Avoid Race-Day Blunders Using This Food Plan

You know the feeling: the night before your race, you mowed through a super-sized bowl of pasta and slammed a gallon of water in an effort to catch up on your hydration plan. Now, you're feet are heavy, your stomach is churning and that finish line feels out of reach.

Don't let poor food choices hurt your performance on race day. Follow this food plan to prepare for your best performance yet.

More: Avoid the Mid-Workout Feast and Bonk

The Week Before

The Blunder: Cramming in Hydration
The Fix: Hydrate Throughout the Week

People often hydrate too little, too late. Remember, you can't cram in hydration the night before a race. You have to hydrate well the entire week before. You'll need to be vigilant with your hydration plan, if you live in a dry climate such as the desert, at high altitude or if you fly frequently.

Add a few slices of organic lemon to your water for a fresh flavor kick. Avoid adding powders, drops or other artificial substances to your water, which contain added sugars that you don't need. Don't forget to to keep electrolytes in balance all week. Try organic coconut water.

More: 4 Ways to Get Electrolytes

The Blunder: Waiting Until Race Day to Test Nutrition
The Fix: Try Foods and Drinks During Training

Give yourself time to test what works for your body before and during a race—and what doesn't. Trying new food on race day can lead to gastrointestinal problems or cause sluggishness.

The Night Before

The Blunder: Allowing Yourself Too Many Carbs
The Fix: Skip Traditional Carbo-loading

A popular misconception among runners and endurance athletes is that they should carbo-load with a big bowl of pasta, a heavy cream sauce and white bread on the side. As the body tries to process all of these heavy, refined and unhealthy carbs it can cause bloating or gastrointestinal distress—not something you want to experience during a race.

An optimal meal the night before a race would consist of organic quinoa, avocado, sweet potatoes, and a lightly saut?ed veggie—try bok choy in coconut oil with sea salt. A meal like this give you energy without disrupting your digestion.

More: Healthy Carbs for Endurance Athletes

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About the Author

Sarah Stanley

Sarah Stanley is a wellness educator, ultramarathoner, endurance athlete, speaker, business consultant, and founder of #wellnesschat. Passionate about authentic healthy living, Sarah lives what she speaks about, practicing an organic, whole foods, plant-based lifestyle that fuels her ultrarunning adventures. Her goal is to empower others to be knowledgeable about what they put in and on their body so they can live a healthy, disease-free and happy life. She's been featured in SELF, SHAPE, Ladies' Home Journal and Washingtonian. Connect with Sarah on Twitter @SarahStanley.

Sarah Stanley is a wellness educator, ultramarathoner, endurance athlete, speaker, business consultant, and founder of #wellnesschat. Passionate about authentic healthy living, Sarah lives what she speaks about, practicing an organic, whole foods, plant-based lifestyle that fuels her ultrarunning adventures. Her goal is to empower others to be knowledgeable about what they put in and on their body so they can live a healthy, disease-free and happy life. She's been featured in SELF, SHAPE, Ladies' Home Journal and Washingtonian. Connect with Sarah on Twitter @SarahStanley.

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