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Running training: what to eat and drink?


After several months of training, you are finally ready to participate in a race. Congratulations! But now you need a food strategy to deliver the best possible performance during the race. So what should you eat and when?

Eat small snacks during the day to avoid overloading your digestion. Your dinner should mainly contain carbohydrates as fuel for the next day. Eat a little more than usual and stay away from fatty foods. Only eat food you are used to eating. Don’t try something new.

Drink 0.5 litres of water at dinner. You can also drink a sports drink for a full carbohydrate store.

Meal consisting of: Vegetables and chicken, fish or a meat substitute, with pasta, rice, quinoa or couscous

Eat a carb-rich breakfast, stick to normal portions and eat three hours before the start of the event so you can digest your breakfast. Strive to eat a light breakfast without fibre.

Drink 0.5 litres of water, coffee or tea at breakfast. Continue to drink until the start.

E.g.:

  1. Banana sandwiches
  2. White bread with jam or honey
  3. Breakfast cereals with milk or yoghurt
  4. Pancakes with agave syrup or brown sugar

If you had breakfast three hours before you start your training, then have a small snack to counter hunger pangs one hour before you start your workout.

Continue to drink until you start.

E.g.:

  1. Gingerbread loaf
  2. Banana
  3. Cereal biscuit

< 1 to 1.5 hours of running

You can drink as much water as you want.

You will have plenty of energy stored because of the meals you ate before the event. As a result, you won’t need to eat while running.

> 1.5 hours of running

Drink as much as you need to avoid dehydration. Drink at least:

  1. 500 ml isotone sports drink
  2. 500 ml water

Strive for 60 g of carbohydrates every hour.

If you drink water, you’ll need two portions. If you are drinking a sports drink, then combine one portion of food with your drink.

E.g.: 1 portion (30 g carbohydrates)

  1. a portion of gingerbread
  2. banana
  3. energy bar
  4. cereal biscuit

Have a snack every two hours until your next full meal. This will help your body and muscles recover more quickly.

You must drink 750 ml of fluids for every 500 g of body weight you lost.

Choose a carb-rich snack and strive for an intake of 1 g of carbohydrates per kilo of body weight during the first 30 minutes after the race.

E.g.:

  1. 450 ml of skimmed chocolate milk
  2. 450 ml of low-fat drinking yoghurt

Optimise your recovery with a full meal that contains protein and carbohydrates.

Continue to drink until your urine is translucent.

E.g.:

  1. Meat or fish with vegetables and pasta, rice, potatoes.
  2. Bread with lean meat or cheese (spread).

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