Common Pre-Race Eating Mistakes

So, you know that lots of veggies and beans is a no-no the day(s) leading up to a race. But figuring out exactly how much, or how little, you need (to both eat and drink) before your big race can feel almost as daunting as the race itself.As a rule of thumb, NEVER try anything new the week before or day of a race. But you probably already knew that. Stick to a simple diet rich in easily digested carbohydrates, healthy fats, and lean protein. Avoid lots of fibre, too, and DEFINITELY don’t get caught making the following prerace mistakes.
Carb OVERload
The best time to train your body to store glycogen is throughout your entire training cycle. Which means upping the volume of pasta that night before your race will do nothing more than result in you storing excess kilojoules/carbohydrates as fat and waking up feeling bloated, sluggish, and weighed down. No thanks.Incorporate whole grains throughout your training, such as brown rice, whole wheat pastas, quinoa, and potatoes and don’t eat any more than your typical standard portion the night before a race. My top choice – a sweet potato. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals and high in carbohydrates that will be easy to digest and give the body just the right amount of energy it needs.A Skipped Breakfast
Breakfast is arguably one of the most crucial meals you’re going to eat before you cross the starting line, and there’s danger in skipping, especially if you’re running a marathon. You don’t have enough stores from dinner the night before to carry the effort level that you’re hoping for without a morning refuel, so skipping breakfast will likely cause you to “crash and burn” much earlier than anticipated (or can help avoid it all together). Try simple breakfasts such as oatmeal, peanut butter toast, or banana. Whatever you reach for, just make sure you reach for predominantly carbohydrates with a small amount of protein (I like nut butters) and fats (I like coconut oil and/or nuts)Also, I totally get that nerves can get the best of us the morning of, so if this is the case with you, have a back-up plan. Try to eat a spoonful of peanut butter, one or two packets of gel, and some sports drink. The low volume of food will feel manageable, and the combination of protein, fat and carbohydrates will be almost as good as your planned breakfast.Logged by Water
We all read constantly about the importance of hydration, but it is possible to overdo it. Drinking too much water the day before a race will actually deplete your body of essential electrolytes and leave you feeling bloated – not to mention waiting in the portaloo lines all morning. The week leading up to the race don’t drink any more water than you normally would. Just be mindful to drink water with (and between) meals. Smoothies, juices and electrolyte drinks count, too.The morning of a race aim to drink around 500mL two to three hours before the start. Drink another 250mL of water or an electrolyte-based sports drink within the last hour.

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