Road Food: 5 Nutrition Tips to Follow When You Travel

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

Sports Drinks
One Gatorade Thirst Quencher powder pack mixes up to 17 ounces.

Energy Bars
Clif Bars and Kashi TLC Bars supply both carbs and protein.

Instant Oatmeal
Heat water in the hotel coffeemaker.

Granola
Top your yogurt with Bear Naked Snack-Packs.

Honey
Snag single-serving packets at any fast-food joint.

Crackers
Kashi TLC crackers are 130 calories a bag.

Fruit
Apples, oranges, and bananas hold up well.

String Cheese
A good source of low-fat protein.

Hard-Boiled Eggs
Be sure to peel before you leave.

Hummus
Try squeeze-tubes of Wild Garden hummus.

Carrots
Mini snack bags pair perfectly with hummus.

Chocolate
Portion control with individual squares.

More: How to Stay Race Ready When Crossing Time Zones

Active logo Eat right and perform better. Find a nutrition plan for you.

Discuss This Article

Follow your passions

Connect with ACTIVE.COM