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The Nourished Tribe's Top Tips to Eat Right for Race Day

May 12, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Race day is looming and after all that hard work and training the last thing you want to do is sabotage your performance with your nutrition on the day.  

 

Planning your race day nutrition is vitally important if you want to perform at your best but also to ensure you recover speedily afterwards.

 

Pre-Race Breakfast – This is definitely the most important meal.

 

As most races start early morning you need to get up extra early in order to eat your planned breakfast.  Ideally you are looking to eat at the very least two hours before the race starts, three if it is a marathon. This will give your body time to digest your food, replenish glycogen stores and avoid any digestive upsets or stomach cramps during the race.

 

As a rule of thumb, stick to what you know, and eat a breakfast you have been used to during your training . You want to choose food that is easily digestible, low in fat, with a good mix of slow releasing and quick releasing carbohydrates. Depending on the length of your race (e.g marathon vs half marathon) you should be aiming have at least 100g carbohydrate (400 – 600 kcal).  

 

TNT top Breakfast options:

  • Porridge and banana

  • Baked beans on toast (wholegrain)

  • Fruit smoothie with protein powder

  • Overnight oats with fruit and coconut yogurt

  • Homemade energy bars.

 

Performance Boosters

 

Energy Drinks: Always check the ingredients and go for a brand that is mostly complex carbohydrates (maltodextrin). This will give you prolonged energy and is also much easier to digest.

 

Coffee: Caffeine is sometimes used to boost performance because it helps muscles use glycogen (carbohydrate) for energy and may help the liver produce a little extra glycogen.  If you do want to have a cup of coffee then stick to a small cup as  too much caffeine can upset blood sugar levels and play havoc with your energy levels.

 

Matcha green tea powder is another option to consider.  Matcha contains antioxidants, caffeine and the amino acid L theanine which when combined have been shown to boost physical performance, help with focus and speed up metabolism. 

 

The Nourished Tribe Top Tip - You could try adding a teaspoon of matcha into your breakfast smoothie or yogurt.

 

Getting the hydration right

 

You want to be properly hydrated before your race but not so much so that you need to pee constantly. Aim to drink 5-7ml of fluid per kilogram of body weight around three before the race, that works out roughly as 350 – 490ml, about the size of  bottle of sports drink). 

 

Just Before The Start. If you have a lot of time hanging around before a race you might want to consider having another snack – for example an energy bar or sports drink.

 

During The Race. Try and follow the plan that you have practised during your training with regard to fluids, energy drinks and gels.  Particularly for longer races (marathon, half marathon) try and sip some fluid every 15-20 minutes (100-200ml). Drinking smaller amounts at regular intervals can help you absorb fluid more effectively without causing digestive upset.

 

Crossing the Finish Line

 

Post-Race Snack. In order to speed up muscle recovery you need protein and carbohydrates.  The ideal ratio is 3;1 carbs to protein and you want to choose something that has a mix of both fast and slow releasing carbohydrates.  Aim to eat or drink your recovery snack in the first 30 mins after the race.

 

The Nourished Tribe top post -race snack suggestions include:

  • Chocolate milk with a banana

  • Protein shake with a piece of fruit ( pineapple/

  • Banana/ pineapple or raisins with oat cakes.

 

Get Rehydrating: Particularly in the heat you will have lost a lot of electrolytes (sodium, potassium and magnesium)  through sweating and you want to replenish these. Many runners carry sachets of salt to add to their post run snack or drink so this may be an option you want to consider. Otherwise  to drink around 500ml of an isotonic or hypotonic drink in the first 30 minutes after the race.

 

Eating Post Race: You may feel that this is the last thing you want to do but, if possible, try to eat again within 1-2 hours of the race.  If you are really not feeling hungry try a smoothie with some protein (powder, nuts) and carbs (banana, oats). On the other hand if you are starving, have a meal that contains  good quality protein (chicken, eggs, etc.) carbohydrates and some good fats such ( olive oil, avocado, nuts).  Leafy greens and fruits that are high in antioxidants such as berries are a good addition to your meal to counter the acidic environment in your body created by intense exercise. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eat Right for Race Day

Race day is looming and after all that hard work and training the last thing you want to do is sabotage your performance with your nutrition on the day.  

