February 2016 Nutrition Tips

Nutrition Tips- Race Nutrition

David Bryant - Sports Dietitian

Catalyst Nutrition and Dietetics


  1. As race day draws nearer, and especially in the week leading up to race day, don’t change your diet dramatically
  2. Stay well hydrated, keep the colour of your wee clear to monitor hydration status
  3. Try to get more sleep throughout the week rather than relying on the night before (and stressing about it)
  4. Race week is not a time to diet and deplete glycogen stores.
  5. Carbo-loading isn’t fat loading. ** 2-3 days before the race, the majority of your meals should be derived from carbohydrates. Think bread/rice/pasta/cereal/starchy veg etc with a small amount of protein/veg.** Don’t overdo the fibre, you have permission to have white bread, cereals, pasta etc. this will decrease the residual load in your gut and the chance of stomach upset on race day. ** Sugary drinks/foods are ok in the carboload as they don’t have a residual load on the gut.
  6. Have a dinner plan the night before, stick to your normal pre-race ritual/routine, stick up for yourself and don’t go out for dinner or eat a meal that you haven’t tried pre-race/run beforehand.
  7. Eat a light breakfast >2-3 hours before the guns goes off. **KEEP IT SIMPLE, limit protein/fat as this is harder to digest. **Do only what you have trialled in training
  8. Open your bowels as often as you can pre-race.
  9. If coffee/tea is part of your routine, GREAT! Caffeine liberates your fat stores for fuel, decreases the perception of pain and improves performance.
  10.  Have a race nutrition plan that you have trialled in training eg gels, solids, electrolytes and water.
  11.  Know when you’ll consume your fuel/water, eg: a gel every half hour etc.
  12. Relax and bring the heart rate down as much as possible pre-ingestion as this will aid digestion.
  13. Post-race, have something ASAP **Chocolate milk, milk of choice with Milo/Sustagen or a CHO/Protein based supplement is easy to digest and also rehydrates. **Keep grazing on fuel throughout the rest of the day to refuel glycogen stores and repair muscle fibres.


Feb 26 2016 - 2:30pm