Not only have I struggled with what to eat before I run or exercise, I have learned over the years what a disservice I have been to myself thinking I was always eating the right things! My recent findings (3 years ago) took place when I decided to train really hard one year to break my PRs for the 1/2 marathons and 10K runs.  I was much older than before and I wanted to make sure I got the MOST out of my workouts.  What I learned was that a banana and granola bar just wasn't enough and it definitely added in my "light headness" and bad tummy aches after a hard run.  FIBER was my issue! So, now I make sure I eat whole grain toast with lots of peanut butter.  Also, I exchanged the banana for a more heartier fruit like an apple.  

I guess passing out in the bathroom was my first clue of robbing my body of the necessary proteins and nutrients needed to get through a workout!  But I did PR! LOL!. . .No, seriously do not make the same mistake that I did!

Runner's World (my top magazine pick for runners) has a GREAT article on what to eat and NOT to eat before your big run/event! I think you will be surprised if you are new to running.  You need to understand what you are putting in your body and how a lot of different foods can easily break down into sugar and will do NOTHING for you! Read below and mark this one as some GREAT advise!

The Right Stuff?  

Five prerace nutrition mistakes—and how to keep them from ruining your big day.

Image by Saverio Truglia
Published 09/03/2008
If you’re like many runners, you’ve spent the last few months training for a big race. And as your 5-K, half-marathon, or marathon approaches, you’re probably taking extra care with what you eat and drink. Maybe you’re loading up on carbs, drinking lots of water, ordering extra servings of broccoli and beans. But are you doing the right thing?
“How you fuel up before the race has a huge impact on your performance,” says Beth Jauquet, R.D., a nutritionist for Cherry Creek Nutrition in Denver.

The Mistake: Eating a Box of Pasta  Flooding your system with more carbs than it can process may lead to digestive problems that will have you running to the porta-potty every mile.

The Fix: Consume moderate quantities—not huge portions—of carbs for several days prior. “Eat just to fullness, so you don’t get indigestion or have trouble sleeping,” says Tara Gidus, R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

The Mistake: Drinking Gallons of H20  Not only will chugging too much water before a race leave you feeling bloated, but it will also dilute your electrolytes—minerals responsible for optimum muscle contraction. 

The Fix: In the days leading up to your race, drink fluids as you normally would to stay hydrated. This can include water, sports drink, juice, even coffee and tea. On the morning of the race drinking 16 ounces of water two to three hours before the start.

The Mistake: Loading up on Fiber Normally, runners should make sure to eat lots of cruciferous vegetables, beans, and whole grains. Loading up on high-fiber foods can cause uncomfortable gas, especially if your stomach is plagued by prerace jitters.

The Fix: If you think fiber might be an issue, “cut back on those foods three days before a major race,” says Gidus. That includes beans and bran cereals-but not fruits and veggies.

The Mistake: Skipping Breakfast  Prerace meal keeps your blood sugar steady and provides energy to power you through. 

The Fix: If you know you get too nervous to eat before a race, wake up a few hours before the start-so you can eat breakfast slowly, letting each bite settle before taking another.

The Mistake: Trying Something New  If you’ve never had spicy salmon sushi, don’t order it the night before your race.

The Fix: Stick with what you know for a week before race day. Check the race Web site to confirm which drinks and gels (if any) will be offered along the course so you can test them out in advance. 

Eat better-  In the days before a race, vary your diet with nongrain carb sources, such as fruits and starchy vegetables, to benefit from a wider range of nutrients.

Be Safe, Run Hard. . .Make it Happen! Let's GO!
Posted on March 2, 2011 .