What To Eat Before
Your body can only store a limited amount of carbohydrates. However, you can increase your store of carbohydrates directly before the event by ‘carbohydrate loading’.
- Three to four days before the event, increase your carbohydrate intake to 8–12 grams per kilogram of your body weight. For instance, if you weigh 75 kilograms eat up to 900 grams of carbohydrates per day.
- During this time, eat less high-fat food because it makes you feel full and you won’t be able to eat enough carbohydrates.
- On the morning of the event, eat a high-carbohydrate breakfast to top up your carbohydrates one last time.
- Eat breakfast 1–4 hours before the event.
- If you have an early start, eat a bigger dinner the night before and a smaller, carbohydrate-rich snack in the morning.
- Alternatively, you can simply be mindful of eating carbohydrates early and consistently in the event to ensure your levels are topped up. This will help you to avoid ‘hitting the wall’.
On the starting line
- During the hour before the event starts, continue to hydrate but make sure you have time for bathroom stops!
- If you’re consuming additional carbohydrates at the starting line, try to eat a fair amount — at least 50 grams.
How much is 50 grams of carbohydrates?
- Weetbix 5 biscuits
- Bread 3–4 slices
- Muesli bars 2½ bars
- Boiled rice 1 cup
- Croissants 2 medium size
- Bananas 2 medium-to-large size
- Oranges/apples 3–4 medium size
- Raisins 4 tbsp
- Dried apricots 22 halves
- Potatoes 1 very large or 3 medium
- Jam 3 tbsp
- Chocolate 80g
- Jubes/jelly babies 60g
- Sports drinks 700ml
- Sports gels 2 sachets