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What to eat before a race 

What a person eats before a race influences his performance during the race. You may be confused about what to eat before a race and also when to eat. However all it takes is some simple changes in eating habits. The benefits of a proper diet on your performance are significant. Some weeks prior to the race, you should focus on fulfilling your calories requirements.
Carbohydrates should constitute about 50 to 60 percent of your total calorie intake so that your body receives enough fuel. An ideal sample meal would include a breakfast of a cup of oatmeal, a cup of orange juice, a couple of small pancakes and a cup of skim milk. Lunch can consist of two slices of wheat bread, four ounces of turkey, two teaspoons of mayonnaise, one tomato, a cup of fruit juice and a cup of frozen yogurt. Dinner should include three cups of pasta, vegetables with tomato sauce, one slice of French bread, two tablespoons of parmesan cheese, one teaspoon of margarine and ¾ cup of strawberries. 

It is also important for your body to receive sufficient fluid intake. You must stay hydrated while training. You can tell if you are sufficiently hydrated by checking your urine. If your urine is light colored and you tend to urinate frequently, then you are consuming enough water. In case your urine is dark in color and you do not urinate frequently, you may need to increase your fluid intake. It is a good idea to try out beforehand what you will eat and drink on the day of the race. On the day before the race, get enough rest and aim to consume approximately 70 percent of calories from carbohydrate sources. Your water intake should be doubled and ensure that you have all your food stuffs and water ready for the next day. Most people are confused about what to eat before running. The best thing to do would be to avoid experimenting with any new foods. Also avoid eating large meals 2 to 3 hours before the race. Go for small meals that are low in fat, protein and fiber. One hour before the race, you can snack on foods you are sure you can tolerate. When deciding on what to eat before a marathon, remember that consuming carbohydrate sports beverages are helpful in case of races that go beyond an hour. Some individuals tend to feel nauseous if they consume any food an hour before a race. Others may experience a drop in blood sugar if they consume sugary foods an hour before running. Keep these factors in mind when deciding on your race-day diet. After the race, it is important to replenish the fluid levels in the body. If you are going to be exercising again soon, consume about 5 grams of carbohydrates for each pound of body weight within the first couple of hours and then again two hours after that. 

When to eat is as important as what to eat before exercising. It is not advisable to exercise on a full stomach as it may lead to nausea and cramping. A meal should be allowed to digest completely before beginning exercise. For early morning races or workouts, waking up early to consume a pre-exercise meal is advisable. Otherwise you can eat or drink something that digests easily 20 to 30 minutes before the race. You can even consume a liquid meal if you are closer to the event as this digests more easily that a solid meal. Trying out these simple tips will make you realize that focusing on what to eat before a workout makes a huge difference in your performance during the workout. 

Submitted on January 16, 2014