Running a race is not just about practice and keeping yourself agile. It also means a lot of additional things that most of the people make a mistake by avoiding them. When you are run, you use your whole body to do that. So fueling your body is very much essential in such case. It is necessary to give your body proper nutrition and keep it hydrated before, after and during the race. So may be whatever the situation is, you are running to win the race and for that you will have to consider about the essential things. So before any big race, build up your energy by taking carbohydrates, starchy vegetables, fruits and lean protein for three days. The runners, who are not experienced, end up in taking heavy meals the day before the race. But overeating will completely ruin your race and you will end up being sick. So it’s very important to know that what you should eat before, after and during the race.
What to Eat Before, During and After the Race:
Eating before a race: Always try to have low fat, high carbohydrate and low fiber meal about three hours before the race, which will prevent you from indigestion and stomach discomfort. Avoid heavy meals before the day of race and only try to eat familiar foods.
Foods to Eat: Bread Toast, Bagel, Peanut butter, Fruits (Without Skin), Fruit Juice without pulp or sports drink as your breakfast. Then Rice, Pasta, Starchy Vegetables, Lean meats and fruits as meals at least for the last three days before your race. For proper hydration of your body, drink about 500-700 ml of fluid after every three hours before the race.
Foods to Avoid: Food high in saturated fats (e.g. Sausages, bacons, red meat, pastries etc), Deep-fried foods. Avoid dairy products like milk, cheese and Yogurt on the race day if you have a history of gastrointestinal problems. Some professional runners even skip the morning coffee because of its diuretic nature. Because of our body needs extra energy to digest the fatty foods, your race performance may suffer because of consuming extra fats.
Eating during a Race: Energy bars, energy gels and bananas are the best to eat during a race. Actually, these things replenish the carbohydrates stored in your body. Take small bites while you are running. Another important is that you will have to keep yourself hydrated. Dehydration occurs only in your body when you lose the water from your body through heavy breathing and you know very well that perspiration is not replaced adequately by fluid intake. One thing that will amaze you is that you can lose almost 3-5 kgs of water for your body during a three hour marathon race. So to prevent the dehydration during the race, you should take another 300-600 ml of fluid every 15 mins before the race begins. Drink 150-250ml of fluid at regular intervals during the regular intervals to replace the fluid loss. You will have to take small sips during the run. Fluids include plain water and sports drink or isotonic drink. But strictly avoid soda, fruit juices and cordials because of the high sugar content, which will cause stomach irritations and discomfort during the run.
Eating after the Race: After you finish your run, keep in mind that your body has taken a great stress. So the best idea is to hydrate your body with sports drink just after the marathon. Isotonic drinks are also preferred because of the same concentration of salts and sugar as the human body. You must avoid alcohol for 24 hours after the race because it causes dehydration in your body.
Keep in mind that you should not drink based on your thirst, as it will not fulfill your basic fluid needs of your body. Just notice the color of your urine and you will get an idea about the dehydration. Your urine will be colorless almost after a couple of hours after the race. Now about one hours after the run, now it’s time to take a carbohydrate rich snack such as banana sandwich, red bean bun, energy bar, banana with peanut butter etc. followed by sports drink. So within two or three hours after the race try to have a balanced meal comprising of lean protein (Fish, Chicken), Carbohydrates (Rice, Pasta, Potatoes), and good fats (avocados, nut butter).
So this is a complete chart made by the experts to keep your body fit all and around during the race. Don’t forget that you will have to win the race and for that, it is very necessary to maintain all the nutritional needs of your body. Now once you are taking all these things according to the above chart, you can easily concentrate on your race and that will easily help you to win.