What Is The Worst Food To Eat Directly Before A Big Race?

We almost always focus on what one can do to ensure a good race. We discuss the best clothes, the best means of hydration, the best exercises and breathing techniques — and the best foods to eat before running. But there’s an entirely different side. Although some of these topics can help you out, and failing to take the advice will more likely than not make a huge difference, doing the wrong thing can really hurt you.

So what food should you absolutely stay away from before a big race? Here are a few!


  • Caffeinated Beverages. It’s an old wives tale that caffeine dehydrates you. It takes an absurd amount of coffee to have a dehydrating effect, and the vast majority of us will never drink enough for it to make a big difference. The real problem is what caffeine does to your digestion. Have you ever noticed that you tend to take a bathroom break with your morning coffee? Caffeine is great for moving the bowels, and you don’t need that in the middle of a race.
  • High-Fructose Corn Syrup. This is a concentrated form of sugar that many food and drink vendors use in their products because it’s much cheaper than actual sugar. But more sugar in your diet can result in diabetes and increased fat storage. This can make burning calories tougher, especially when you want a thin, toned body when you run.
  • White Bread. Stick to whole wheat products before a big race. You want the added nutrients and fiber, and white bread and similar products are often devoid of what you need. You could experience reduced energy and an increased craving for sugar. In combination, that’s bad.
  • Red Meat. Especially when processed like ham or bacon. These not only increase your risk of colo-rectal cancer, but they can increase cholesterol, blood pressure, and the chances of heart disease.
  • Whole Milk. You probably don’t need the extra fat. Stick to skim milk unless you’re trying to gain milk. Healthy alternatives include coconut milk or almond milk.
  • Alcohol. You already know that booze is bad for you. Over-indulging in alcoholic beverages can dehydrate you, kill brain cells, lead to liver disease, and deplete your energy on race day. A beer or a glass of wine here and there is okay, but avoid overdoing it.
  • Diet Sodas. These beverages swap out sugar for artificial sweeteners that result in an array of health problems, including a craving for sugar (duh), kidney ailments, dehydration, and even weight gain (albeit less than with non-diet sodas).

Should Runners Use The Keto Diet?

You can’t go anywhere these days without hearing about someone who is losing a tremendous amount of weight on Keto. And while it might be great for weight loss, is it beneficial for runners especially those who plan on doing marathons?

Unlike other diets like South Beach or Atkins, Keto is very strict about what you can and cannot eat. The diet is comprised of 80% fat and then about 20% protein. Almost no carbs at all. The average Keto diet consists of only 20 grams of carbs a day. If you enjoy eating fish, meat, eggs, and dairy then Keto is a great choice for you. But if you enjoy healthy carbs like whole wheat or fruit – you are out of luck.

People lose weight because when the body is unable to break down carbs for fuel it will then resort to fat. This is called ketosis. When a body is in ketosis it will produce something called ketones to help break down fat.

But can that actually fuel the brain and muscles in your body? There have been some studies on how athletes adjust to the Keto diet. One study showed that during a 10 week Keto diet the athlete’s body did improve appearance but it did not improve their overall performance. In fact, in the early stages of the diet, many of them had reduced energy and weren’t able to perform high-intensity workouts.

Sometimes people go on the Keto diet and don’t actually get into Ketosis. This is why it might be flawed unless they are continually monitoring their urine for ketones. However, long-distance runners have the tendency to put themselves into Ketosis during a long run, especially when the body has ran out of carb fuel. Scientists believe that marathon runners will adapt better to the Keto diet than those who do a quick jog around the neighborhood because their body is already used to going into Ketosis.

So marathon runners? Will you try the Keto diet?

Should You Eat A Big Dinner The Night Before A Marathon?

This is a question everyone asks when they start long-distance running competitions, and it’s a question everyone must answer for themselves. There is no simple single answer scenario that will solve everyone’s problems the same way. All of our bodies work differently, and no two people are alike. What one person eats and digests might affect that person’s body in completely different ways than another person, and so a little experimentation might be in order. That said, what should you generally eat before a marathon?

