The big day is here. You've completed the training, your body feels great, weather conditions are clear and you're ready to go. All that stands between a successful and a disastrous race is a pre-race diet and nutrition.
Nutrition mistakes can derail your race. Avoid these five common blunders, including improper hydration and overeating.
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Blunder #1: Skipping breakfast
Of all the diet and nutrition mistakes you can make on race day, skipping breakfast is the worst, says sports dietitian Nancy Clark.
Overnight, our bodies are depleted of liver glycogen, the source of fuel responsible for maintaining stable blood sugar throughout the event. Without it you will feel weak, lightheaded and drained of energy—all bad ways to start a race. If you're too nervous to eat, grab a cup of yogurt or a couple pieces of toast.
Blunder #2: Not hydrating adequately in order to avoid frequent bathroom stops
Frequent bathroom stops prior to the start of a race are natural. Don't avoid hydrating to change this.
Water is the main component of blood, which is responsible for bringing oxygen and nutrients to your working muscles. It also helps remove lactic acid from exercising muscles, which is beneficial both during and after exercise and plays a major role in temperature regulation. And water allows your body to form sweat to cool itself down and maintain a normal body temperature.
Hydrate at regular intervals the day before the race. Your urine should be pale yellow in color when you go to bed at night and before the race starts in the morning.
Blunder #3: Trying a new bar, gel or drink the day of the race
Never try new fuel on race day. If you know your event will have a particular item available or you're interested in trying something new, test it during training to see how your body will handle that fuel on race day. Stick with the plan that works for you.