Every day, we ask ourselves « What do I eat for supper? », but this question is even more legitimate the day prior to a race since it is the perfect opportunity for the body to stockpile glycogen. These glycogen reserves are essential in order to have energy the day of the race. The glycogen is converted into glucose, which allows us to perform at our full potential on D-day.
It is crucial to find a meal that is right for you; a meal that is easily digestible and easy to find, wherever the race location. Once you have found a meal that suits you, it is recommended to follow that same routine before each race. By doing so, you will not have to ask yourself this question before each race and you will avoid unpleasant surprises, such as stress, stomach ache…
Considering that the priority before a competition is to stockpile carbohydrates, the meal that you eat must be rich in carbohydrates and must contain a small quantity of proteins and lipids. You also should limit the quantity of fibre consumed, given that they are difficult to digest. Personally, my favorite meal the day before a race is white rice with tofu, a little bit of nuts, grilled vegetables with soy sauce. It is a good mix of carbohydrates easy to digest (white rice), of proteins (tofu) and fat (nuts). The soy sauce, on the other hand, is a good source of electrolytes, which is particularly important if the race is taking place in a hot and humid climate. Although I am accustomed to eating big salads for supper and a large number of vegetable in general, I limit my consumption of vegetables before a competition, because it is tougher to digest (even more when you are nervous).
Food to avoid the day before a race: fatty foods, such as sauces containing cream and very fatty meats like sausage and pepperoni. For instance, instead of eating Alfredo pasta, it is preferable to go with a plain tomato sauce. Likewise, instead of a pepperoni pizza, it is better to choose a vegetarian pizza with or without cheese topping.
We often say that we are what we eat. That’s why it is essential to pay close attention to our meals before a race!