5 Tips On What To Eat Before A Long Run

Before a long run, it's important to eat and drink properly. This articles lists five tips to help you get the most out of your run.

Before a long run, it's important to eat and drink properly.This articles lists five tips to help you stay safe and get the most out of your run.

Five Tips

1. A high-carb diet - Although fat and protein are also necessary and help you during the run, carbohydrates are the most efficient at producing energy.The energy needed for running exceeds the amount your body stores in the form of carbohydrates.Therefore, it's useful to follow a high-carbohydrate diet during your training period to expand you body's store of carbs.Your diet should consist of approximately 60% carbohydrates, 20-30% proteins, and 10-20% fat.

Foods high in carbs include breads, pasta, noodles, cereals, rice, couscous, and fruits and vegetables.Especially useful are complex carbs, foods containing a large portion of barley, wheat germ, buckwheat, cornmeal, oatmeal, bran or maize.Examples of these complex carbs are spaghetti, brown rice, pasta, potatoes, grainery bread, all bran, corn, and peas.

2. Utilize carbohydrate loading correctly - The theory of carbohydrate loading was developed in the 1960's in Sweden.The idea was, if the body's glycogen stores were depleted during training, the body would learn to store more glycogen than normal when carbohydrate intake returned to normal.Consequently, the recommended 1960's carb-loading regimen began a week before the running event, calling for three days of very low carbohydrate intake with lots of exercise to deplete the body's carbohydrate stores.After that, for the next three days, the athlete would consume mostly carbohydrates, reducing the intensity of exercise to allow for maximum storage.

In the 1980's, further research showed that the depletion phase was unnecessary and could even be dangerous.An improved regimen calls for increased carbohydrate intake throughout training, with decreased training intensity for three days prior to the event.Most runners now follow the modified regimen, although there are some athletes who still follow the old one.Carbohydrate loading is generally recommended for endurance events lasting longer than 90 minutes.

So, in the last few days before the race, train less but continue eating the same.This may result in a small weight gain - don't be alarmed, because the calories you would normally use in training will be used as fuel for your muscles, and a significant part of the extra pounds are probably water weight.

3. Watch your fat and alcohol consumption. Too many fatty foods fill the stomach and the fat cells, but leave the muscles with less fuel.Abstain from beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages on the night before the race, because they are dehydrating.

4. Eat a normal breakfast one to three hours before the race begins, and drink plenty of fluids - several glasses up to two hours before the race, then again 5 to 15 minutes before it starts.Eat foods that are familiar to you - it's no time to try something foreign or new.Some food suggestions: pasta, baked potato, chicken, sunflower seeds, a little cheese.

5. Drink a few ounces of fluid every 15 minutes while running.Sodium depletion is a potential issue - the best way to ensure that you get the proper balance of water and sodium is to drink a sports drink like Gatorade.

Disclaimer: Please consult a physician before attempting strenuous activity, especially if you have any condition that might be an issue.This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.

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