First of all, if you decide to eat a big dinner the night before a marathon, make sure you know and like what you’re eating. This is not the time to try something new. If you do, then this is when a new allergy will develop or a serious bout of gastrointestinal distress will strike with a cold vengeance the likes of which you’ve never known. Don’t take the chance.

The key to a good race is often keeping your digestive processes consistent and constant. In other words, it’s often better to eat a lot of little foods more often than it is to eat three or four bigger meals the day before. That way your body can get used to digesting important nutrients and calories over a period of time instead of at a single moment’s notice. Don’t consume any red meat–that takes forever to digest and you’ll pay the price later. Fish or chicken are good choices, as are small portions of fruit and veggies or energy bars.

Although some athletes load up on carbs the night before, this tactic isn’t right for everyone. Pasta and other grainy foods tend to make their way through your digestive tract slowly, and depending on the person they can lead to gas and bloating for a long while the day after you eat them. If you know your body can handle the carbs, then go for it. If you don’t know, then you should. Until you do, avoid them like the plague.

Cut down on the fatty foods, dairy products if they give you trouble, and avoid roughage (potatoes and rice and fiber, etc.). You don’t want to be midway through a race and start to feel a bowel movement coming on. Remember: exercise helps your digestion, and you’ll be getting a lot of exercises all at once. Your intestines won’t need any more help than they already have.

A few hours before the marathon, try to eat a small breakfast. Don’t eat too much. Eating too much food too soon before the beginning of the race can lead to cramps, gas, bloating and other stomach injuries. Don’t hydrate all in one go, either. Drink water at regular intervals the day before and the day of, and when the race starts don’t wait until you’re thirsty or hungry to replenish what you’ve lost. If you’re running a marathon or more, then start adding calories before mile five or so and you should be good to keep going at a proper pace for much more. Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to get through the race without hurting yourself. Good luck!

How Exactly Does Beet Juice Help Runners?

Beet juice is one of the most popular endurance-boosting ingredients for runners nowadays. There are a variety of reasons why beet juice is such an effective ingredient to utilize while you are running. Below, we will be going over some of the main reasons why this kind of juice can help you as you train or run, and how it can stop you from doing the classic slip, trip, and fall.

Reasons Beet Juice Helps:

1. Nitrate.

One of the biggest reasons this juice is so effective at helping you maximize your running potential is because it is naturally a good source of inorganic nitrate. Thus, it ends up being converted to nitric oxide which can do a lot of good things within your body including increase blood flow, muscle contraction, and more. As a result, it can end up providing a lot of performance boost with relatively little downside.

2. How Long Does It Take?

Having a significant boost in nitrate can end up producing great effects for your entire body while running. The peak levels tend to occur around 2 to 3 hours after digestion.

3. Supplements.

If you are going to be taking beet juice, you might want to consider taking some form of supplement or health drink simply because it is likely going to be much more convenient. If you are planning on taking it in supplement form, you will want to do your research on the various options available to ensure that it is from a reputable manufacturer.

Overall, beet juice is no secret formula to succeed in running. The fact is, while it may boost your performance by as little as 1% if you are just getting started, it is not a magic juice that is going to suddenly make you an amazing runner. You will still need to put in the hard work and dedication to achieve that.

If you’re anything like us, the first thing you thought of when you heard “beets” was Dwight Schrute!

What To Eat On The Big Day

What is carbo loading? What is glucose and how does it affect your performance? Are you drinking enough liquids? These are some questions that you might be asking yourself if you are running a marathon. For more information, we recommend watching this quick 2-minute video. We’d love to know what carbo loaded foods you like to eat as well – don’t forget to give us feedback! Our favorites include pasta!

What’s your favorite electrolyte drink? Our personal favorite is vitamin water. We find that Gatorade is too sugary. But in the middle of the race, at that point, we are happy to just drink anything!

Also don’t eat too much the morning of, perhaps something light like a protein bar, banana or a piece of toast. What do you eat? Whatever you do, DO NOT drink coffee! It will dehydrate you!