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Healthy Eating Tips for the Big Race

You know how important it is to maintain a healthy diet, and
this rings true especially when it comes to preparing for a race. If you want
to deliver your best performance, then consuming the wrong foods at the wrong
time will undoubtedly defeat your chances. You may be spending months training
and getting yourself in shape for the big day, and when you make poor diet
choices in this crucial time period, all that effort may easily go to
waste.

As the race day draws closer and closer, you probably feel
like you’re under a lot of pressure to do your very best and achieve your
goals. That’s why we hope we can reduce some of your anxiety with this helpful
diet guide for race week.

5-6 Days Before

Begin increasing your total carbohydrate
intake by adding more foods with a low glycemic index, those that are broken
down and absorbed slowly into the blood stream and as a result, increase blood
sugar levels, keeping you satisfied long after eating.

Some foods in this category are pastas, potatoes,
oatmeal, lentils, brown rice, and most fruits. Contrary to popular belief, it’s
actually not healthy to eat much more than you normally would, as it will only
make you feel stuffed and lethargic. Simply consume a greater percentage of
your daily calorie intake as carbohydrates.

Try to steer clear of high-fat and
high-protein foods such as cheese, butter, oils, yogurt, fish, and creamy
sauces. Consuming these will fill you up much faster than carbs, and take
longer to digest.


2 Days Before

Two days before the race,
particularly when it comes to longer runs, start consuming more fluids like
sports drinks, which are a steady source of carbs and contain electrolytes,
minerals that are lost through sweat.

You should avoid alcohol and
caffeine, as it dehydrates and counteracts your increased carbohydrate intake,
and you should also avoid high-fiber foods like beans, bran cereals, and
broccoli, which may cause an upset stomach or discomfort during your run.

It’s best to eat low or no salt
foods, and your diet at this point should consist of roughly 50% carbs, 30%
proteins, and 20% fats. The carbohydrates that you consume now should mostly consist
of fresh vegetables, supported with brown rice or pasta.


The Day Before

The day before
the race is here! Make sure you keep yourself hydrated and drink plenty of
fluids all day, especially those rich in electrolytes. Don’t try to stuff
yourself, but your main meals should continue to consist of foods that are low
glycemic index. Some good choices include sweet potatoes, white rice, and
bagels.

You need to make
sure that the last substantial meal that you have the night before is consumed
at least 12 hours prior to the start of the race.


Race Day!

It’s
time! You’ve
heard time and again that breakfast is the most important meal
of the day, and that’s especially true on the morning of your race.

Have a light meal
three to four hours prior to the race, so your body has enough time to break
down those nutrients and your stomach has some time to settle. Some recommended
foods are whole wheat or multigrain bread, cold cereal, fruits, and vegetables.

Many racers
believe that gorging on carbs is the best way to go, but a better approach is
to eat in moderation, with a meal totaling approximately 500 calories. Eat what
you know your digestive system can tolerate to avoid any digestive discomfort.
Again, it’s important to keep yourself thoroughly hydrated, but stop drinking
water at least half an hour before the race begins, as having too much water
may actually give you cramps and slow you down.

No matter whether you are running a
5K or a half marathon, it’s crucial to know how your diet can make or break
your athletic performance. For more health and fitness tips and ideas, please
be sure to visit us again at Fitness Rush. If you’re looking for quality
equipment to furnish your home gym, we invite you to visit our store today! 

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