Pre Race Nutrition
Evening before event
Traditionally pasta was a favorite among Endurance athletes the night before, but other carbohydrate-rich options which you can choose include bread, bagels, potatoes, oatmeal, quinoa, rice, pizza and sweet potatoes. Make sure to add small amount of protein to your meal, and not to over consume protein the day before.
A diet high in protein can pose an excess acid load to the kidneys which with every endurance race is put under massive strain with limited fluid intake during and event. A positive is when energy demand is low, excess protein is converted to glucose and help with your glycogen stores.
Try focus on a healthy portion, studies and proven that gone are the days of over eating the night before to try carbo load. Your meal must be a healthy normal every day size.
It is important also not to have an excess amount of protein as this is usually stored as fat while the surplus of amino acids is excreted. This can lead to weight gain over time, especially if you consume too many calories while trying to increase your protein and carbohydrate intake.
As said above the human body cannot absorb more than a limited amount of protein at one time, and anything from 30 grams is usually quoted as the upper limit of that amount, which is about 150g of meat per serving.
Don’t forget to add your Mono and Poly unsaturated fats to to your meal. Some good ideas include half an avocado, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, small handful of nuts or 3 dice size blocks of feta cheese.
- Dinner should be relatively small, but carb-heavy.
- Add a mono and poly unsaturated fat because these are good for your heart, your cholesterol, and your overall health.
- Your protein to carbohydrate ratio is 1:4.
- Sip water or add electrolytes to your water with your meal.
Pre race morning
Eat on the early side so you have lots of time to digest. You want to wake up race day hungry, not full from the night before, try get 3 hours before the start, and look at about 150 grams of carbs before your race, with a small 50 grams of protein/fat like a nutty cereal and yogurt or protein whey/peanut butter with your oatmeal.
The key is the earlier you eat the better, so your body digests it properly before your event. Sip 500ml of your favorite sports drink within those 3 hours.
Starting your event on a leaner or emptier stomach or a light meal means that your body is not preoccupied with digesting huge amounts of food. Instead, it is able to deliver large amounts of oxygen to your muscles and potentially burn more fat which intern gives you more “go”.
You might feel as though you’re “running on empty”, but the body still has the muscle glycogen stores. So when you start your event, your body initially gets its energy from the glycogen stored in your muscles.
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