Many of us are gearing up for race weekend, whether you are running or walking your nutrition plays a large role in your performance. We have some incredible meal ideas for you

What to Eat Before the Race:
Morning Run – First thing to remember is to stick to what you are used to. Testing out new things is for your training and not for the day of your race. Stick to foods you know your body enjoys and doesn’t give you digestive distress. When fueling for a morning race you want to keep your meal simple, focus on easily digested carbohydrates and natural sugars with a touch of protein.

Good options here are overnight oats, in order to take the prep work out in the morning or if you have a bit more of a sensitive stomach when it comes to eating before exercise opt for a smoothie. With both of these options amp up the flavour and boost your body with electrolytes by using a banana to sweeten and just a dash of salt to provide your body with a complete electrolyte profile.

Overnight Oats:
½ cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
¾ cup Coconut Milk
1 tbsp Chia Seeds
1 Banana, mashed
4 Dates, diced
1 tsp Cinnamon

1. In a small to medium bowl mash up 1 banana, stir in coconut water, dates and cinnamon. Gently mix in the oats and chia seeds. Pour mixture into a sealable container like a mason jar or Tupperware and let it sit over night.

Evening Run – Eat regularly through your day being sure to consume well balanced meals and make sipping on water a priority. If you are nervous about digestive distress give yourself time to have a big breakfast and a smaller lunch packed with good quality carbohydrates and protein. An excellent lunch option before a race is a salad because it is so versatile as you can build it up or tone it down depending on how well your digestive system fairs prior to exercise.

Some salad boosting tips:
– Keep it vegetarian, a hardboiled egg provides you with adequate pre-run protein and will be a bit easier for your system to breakdown.
– Boost with legumes for a crunch instead of a crouton. Legumes are an excellent source of protein and energy and a fun way to boost flavour.
– Fruit isn’t weird in a salad and now is the time to test it out. Fruit is delicious, fresh or dried are both excellent options to help you fuel up before a run and if you have yet to add some strawberries to your spinach salad now’s the time to try it.

What to Eat During the Race:
This only becomes important if your race is likely to take you longer than 90 minutes. If this is the case you will want to start fueling yourself at around the 30-40 minute mark to avoid hitting that “wall” where you lose energy and feel depleted. During a race you are looking to consume between 4-10g of carbohydrate every 30-40 minutes. Most of the time runners grab for overly processed and chemical rich carb packs because they are easy to pack in a fuel belt and require little thought, luckily more and more products are available so you don’t need to rely on the bad stuff anymore.

Some great minimally processed options are Squeezable Baby food, stick to the simple flavours like apple or pear to keep the list of ingredients minimal and as close the natural as possible. If eating baby food isn’t something you can wrap your head around don’t worry there are other options. Our next favourite energy pack out there are maple packs (Brix and Endurance Tap), these energy packs are made up of delicious maple syrup with a touch of salt offering you a pure source of energy and some electrolytes to keep you moving for your race.

What to Eat After the Race:
Races hand out bagels and bananas after a run for a reason. These foods help to refuel your energy, think of your muscles like batteries and these carbohydrate dense foods as battery power. It is just as, if not more important, to fuel up after a race as it is to fuel up before one. Most people end up reaching for protein but carbohydrates are the real hero here. So this year after your race reach for some carbohydrates and a bit of protein to recharge your batteries in a 3:1 ratio

Right after your race fuel up with something simple like a banana and some plain greek yogurt or a handful of almonds and a pear or if you have a bit of extra time the night before cook up some of our delicious Pumpkin Fuel Race Cookies.

Then once you are finished everything have stretched, cooled down and showered off sit down for a complete meal with some carbohydrates (grains, sweet potato, legumes), protein and a healthy source of fat.

Pumpkin Fuel Race Cookies:
2 cups Oat Flour, place 2 cups of old fashioned oats in a food process and process till fine
½ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
1 cup Pumpkin Puree, not pumpkin pie filling
½ cup Avocado oil or Melted Coconut Oil
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl combine oat flour, coconut, chocolate chips, cinnamon and salt.
3. In a large bowl combine pumpkin and oil. Add dry ingredients to wet and continue to stir until well combined.
4. Scoop out and ball up about 20 cookies. Gently press with a fork to flatten a little. Place in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. They will still be slightly soft to the touch, allow to cool completely.

Catch the segment: HERE!