What to Eat to Gain Energy for Your Next Race

Some examples include:

  • Sports bar or gel
  • 1 to 2 pieces bread or toast with jam or honey
  • Banana and sports drink
  • Muffin
  • Pretzels and diluted fruit juice of choice
  • Fresh fruit of your choice, such as a berry, peach or mango.

If your race starts later in the day, then try to eat a larger meal about three hours ahead of the start time. Again keep it high carb, but you can include some protein and fat:
Some examples include:

  • Fresh fruit yogurt smoothie with toast
  • Turkey sandwich with fruit juice
  • Hot cereal, like oatmeal, with dried fruit and low-fat milk
  • PB & J sandwich
  • Breakfast burrito with refried beans and eggs
  • Home-fried potatoes and juice

More: 6 Top Super Foods to Eat This Race Season

If the race is longer than an hour, you may need to refuel periodically. Aim for 100 to 250 calories of additional carbohydrate per hour. Sports drinks, gels, simple candies, cookies or bars are all convenient choices. Dried fruit, like dates or pineapple, will provide carbs, but be sure you can handle chewing and swallowing those while running or biking before you add them to your race-day food repertoire.

When it comes to simple carbs during a race, more is not necessarily better. Overloading your stomach with sugar can actually slow you down. A large amount of high-sugar foods cause fluid to sit in your stomach, causing digestive problems. Again, know your own limits and experiment during training to see which foods and what quantities you tolerate.

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