Dear Hungry for Miles:
Just like you map your training routes, it’s a good idea to plan your game day diet.
“Timing and pairing of nutrients and fluids make all the difference when training for an endurance-type race,” says Christi Bowling, a registered dietitian nutritionist and director of nutrition at Vori Health.
Plan your pre-race meal according to your start time, Bowling says. If you have an early morning race, fuel-up the night prior, with a low-fat, high-carbohydrate meal. Then, set your alarm early enough to eat breakfast (about 70 grams of carbs such as cereal, yogurt, fruit, or an energy bar) at least two hours before the start of your race. If your race is later in the day, eat a meal every few hours like you normally would, finishing with a low-fat, high-carb option about two hours before the start whistle sounds, Bowling recommends.
Be sure to pack enough fuel for the road, too, aiming for 15 to 20 grams of carbs (one half of an energy bar) every 20 minutes. And, don’t forget to hydrate: Bowling recommends four to eight ounces every 20 minutes, as well. “Drinks with less than eight percent of carbohydrates, like most sports drinks, Gatorade, or coconut water, are best,” Bowling says.
After the race, restore and rebuild your muscles with a replenishing balance of carbs and protein. (There’s a dreamy peanut (or nut-free) butter on whole-grain toast sandwich calling your name!)
To learn more winning ways to fuel your goals, get a personalized plan from your Vori Health nutritionist and care team. Good luck!