Race Week: Nutrition Tips

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Here are three nutrition tips for race week to start your next race, heavy workout, or FKT in the best shape possible!

1. Top up your reserves

Performing an endurance test, like a trail race or an ultra, requires muscles full of energy. An effective and well-recognized strategy for maximizing muscle reserves is carbohydrate overload, commonly known as « carb loading ».

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Carbohydrate overload involves consuming a large amount of carbohydrates for about two days before an endurance event to saturate the muscles with fuel (glycogen).

For optimal overload, one should consume between 10 and 12 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight per day. For an individual weighing 50 kg, or 110lbs, it would be 500 to 600 g of carbohydrates per day, the equivalent of 33 to 40 slices of bread!

That’s a lot! To qualify those numbers, one would fill approximately a third of one’s dinner plate with foods rich in carbohydrates at each meal. Carbohydrates are found in all starchy foods (breads, pasta, rice, quinoa, etc.), fruits and fruit juices, milk and yogurt.

Next, eat several snacks a day. Here again, priority is given to foods rich in carbohydrates. Muffins and granola bars are great; or, for example, the famous peanut butter and jam sandwich is an awesome go-to since it contains about 60 grams of carbohydrates.

If you are worried that you might not be able to eat that many carbs, remember that the more carbohydrates you eat the days before the race, the more energy your muscles will have when you start. Be a glutton!

2. Stay hydrated

In preparation for a race, being hydrated is just as important as eating well. The best hydration before a race, and in your daily life should be water. If you are curious about your hydration, simply check the colour of your urine. The clearer, the better.

What about alcohol?

Obviously, it is not recommended to get drunk before a race.That said, there is nothing wrong with a beer the evening before a race to relax. This is carb-loading at its best! Granted, it is wiser to keep the rest of the six-pack for post-race refreshments.

3. No new things

In 2021, if we should move on from this pandemic, it may be tempting to try new nutritional strategies. Honestly, resist the call of novelty and focus on your trusted routine.

Don’t try new foods, meals or nutrition the day of and the day before a race. Instead, stick with foods you new. This will prevent unpleasant surprises.

Finally, if your pre-race habits are somewhat or completely different from what is recommended in this article, it is also best not to change your routine at all! More than anything else, it is critical to test nutrition strategies during training rather than to try new nutritional strategies during a race.

Translation : Caroline Beaton

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