We hope all runners and participants are gearing up for race day and getting close to your target distances and ideal times. Don’t forget to get plenty of rest and allow your body to recover especially during the last few weeks of training. Also, load up on nutritious, energy-giving food. Remember that your body needs ample fuel in order to complete that race! Read on for some tips on how to fuel up before a big run.
Nutrition Before Training
Information sourced from “The Chocoholic Dietitian” by Andrea Holwegner
There are several important considerations for the pre-workout meal:
Hydration, hydration! Drink fluids throughout your day and be sure to drink at least two to four cups of fluid starting four hours before your workout.
Choose carbohydrates: Carbohydrates should comprise the main part of your pre-training meal. Carbohydrates found in foods such as grains, cereals, breads, fruits and veggies are quick to digest, provide energy for your working muscles and top up your blood sugar.
Protein: In order to sustain your energy output, add a source of protein such as meat, poultry, seafood; peanut butter; yogurt/milk, cottage cheese or eggs. Excessive amounts of protein are not ideal if you only have a short amount of time before your workout since protein is slow to digest and may feel heavy in your stomach or cause cramping or bloating.
Avoid high-fat foods: Fat is very slow to digest and won’t top up your muscle fuel. In your pre-training meal skip high-fat foods.
Watch high-fibre foods: While small amounts of fibre are generally well tolerated, be aware that fibre is slow to digest and may cause stomach upset during a workout without enough time to properly digest.
Timing before your workout: The less time you have, the smaller the amount of food generally tolerated. In general, if you have two or more hours before exercising eat a high carbohydrate meal that is low in fat and has a small amount of protein. If you have less than an hour before your workout stick with a small snack that is mostly carbohydrate.
Sample meal ideas for 2 or more hours before training
- Smoothie with fruit, unsweetened juice and yogurt, milk or protein powder.
- Hot/cold cereal, milk/yogurt and fruit.
- Toast, banana, and peanut butter.
- Toast, egg(s) and juice.
- Sports bar and sports drink.
- Cottage cheese and canned fruit with a low-fat muffin.