What to eat before the your next big race
With summer fast approaching and a whole host events on the water coming up, we asked the team at Meglio to talk us through some of the best ways to prepare for your big race.
Having pushed yourself to the limit for months on end and after endless early morning starts, you’ve now made it to race week in great shape. The last thing you want to do now is start experimenting with new workouts or foods in the days leading up to the event.
Eating the correct food and fully hydrating before a big race is vital to help you perform and achieve your goals. A pre-race meal is a key aspect of any race day and our simple tips will help you to stay energised throughout your activity.
For tips and advice on how to keep fit and avoid injuries before and after the big race, take a look at YouTube channel, Meglio TV. Read on below to find out more.
1 Eat a light pre-race breakfast
If your race is in the morning, aim to consume around a 200-300 calorie meal, one to two hours beforehand. The majority of your calories should come from whole, unprocessed carbs. Try to keep the meal low in fibre and fat as both take a long time to digest. Aim for under 10 grams of fibre per serving and limit fat to five to 10 grams.
It’s best to experiment with a range of foods before training so you know what works (or doesn’t work) for you. Try to build up a selection of different meals.
-Bagel with a selection of fruit-banana, apple, raspberries, strawberries
-Bowl of granola with yoghurt
-Bowl of porridge topped with fruit and honey
2 No need to stock up on carbs the night before
Carb-loading (increasing your intake of carbohydrate foods while cutting back on protein/fat in the days before a race) is aimed at events of 90 minutes plus. It’s a good idea to stock up on carbohydrates a few days before the race but not when it comes to the night before. Try adding an extra element to your diet E.G. sweet potatoes, pastas, baked potatoes, brown rice, sandwiches, bagels with peanut butter, quinoa, whole grains, oatmeal.
Your last big meal should be two nights before the race. This will give your body ample time to digest anything you eat. If you attempt to carb-load before a race, you’ll end up with lots of calories that you don’t need, which could make you feel bloated.
3 Have a light pre-race snack
If you feel hungry on the way to the race, have a small snack of 150-250 calories that will stop your hunger but without filling you up (small banana or yoghurt). Alternatively, have some energy sweets or an energy bar for quick fuel that’s easy to digest. E.G energy bars, bread, cereal, and small sandwiches.
4 Don’t try anything new
Whatever you consume, make it something that’s worked for you during your regular training practice. It should be something that makes you feel energised but doesn’t leave you with an upset stomach. Don’t try anything new that could upset your body on the day of the big race.
5 Don’t forget the fluids
Be sure to wash down your pre-race meal with plenty of fluids. Aim to consume 500-600ml of fluids two to three hours before the race, and another 200-300ml 20 minutes before the race begins. It’s okay to have coffee, tea or a sports drink if you regularly drink those fluids before your runs. It’s best to sip water throughout the days before the race. Avoid drinking large amount of fluids right before the start.
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