Race Week - Nutrition
Nutrition Tips Series
Developed by Lisa Lovejoy, Sports & Wellness Dietitian
As your activity level goes down this week, your body is getting a chance to recover and refuel its energy stores. Although you aren’t as active as you have been in the last eight weeks, now is not the time to drastically cut back on your eating. While you are resting, your muscles are able to fill up their glycogen stores so they will be ready for action come race day. An added bonus is that for each ounce of glycogen stored for energy, 3 ounces of water are stored along with it. This will help you to stay hydrated during the race! Ensure you are choosing carbohydrate-rich foods and fluids at each of your meals and snacks, along with adequate protein, and that you are drinking adequate amounts of fluid to maintain optimal hydration.
On Friday, be sure to include three meals, making your lunch meal the largest. Having a large meal on Friday night may not allow enough time to digest and move through your body, leaving you feeling heavy and sluggish come Saturday morning.
On race day, wake up 2 to 3 hours before competition to allow enough time to eat breakfast (and digest!) as well as adequately hydrate. Make sure not to eat any new foods or beverages that your body isn’t used to. Breakfast should consist of a low fat, carbohydrate-rich meal (ex: bowl of oatmeal, piece of fruit, and a glass of non fat milk). Small amounts of protein can be included if this is something you have found to help with your workouts. Just don’t substitute protein foods for carbohydrate foods! Within an hour of the race, enjoy a light carbohydrate snack such as a banana, apple, orange, or small granola bar.
Right before the race, empty your bladder and follow it up with one to two cups of water or sports drink 5 to 10 minutes before the race. Remember to stay hydrated during the race and keep your blood sugar up! Best of luck to you and congratulations!
For more information on sports nutrition or to book an appointment with me, please call the MultiCare Center for Healthy Living: 253-301-5091.