Common Race Day Fueling Mistakes
August 14, 2022
Do you do any of these common race day fueling mistakes? If so, continue reading so you learn WHY these are big no-no’s!
1. Eating too much fiber!
Fiber is difficult for your body to break down, so it can actually cause your digestive system to slow down. As a result, more blood is sent to your GI tract to help break down the fiber, thereby drawing that blood supply away from your skeletal muscles that need it more during a race. Fiber can also cause GI issues like bloating or gas.
2. Eating too much fat!
Similar to fiber, fat is also harder for your digestive system to break down and absorb, so instead of your body focusing on fueling your muscles as you exercise, it will instead reroute that precious blood supply to your GI system. Fats in your stomach will also delay gastric emptying rates which can cause even more GI discomfort during your race.
3. Not having a fueling and hydration game plan!
Fueling and hydration game plans are ESSENTIAL for any successful race. Fueling game plans are built from weeks of gut training to build up your tolerance for the necessary amounts of carbohydrates you will need to keep your body fueled on race day. Hydration game plans should take into consideration your unique sweat rate and race day conditions– for instance, if your race day is hot and humid, you will need a lot more fluid and electrolyte intake compared to a dry and cold race day.
4. Not differentiating between high vs low glycemic index carbs.
Not all carbs are made the same! Higher glycemic index carbs are easier and faster for your body to break down. Thus, they can be consumed within 60 minutes before your event or a training session. These include sports gels, frozen waffles, and watermelon. Lower glycemic index carbs are more difficult for your body to break down, so they need to be consumed much earlier before your race, some even up to 3 hours before exercising! These include carbs like beans, bananas, and quinoa.
If you’re interested in learning more about pre-race or pre-training nutrition, we’ve got you covered! We offer a variety of evidence-based resources that will tell you everything you need to know about how to properly fuel your body before a workout.
Our Pre-Workout Nutrition Mini-Course is a great option that provides reading materials, a webinar, audio materials, and a free carbohydrate cheat sheet!
If you would like a more in depth course that covers pre-workout nutrition, in addition to post-workout nutrition, during training nutrition and hydration, check out our 4 Week Sports Nutrition Education Program (SNEP)!
If you’re wondering how you can optimize your race day fueling and hydration strategies based on your unique experience and preferences, click HERE to work 1:1 with one of our team members today!