Before a Race
Pre-race breakfast should be 2-3 hours before the race that are low in fiber, fat and protein. Choose something that is easy to digest.
Drink water up to 30 minutes before the race starts. This means you will need to set an alarm extra early that morning.
Days leading up to your race, focus on eating lean protein like chicken or fish and healthy carbohydrates to each meal, such as: vegetables, fruits, whole grain pasta, and breads. Stay away from processed foods high in trans fat and cholesterol. If you want to “carbo-load”, do it 2 days before the race instead of the night before. A lot of times we don’t sleep well the night before a race and anxiety can cause indigestion. It is also critical that you remain well hydrated by doubling up on your water intake days before the race.
During a Race
Before a race, inquire about the number of water stations along the course. Take advantage of these stations to stay hydrated during the race, especially during hot and humid conditions.
If your race will last over 60-90 minutes, drink fluids that contain carbohydrate and sodium. The carbohydrate will help provide energy during the race; the sodium may help drive you to drink more and promote fluid retention. AmericanCollege of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends drinks that contain 4-8% carbohydrates.
After a Race
Make sure to replenish your fluids lost after a race. The ACSM recommends that you drink 2 cups of fluid for every pound of body weight lost during your exercise activity.
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