Here’s What to Eat on Race Day

There are a few do’s and don’ts that you should be aware of when it comes to eating on the day of your race. Nutrition can make or break your race! It’s extremely important to fuel your body appropriately to ensure you maximize your performance.

Let’s Start With the Basics.

You need to eat carbohydrates, protein and fat! Carb-loading can help fuel a long run, but don’t forget the rest of your macronutrients. Protein and fat are just as important to maintain your energy and get you to the finish line. Not only do you want to eat a well-balanced meal before the race, but also after as well.

Don’t experiment with new foods the night before a race. Stick to familiar foods that aren’t too heavy or different from your routine. Think whole grains, lean protein, some veggies and healthy fats.

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The Morning of The Big Race Should Consist of a Breakfast About Three Hours Before the Start:

A full breakfast that contains a good amount of carbohydrates to fuel your muscles is appropriate. Avoid a high-fat meal because fat takes longer to digest. Make sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated! Think oatmeal or cereal with milk, half a bagel and Greek yogurt or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You may want to experiment a little with your meals prior to running the race to see how your body feels.

If you’re still hungry after breakfast about one hour or less before the start, you could have some additional carbohydrates. Carbohydrate consumption before exercise is crucial to top off glycogen stores and prevent early fatigue. Think sports drink, water, sports gummies, a sports bar or a piece of whole fruit.

Post-Race You’ll be Feeling Great!

Congratulate yourself for finishing whether it’s your first race, an old favorite or you hit a new PR. While celebrating with food is usually the go to make sure you are being mindful. Your body needs a bit of time to recover after the race so wait about 30 minutes before indulging. A well-balanced meal is perfect to make sure you get in carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Post-race fuel is similar to your night-before-the-race fuel. Also, don’t be too tempted to celebrate with alcohol just yet! Make sure you rehydrate with water before you ‘cheers.’

For those of you ready to run – good luck!