5 Essentials to Know for Race Day Nutrition
1. Know your sweat rate. You can’t have a successful plan without knowing how much fluid you need to stay hydrated.
2. Know you need carbohydrates during intense exercise. ACSM suggests an adult can oxidize 60 grams of carbohydrates an hour and that should be your starting point when engaged in 60 minutes or greater of exercise.
3. Know to drink water when using energy gels. Gels are basically concentrated sports drinks. To limit possible stomach problems during exercise be sure to drink 10-12 fl. oz. per energy gel to properly dilute it.
4. Know you need to consume protein and carbohydrates after a workout. A good principle to remember is to consume a minimum of 1:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio post exercise. A good example of this is chocolate milk.
5. Know you need to always practice your nutrition plan during your training. Do not try anything new on race day that you haven’t tried during your training. It’s the golden rule! Also, as you practice your plan, you’ll be able to know what needs to be tweaked to enhance your performance.
Nick Suffredin is a former scientist at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) where his primary responsibility was to support the GSSI physiology research program. Areas of research Nick has been involved in included muscle recovery, athletic performance, carbohydrate metabolism, rehydration and dehydration, stress testing, body composition, gastric emptying, sensory perception, along with aerobic and anaerobic performance testing. Nick’s expertise has been included on human performance advisory boards to improve and ensure quality exercise programs as well as clearly communicate nutritional assessments. Nick has formulated nutritional products for companies and consulted with elite endurance athletes on their nutritional intake for training as well as fueling for races. Learn more about the D3 Race Day Fueling program.