7 Smart Ways to Fuel the Night before Your Race ...

Tara

As you prepare the night before your race, you may wonder what you can do to properly fuel. Proper nutrition the night before the race can have a huge impact on how well you perform in your race. It's just like a car: if you put the right gas in your car, it will run more efficiently. Your body works the same way, so what can you do to properly fuel? Certain tips, like proper hydration and your pre-race meal, will give you a competitive edge and prevent you from being sidelined due to lack of energy. So here are the smart ways to fuel the night before your race:

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1

Water

Make sure you drink 8-10 glasses of water every day but this is especially critical in the day before the race. Proper hydration has major effects on your race and can help you avoid muscle cramping, speed up your recovery and run your miles well. Proper hydration is a core component of your race fuel so make sure you drink up the night before your race. Just only have the last glass before you head to bed or you will be making bathroom breaks all night long.

2

The Right Amount of Pasta

One of the biggest mistakes many runners make is they overload on carbohydrates the night prior to their race. The results are profound: you will awake having digestive issues, feeling completely bogged down and being bloated. So the solution is to have more carbs for several days leading up to the race so that you will not jar your body and you will still store the glycogen needed for your race.

Frequently asked questions

Absolutely! Drinking Gatorade or any sports drink with electrolytes can help top up your energy stores and keep you hydrated for the big day. Just don't overdo it – your body can only store so much, and you don't want to feel bloated.

Hydrating isn't just a race day thing. Make sure you're drinking plenty of fluids in the days leading up to the race. On the night before, sip water or an electrolyte drink throughout the evening. It's all about balance – you want to be well-hydrated, but not running to the bathroom every hour!

For a long-distance run like that, focus on complex carbs for dinner – think pasta, rice, or sweet potatoes. Pair it with some lean protein and veggies, and you're golden. This combo gives you sustained energy that'll last throughout your race.

Definitely! Electrolytes help regulate nerve and muscle function, hydrate the body, and rebuild damaged tissue. Drinking an electrolyte-infused beverage like Gatorade the night before can help, but don't forget to keep your electrolyte levels up during the race as well.

Both! Drinking Gatorade before your workouts can provide the necessary carbs and electrolytes for energy and hydration. Post-workout, it can help replenish what you've lost in sweat and support recovery. It's a great one-two punch for your marathon training.

3

Add Some Electrolytes

As you watch Michael Jordan chug down a Gatorade in a commercial, you may wonder if this will help you in your next race. Gatorade and other commercialized electrolyte fluid is helpful for those running longer distances but if you are just running a 5k, this is not necessary. You can however choose more natural options with less sugar, like coconut water. Coconut water will balance your potassium level and help you to stay hydrated.

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Natural electrolyte sources such as bananas or homemade blends combining water, lemon juice, salt, and a sweetener like honey, can also provide the necessary minerals without added artificial ingredients. Bear in mind, proper hydration isn't just about the day of the race; it's a habit to cultivate during your entire training period. Drink consistently, and don't wait until you're thirsty – by then, you might already be dehydrated. Moderation is key; too much fluid intake can lead to hyponatremia, a condition caused by very low sodium levels in the blood.

4

Have a Smoothie

Want to get plenty of antioxidants in your body to fuel your race day? Then create a fruit smoothie with strawberries, coconut water, spinach and some chia seed. This shake will provide your body with antioxidants, electrolytes, iron and protein. This just may end up being your pre race drink because it is just that good for you!

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If you're looking for a smart way to fuel the night before your race, then you should consider having a smoothie. Smoothies are a great way to get plenty of antioxidants, electrolytes, iron, and protein into your body. This will help you perform at your best on race day.

Strawberries are a great addition to any smoothie because they are packed with antioxidants, which can help protect your cells from damage and help you recover after your race. Coconut water is also a great addition because it is loaded with electrolytes, such as potassium and magnesium, which can help keep your muscles and nerves functioning properly. Spinach is also a great addition because it is rich in iron, which helps your body produce red blood cells and transport oxygen throughout your body. Finally, adding chia seeds to your smoothie is a great way to get a boost of protein. Protein helps your body repair and build muscle, which is essential for endurance athletes.

5

Mental Fuel

I have to list mental fuel because as a trainer I have trained tremendously talented athletes many times that just needed to get in the right mental frame. Envision a great performance for the next day and just believe. If you get in the right mindset you will accomplish amazing things!

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Mental fuel is essential for any athlete, especially when it comes to running. Whether you’re running a 5K, a marathon, or any other distance, having a positive mental attitude is key to your success. Before a race, it’s important to take the time to visualize yourself crossing the finish line. Visualizing success can help you stay motivated and focused on the task at hand.

In addition to visualizing success, it’s also important to believe in yourself and your abilities. Believe that you can reach the finish line no matter what obstacles may arise. Believe that you have the strength and skills to push through and reach your goals.

It’s also important to take the time to set goals for yourself. Whether it’s a certain time you want to reach, a certain distance you want to cover, or a certain place you want to finish, setting goals can help you stay focused and motivated.

Finally, it’s important to stay positive. Negative thoughts can be detrimental to your performance, so try to stay positive and focus on the task at hand.

6

Relaxation

Take a deep breath, close your eyes and just relax. If you can practice relaxation techniques you will find yourself running stronger. You will be amazed at how this affects your performance.

7

A Positive Attitude

70% of your race performance is mental, the rest is talent and training, so do you have what it takes? If you embrace a positive attitude you will realize proper fuel is all effective, but at the end of the day the difference between first and last is largely influenced by a positive attitude.

Hope you have enjoyed my tips on fueling the night before the race and that you do everything it takes to have a great race. What do you eat the night before the race? Have a great race!

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

I eat my pasta @ lunch time the day before a race. I like point #2 about carb loading a few days out...great point. My morning ritual is coffee.....

A much needed article for my 5k run for cancer research

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