before my run, such as an RX Bar or a Balance Bar. Look for bars that are low in sugar but high in protein. Also, try to find a bar that is made of real, sustaining foods, instead of puffed rice or cereal. Make sure you are getting the right amount of calories; don’t go under or over your calorie goal.
It is also essential to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and use electrolyte supplements to rehydrate. Avoid supplements that are high in sugar and calories; I like to use NUUN tablets, which are available at most sports stores and some grocery stores.
Race nutrition is a huge part of your success on the big day. Be thoughtful and do what works for you. Be sure to pay as much attention to your food intake as your training. It will make a huge difference.
By Fixt Blogger Emma