Depending on the race you have entered you will need to consider the types of foods you eat in the days prior to your race.
Below is a list of suggestions based on Coach Steph’s experiences. Please keep in mind that they may not suit everyone and your dietary preferences and requirements.
Things to avoid in general nutrition:
- Fat based products such as margarine, pastries, cakes, animal fats & gravy due to their low nutritional content and high energy density.
- Sugary drinks & foods due to their low nutritional content and role in weight gain.
- Large amounts of caffeine as it accelerates electrolyte loss & dehydration .
- Artificial sweeteners due to the unknown possible negative affects on the body.
- Pre-packaged meal bases & foods due to the additives & sweeteners.
- High GI carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta & rice. They raise blood sugar quickly and do not keep you full for as long.
Things to eat in general nutrition:
- Approx. 1.5L of fluid, predominately water, per day (more if training or warmer conditions) 30ml per kg of body weight eg. 60kg x 30mL = 1.8L per day.
- Low GI/Wholemeal foods for slow release energy (low GI).
- Protein at each meal which includes amino acids for recovery & muscle repair.
- During exercise have 1g carbohydrates per kg body weight per hour eg. 60kg x 1g = 60g. This ensures sufficient energy supply & recovery for the next session.
- Drink electrolyte/carbohydrate drink during long training sessions to assist in recovery & replace lost electrolytes.
- Plenty of fruit & vegetables.
Day of the race:
- Avoid fruits (apart from bananas if you stomach them ok), juices, fats, dairy, heavy foods & caffeine (only in last 30mins before race start).
- Breakfast- toast with honey or jam & banana (if applicable) or cereal with lactose free milk at least 2 hours prior to the race.
- Lunch (if race is in afternoon)- whole meal or gluten free rice/pasta with small pieces of chicken and olive oil. Have at least 3 hours prior to race start. If still hungry before the race have liquid energy such as a gel or electrolyte/carbohydrate drink or energy bar. Avoid protein.
- After the race– eat plenty within 30mins after the race & your cool down are finished. Have a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, electrolytes & protein for optimal recovery, muscle damage repair & energy levels.