What To Eat Before You Race

Whether you are running a 5K fun run or a marathon, we’ve got nutrition tips that will help you optimize your run.


The Twin Cities organizes races for runners at all levels of ability, from the casual runner to the competitive athlete. Healthy nutrition is one component of a smart training program that will support your performance and help you do your best. We’ve got some tips to help you eat smart before you run.

  • Timing. Plan to eat a big meal three to four hours before your run. Eat a small meal one to two hours before the starting gun goes off. If you feel hungry, have a snack about 30 minutes before you run.
  • What to eat. Although you need a little protein, carbohydrates like high-fiber bread, crackers, rice, pasta, and fruit should be the star of your pre-race meal. They will help you prevent sluggishness and fatigue. Recommended proteins include broccoli, fish, chicken or turkey, low-fat dairy, or beans. And don’t forget sources of healthy fat, like peanut butter, nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive oil.
  • Hydrate. When you run, you need water before, during, and after a race. Four hours before you run, drink about 20 ounces of water (the size of a large coffee at your favorite coffee shop). While you are running, drink in response to thirst to avoid dehydration.
  • What to avoid. Don’t suddenly change your diet within 24 hours of the race or eat something new. Avoid high-fat and high-fiber foods, large amounts of protein, and sugary foods during the day leading up to the race.

Having a healthy plan for pre-race nutrition ensures that your body will have the fuel it needs during your run, and that you will perform at your best.



Share this on
Share on FacebookShare on TwitterPin on Pinterest

Also see...