What to Eat and Drink Before, During, and After a Workout or Race

Planning what to eat before, during, and after your training and racing is always a question. The key is to try a variety of items, and then when you find something that works, (It works when you feel good the entire workout and after.) stick with it. Here are some suggestions for fueling:

What to eat BEFORE a workout or race

  • Drink water throughout the day
  • Try to eat the same food consistently before each long training run or walk, and try to eat this food 1-hour before your long run or walk
  • On race day, eat at the same time before your competition and the same foods that you’ve consistently been eating before workouts

A Few Foods to Try

  • Banana
  • Nuts
  • Oatmeal
  • Baked potato
  • Whole-grain bagel
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich

What to eat and drink DURING a workout or race

  • Find out what brand of electrolyte drink or gel the race will have at the aid stations and train with this brand to make sure it does not cause your stomach any distress
  • When you are running or walking consistently for over 1-hour, you will need to replenish your water and electrolytes every 15-minutes or 2 miles, whichever comes first

A Few Foods to Try While Running or Walking (Try before race day!)

  • Water
  • Energy gel
  • Energy drink
  • Raisins
  • Honey
  • Figs

What to eat and drink AFTER a workout or race

  • Drink water throughout the day
  • Eat something nutritious within 1 hour after a workout: fruits, vegetables, and sources of protein

A Few Foods to Try

  • Chocolate milk
  • Eggs
  • Banana
  • Whole-grain muffin
  • Apple slices dipped in peanut butter
  • Baby carrots dipped in yogurt

What to eat and drink EVERY DAY

  • Drink water throughout the day
  • Every day, eat meals high in carbohydrates to fuel and refuel your muscles
  • Eat a healthy, well-balanced breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and 2 snacks each day

Nutrition Books for Runners and Walkers

  • Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook *My favorite*
  • Encyclopedia of Sports Nutrition: The Ultimate Guide for Peak Performance by Liz Applegate
  • Nancy Clark’s Food Guide for Marathoners

Have a healthy, full-of-energy week!

Your Partner in Health,

Carol Frazey, M.S.

About the Author Carol Frazey

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