Eat To Compete Well

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  • By Erica Wendt-Richardson
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Eat To Compete Well

Here are the best tips on how to feel optimal before, during, and after your race.

If you have spent the time to properly train for your race, the next important step is figuring out what and when to eat. Choosing the right foods before during, and after running will help you feel well and run strong.

Here is what you need to remember before your workout or race:

  • Eat foods that are high in carbohydrates with small amounts of protein, fiber, and fat. High-fat and high-protein foods take longer to digest and can cause stomach aches, while fibrous foods can give you bowel movements during competition.
  • Avoid spicy foods, fried foods, and carbonated drinks.
  • Stick with foods that you are comfortable eating (see the food list below).
  • Remember that eating sugary foods right before running does not provide quick energy.
  • Use the tables below for specific food options before, during, and after your race.

 

Eating Before Training/Competition

1-2 hours before

2-3 hours before

3+ hours before

Fruit juice

Vegetable juice

Fresh fruit

Water

Sports drinks


*Drink adequate fluids.water before, during, and after training or competition. The best way to identify whether you are properly hydrated is if your urine is light yellow or clear. Anything other than that means you are dehydrated.

Fruit juice

Vegetable juice

Bread and jelly/honey

Bagels

English muffins

Graham crackers

Low-fat crackers

Pretzels

Cereal with non-fat milk

Smoothie

Low fat yogurt

Fresh fruit

Bread/rolls

Bagels with low fat cream cheese

Chex mix

Crackers with hummus or cheese

English muffins

Low fat muffins

Yogurt

Baked potato

Cereal with low-fat milk

Pancakes/waffles

Pasta with tomato sauces

Sandwich with lunch meat and cheese

Pudding

Milk/chocolate milk

Grits

Fig bars

Sherbet

 

Eating During Training/Competition

Races 45 minutes or less

Races 45 minutes - 2 hours

Races 2 - 4 hours

Races longer than 4 hours

Water

Sports drink




Water

Sports drink

Sports gel

Sports beans

Sports blocks

Water

Sports drink

Sports gel

Sports beans

Sports blocks

Fig bar

Pretzels

Graham crackers

Oranges

Bananas




Water

Sports drink

Sports gel

Sports beans

Sports blocks

Fig bar

Pretzels

Graham crackers

Oranges

Bananas

Protein bar

Avocado

Meat slices

Peanut butter sandwich

Grilled cheese

Electrolyte supplements

 

Depending on your sensitivity to food during a race, not all of these options are necessary. However, it is important to ingest at least 25g of carbs every 30 minutes of exercise in order to optimize your performance. If you are aiming for a personal best, it is recommended that you stick with water, sports drinks, and gels/beans/blocks (steer clear of solid foods).

 

Eating after training and competition

Immediately after

(fluids + carbohydrates)

Within 20-30 minutes after

(high carbohydrate foods, fluids, small amounts of protein)

2-3 hours after

(high carbohydrate foods with moderate protein and fat meal)

Water

Fruit juices

Sports drinks

Chocolate milk (low fat)

Smoothies

Fruit yogurt

Bagel

Granola bars

Pretzels

Crackers with cheese

Cereal with milk

Peanut butter and jelly sandwich

Spaghetti and meat sauce

Pizza

Pasta or rice dishes

Bagel and cheese

Yogurt and fruit

Quesadillas or grilled cheese

Macaroni


*These foods are also good for the evening before your competition

 

The body stores energy very efficiently in the first 4-5 hours after exercise. Foods eaten after exercising are even more important to refuel the muscles so you will be ready for your next exercise event

 

Other All-natural Healthy Snacks

High energy foods

High protein foods

High energy and protein foods

Whole grain bread, toast, bagels, or muffins

Tortillas

Breadsticks

Pretzels

Baked potatoes

Graham crackers

Vanilla wafers

Arrowroot cookies

Fig bars

Rice cakes

Whole grain crackers

Popcorn cakes

Low fat popcorn

Angelfood cake

Gelatin

Sherbet

Popsicles

Fresh fruit slices

Fruit cocktail or canned fruit

Dried fruit

Vegetable snacks

Cheese

Cottage cheese

Hard cooked eggs

Chicken, turkey, or ham slices

Tuna

Beef or pork slices

Peanut butter

Nuts

Sunflower seeds

Pumpkin seeds

Tofu snacks

Soy snacks

Jerky

Baked beans

Refried beans

Chili

Milk

Pudding

Yogurt

Frozen yogurt

Instant breakfast

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Bill's Bike Locations

What foods to eat and when to eat them to train for a race. eating proper foods helps with weight loss and better sports performance. If you are aiming for a personal best, it is recommended that you stick with water, sports drinks, and gels/beans/blocks

Idaho Falls: 930 Pier View Dr
Idaho Falls, ID 83402
Phone: 208-522-3341 Store hours: Mon-Fri 10am-7:30pm                       Saturday 9am-6pm
Rexburg: 113 S 2nd W
Rexburg, ID 83440
208-932-2719 Store hours: Mon-Friday 10am-6pm
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