Night before race:

  • Primarily carb (pasta, rice, potatoes, beans) based meal with lean protein (seafood, chicken, fish), limited added fat (avoid cream sauces, cheesy sauces; choose olive oil based sauces) and sugar (avoid dessert night before; save for race day dinner to celebrate!)
  • Plenty of water

If you have:

  • 2-4 hours prior to training session/race: 16-20 fl oz of water or sports drink
    • 1 ½ c Kashi Go Lean cereal+ 1 c 1-2% milk + banana
    • Clif/Oatmega bar + banana
    • Whole wheat bread x 2 with peanut/almond butter, ½ banana, drizzle of honey
  • 30 min-2 hours: 5-10 oz water or sports drink, (if competition lasts longer than 90 minutes) Clif bar

Mid-Run Fueling (training or competition)

  • Necessary only when activity lasts 60 mins or longer (so long races and your long run day)
  • 30-60 g carb (1 Gu, gel, chomp packet) starting at 1 hour then every hour thereafter. These are more absorbable when consumed with water.  So if you can time to take one while getting water at aid station that would be ideal.
  • Fluids will be necessary during the run during the Southern spring, summer and early fall when sweat losses are high. During the run water, is the best option.
  • Practice during training to test your gastrointestinal tolerance since you will be consuming more sugar than you are used to during a run.

Post-Run Fueling (training or competition)

  • 3 R’s Goal: Replenish carbs and electrolytes (in extreme heat) burned during training session/race, Repair lean body mass, Rehydrate body
  • First 2 hours of finishing the training session or race are primetime for 3R’s! Begin to replenish electrolytes and fluids immediately!  Sports drink are necessary typically in hot climates and following 90 minutes of consistent activity
  • Within first 45 mins following: FLUID and carb + protein snack
    • Chocolate milk is super convenient because it is a carb+ protein combination
    • Whey powder with milk shake
    • Ready to drink protein drink Muscle Milk
    • Granola bar with 10 g protein or more + fruit or yogurt
    • Yogurt with fruit and granola
  • 45 mins-2 hours following: meal with protein and carbohydrate (large sandwich, pasta or rice based dish, try to avoid fried or high fat foods within this time frame)

Kate H. Rountree, LDN, RDN
Lafayette General Health