Travel Smart: Remember the Drinks
According to a 2008 review article by the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, the dry air onboard planes causes a gradual fluid loss, so if you rely on the airline's tiny (and infrequent) rations of water, you're likely to land parched. To avoid dehydration, have at least one energy drink on your travel day. "Sports drinks contain sodium, which aids fluid retention," says Dikos. To navigate pesky airport liquid restrictions, pack an empty water bottle and a stash of single-serving sports drink powders and hit a water fountain, or ask the flight attendant to fill it once you're on board.
More: 15 Hydration Facts for Athletes
Travel Smart: Have a Plan B
If the airline loses your luggage filled with your pantry stash; if your favorite restaurant has an hour-long wait; if your spaghetti arrives smothered in spicy sauce — don't let the snafu rattle you. "There's the worry that every bite is the only determining factor in your performance," says Eberle. "Try not to get locked into the mentality of, 'I must eat perfectly.'"
To avoid a food panic, try to remain flexible — and choose easy-to-find foods. Eberle used to eat cheese pizza before her races. Andy Martin is a two-time Olympic Trials qualifier who travels once a month to race and almost always eats his prerace dinner at an Italian restaurant. Last year's Big Sur Marathon tested his resolve. "I didn't do any research ahead of time, so I drove around for a while looking for a pasta place," he says. "I finally settled for pancakes and sausage at a diner."
How did Martin's plan B work for him on race day? He won.
More: Tips for Easy Long-Distance Travel
Got Snacks? Check!
Healthy, handy single-serving foods for the road
One Gatorade Thirst Quencher powder pack mixes up to 17 ounces.
Clif Bars and Kashi TLC Bars supply both carbs and protein.
Heat water in the hotel coffeemaker.
Top your yogurt with Bear Naked Snack-Packs.
Snag single-serving packets at any fast-food joint.
Kashi TLC crackers are 130 calories a bag.
Apples, oranges, and bananas hold up well.
A good source of low-fat protein.
Be sure to peel before you leave.
Try squeeze-tubes of Wild Garden hummus.
Mini snack bags pair perfectly with hummus.
Portion control with individual squares.
More: How to Stay Race Ready When Crossing Time Zones
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