Planning your race day nutrition is vitally important if you want to perform at your best but also to ensure you recover speedily afterwards.

 

Pre-Race Breakfast – the most important meal   As most races start early morning you need to get up extra early in order to eat your planned breakfast.  Ideally you are looking to eat at the very least two hours before the race starts, three if it is a marathon. This will give your body time to digest your food, replenish glycogen stores and avoid any digestive upsets or stomach cramps during the race.

Stick to what you know, eat a breakfast you have been used to during your training .   You want to choose food that is easily digestible, low in fat, with a good mix of slow releasing and quick releasing carbohydrates. Depending on the length of your race (e.g marathon vs half marathon) you should be aiming have at least 100g carbohydrate (400 – 600 kcal).  

 

Breakfast options:

Porridge and banana

Baked beans on toast (wholegrain)

Fruit smoothie with protein powder

Overnight oats with fruit and coconut yogurt

Homemade energy bars.

 

Performance Boosters?

 

Energy Drinks – check the ingredients and go for a brand that is mostly complex carbohydrates (maltodextrin). This will give you prolonged energy and is also easier to digest.

 

Coffee -Caffeine is sometimes used to boost performance because it helps muscles use glycogen (carbohydrate) for energy and may help the liver produce a little extra glycogen.  If you do want to have a cup of coffee then stick to a small cup as  too much caffeine can upset blood sugar levels and play havoc with your energy levels.

 

Matcha green tea powder is another option to consider.  Matcha contains antioxidants, caffeine and the amino acid L theanine which when combined have been shown to boost physical performance, help with focus and speed up metabolism.  You could try adding a teaspoon of matcha into your breakfast smoothie or yogurt.

 

Fluids   You want to be properly hydrated before your race but not so much so that you need to pee constantly. Aim to drink 5-7ml of fluid per kilogram of body weight around three before the race,  that works out roughly as 350 – 490ml, about the size of  bottle of sports drink). 

 

Just Before The Start   If you have a lot of time hanging around before a race you might want to consider having another snack – for example an energy bar or sports drink.

 

During The Race  

Try and follow the plan that you have practised during your training with regard to fluids.  Particularly if it is a long race (marathon/ half marathon) try and sip some fluid every 15-20 minutes (around 100-200ml). Drinking smaller amounts at regular intervals can help you absorb fluid more effectively without causing digestive upset. 

 

Post-Race Snack  

In order to speed up muscle recovery you need protein and carbohydrates.  The ideal ratio is 3;1 carbs to protein and you want to choose something that has a mix of both fast and slow releasing carbohydrates.  Aim to eat or drink your recovery snack in the first 30 mins after the race.

 

Post -race snack suggestions

Chocolate milk with a banana

Protein shake with a piece of fruit ( pineapple/

Banana/ pineapple or raisins with oat cakes.

 

Re-hydrating   

Particularly in the heat you will have lost a lot of electrolytes (sodium, potassium and magnesium)  through sweating and you want to replenish these. Many runners carry sachets of salt to add to their post run snack or drink so this may be an option you want to consider. Otherwise  to drink around 500ml of an isotonic or hypotonic drink in the first 30 minutes after the race.

 

 

Post – Race Meal

 If possible try to eat again within 1-2 hours of the race.  If you are not feeling hungry then at least aim for a smoothie with some protein (powder, nuts) and carbs (banana, oats) .  Otherwise have a meal that contains  good quality  protein (chicken, eggs, etc.) carbohydrates and some good fats such ( olive oil, avocado,nuts).  Leafy greens and fruits that are high in antioxidants such as berries are a good addition to your meal to counter the acidic environment in your body created by intense exercise

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