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What To Eat Before You Run A Race with Dr Bubbs

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The Nike 15k is just a day and a half a way and the only question I’ve been fielding (except for, what are you wearing?  that’s a very close second) is What do I eat before our race?  Being that most of us are newbies to this run game, I reached out to the incredible nutritionist , Dr Bubbs (or as my team calls him, Dr Babes) who has been helping to guide us along the way.  He had some pretty excellent tips on getting us ready to perform with our A game so I thought I’d share it with you to help any of you running Sunday or any other races this year!

 Race Day Nutrition with Dr Bubbs:

It’s important on race day to not change your routine from what you’ve been doing in the lead up to your competition. You don’t need to eat more breakfast than normal, but it’s important to get the right mix of fuels in to help you achieve a personal best time or simply enjoy the run.

 

Ideally, you should aim to eat your meal 3 hours before your start time, to allow time for your food to be fully digested in the stomach and pass through into the gut. You may be able to get away with cutting the window a little closer (2 hrs before race), but this is very individual and if you haven’t tried it before the competition, race day is not the time to experiment.

 

 

A great breakfast choice is whole or steel-cut eats with walnuts and berries. You can even add some coconut oil (1 teaspoon) to provide some healthy saturated fats to fuel your run. If eating three hours before your run means getting up too early for you, can you try some liquid nutrition to get your fuel in. A protein shake (20-30g) mixed with berries and banana, and your choice of water, almond, rice or coconut milk would be idea. Avoid dairy before exercise completely. Again, you can add some healthy fats coconut oil or avocado to round out your shake.

 

As for hydration, it’s a myth that we need to drink ahead of our thirst to perform our best. Over consuming water can flush out sodium levels from the body (hyponatremia) and lead to cramps and fatigue. Simply drink when you feel thirsty. If you pass a drink station and don’t feel the need for water, just skip it and wait for the next one.

 

What about carbs during your run? Slow and steady is the best approach. Avoid over-consuming sports drinks on your run as they are high in fructose, which can delay gastric emptying rate if consumed in excess, and lead to bloating and discomfort. Typically, I suggest athletes use water only for the first hour or so and then take a couple of small sips of sports drinks – if you feel you need it – at drinks station.

 

The most important thing to remember when fuelling during a race is to listen to your body. Don’t consume more water or sports drinks because you think you are “supposed to” because all the latest research tells us that thirst is a great indicator for hydrating during exercise.

 

Eat early, drink to thirst, and add some carbs toward the end of your race and you’ll have a great run. Enjoy the race!

 

Thanks Dr Bubbs!

Check out more from this incredible guy HERE

Photo by @Amillionminds

xx,

[coco]

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