5 pre-5K food tips that will help you get through the race

December 16, 2014

Since food is fuel for runners, and putting the right things in your body will make you both feel good and perform well, here are five great pre-5k foods every runner should know about.

5 pre-5K food tips that will help you get through the race

Running a 5K can be a fun or competitive endeavour, and there are lots of ways to prepare for a race to ensure that you do your best.

  • One of the most important ways to ensure you do the best on race day is to eat properly ahead of time.

1. Eat both carbohydrates and protein

Lots of people think it's important to "carb-load" or eat a ton of carbohydrates before a race. In reality, however, eating too many carbs before a race can cause a spike in energy and then a crash, resulting in a more challenging run as the race progresses.

  • Before a race, eating a good balance of carbohydrates and protein, like whole wheat toast and scrambled eggs, can help ensure that you stay both full and energized.

2. Don't eat fatty foods

  • When choosing proteins to eat before a race, don't choose something fatty like bacon or cheese.

Fatty foods take longer to digest, which means that you may not have absorbed all the nutrients you consumed and you might feel discomfort from indigestion while you run.

3. Eat three to four hours before a race

  • If you're running a race, make sure you eat three to four hours before the race begins.

You'll want your body to properly digest what you eat before you start running. Three to four hours gives your body time to digest, and your stomach time to settle before having to run.

4. Try caffeine in moderation

Many runners believe that consuming caffeine before a race can help give you the jolt of energy you need to run fast and be alert. However, experts caution not to consume too much because it's a diuretic.

  • Feel out your personal caffeine limits prior to the race to establish what's best for your body.

5. Stop drinking water 30 minutes before the race

It's super important to be properly hydrated before you run a 5k race.

  • However, while drinking water the night before and morning of a race can help with performance, drinking water too close to the time of the event can cause bloating and discomfort, which can interfere with successful running.
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