Are you signed up for competitive event this summer such as a 5K race, 10K race, Triathlon, The Warrior Dash or The Tough Mudder event? Getting the right nutrition before races like these is essential for optimal performance.
Your diet in the weeks before the race:
- Should consist of whole grains, fruits and vegetables (5 servings a day), lean protein choices (such as beans, lentils, lean meats) and heart healthy fats (such as nuts, seeds and avocados).
- Re-fuel within 30 minutes of exercise with a protein and carbohydrate, (example: peanut butter with an apple)
Train Your System:
- It is important to train your digestive system, which will help you avoid intestinal discomfort and diarrhea on the event day.
- Experiment with foods, beverages and timing to determine what will sit well with you during your event.
- What works best for you might not work well for others.
- Race day is not the day to try a new gel or sports drink.
Timing of Food:
- It is all about trial and error, but generally eat 1-4 hours before your event.
Rule of Thumb:
- 60 minutes before you can have ½ gram of a carbohydrate per pound of body weight
- 2 hours before you can have 1 gram of carbohydrate per pound of body weight
- 4 hours before you can have 2 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight
- 2 cups of water 2 hours before the race, and one cup right before the start time
- Only drink a sports drink if you are exercising longer than 60 minutes.