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Carbs To Eat Before The Race

Posted by: on May, 15 2012

This article By Megan Smith was posted on LiveStrong.com

You don’t want to feel bloated and nauseated a few minutes before a big race — or in the middle of it. Whether you’re an experienced runner or you’re new to the sport, eating carbohydrates will provide you with a quick burst of energy to help you keep up your speed and endurance without making you feel sick or weighed down. Consult your doctor before eating any new foods, especially if you have health problems or allergies.


Depending on the length of your race, eating a bagel two to three hours before it may help keep you going. If your race is less than an hour long, a bagel may keep you energized. A bagel is made up of refined carbohydrates, which digest quickly in your body and raise your blood glucose for a quick burst of energy. If your race is longer than an hour, you may notice a drop in energy if you consume only a bagel; opt instead for a bagel and a food that contains complex carbohydrates, like a banana.


If you’d rather try something lighter than a bagel, eat crackers an hour or two before the race, depending on how many crackers you eat. If you eat only a handful, do it an hour before your race. If you eat a whole sleeve or combine your crackers with another food, eat two to three hours before. Like bagels, crackers contain refined carbohydrates, which can help your body stay energized for an hour-long race.


Yogurt is a protein and complex carbohydrate source suitable for races that are longer than an hour. If you eat only yogurt, do it about an hour before the race. If combining yogurt with other foods, eat two or three hours before. If you don’t usually eat yogurt, don’t do it before your race. Stick with foods you know you can digest quickly and easily.


If your race is longer than an hour, eat a banana or combine it with other complex carbohydrates to keep your energy and blood glucose levels stable throughout the race. If you’re eating only the banana, eat it an hour before your race. If you’re eating a banana with other foods, like yogurt or a bagel, eat it two to three hours before.