Race-Day Nutrition Tips

By Monique Ryan | Aug. 19, 2009, 12 a.m. (ET)
Whether you're a beginner or a veteran to the races, it's important to practice proper nutrition leading up to race day. Try to get a good night’s sleep two nights before the race. Race day is going to be a very early morning so that you can fuel up for the event. Here are three more tips that will help you prepare for your next event.

Tip 1:
Rest and refuel the 24 to 48 hours before the race. The day before the race consume 3 to 4 grams of carbohydrate for every pound of body weight. Consume easily digested carbohydrate foods. Consume modest portions of lean proteins and keep intake low in fat. Hydrate, without over hydrating. Plenty of pale urine indicates fluid intake is good.

Tip 2:
Practice your race-day meal during training. Plan to eat 2.5 to 3 hours before the start, and aim for 1 to 1.5 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight. Keep fat intake low. Consume small amounts of low fat proteins as tolerated.

Tip 3:
Have a race nutrition plan and stick with it. Prepare your sports drink for the bike, and drink the right amounts on a schedule. Train with the drink offered on the run and keep up with fluid intake during this last leg up to the finish.

Monique Ryan, MS, RD is the author of Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes, 2nd edition (VeloPress 2007). Click here to view more about the book or purchase. She was a member of the Athens 2004 Performance Enhancement Teams for USA Triathlon and USA Cycling Women’s Road Team. She is owner of Personal Nutrition Designs and offers her sports nutrition “E Program” at www.moniqueryan.com.