As the Great Manchester Run approaches, we've teamed up with dietitian and food blogger Eleanor Sinclair, @ellesnutrition, to share her meal ideas with our amazing runners!
Eleanor is a member of our NCA family and so we knew she'd be the perfect person to offer some top tips for peak performance with #TeamNorthCare.
Check out her blog post below..
Pre and post-race nutrition
- Our body's preferred energy source is carbohydrates.
- Carbohydrate is stored in the liver and muscles in the form of glycogen.
- We use carbohydrates to fuel our muscles and our brain.
- Eating the right foods prior to exercise will provide our body with the energy it needs to perform at it's best.
The night before
- The main focus is to fuel up on carbohydrates.
- Choose foods you know you can tolerate to avoid any gut related symptoms.
- Avoid overeating and eating too close to bedtime as this may affect digestion and disrupt sleep.
- Sip on fluids across the daytime to support good hydrations in preparation for the big day.
- On the morning of the race, we want to continue fuelling up on carbohydrates. Opt for carbohydrates that are low in fat and low in fibre so that they are easily digested and avoid causing any stomach upset.
- Protein is important but try not to include too much, as this will slow down the rate of digestion.
- Aim to eat a larger carbohydrate-based meal around two-four hours before the race.
- If you are unable to eat prior to the race or feel nauseous, try having a liquid-based carbohydrate instead, such as a fruit smoothie or fruit juice.
- Around 30-60 minutes prior to the race, an additional light carbohydrate snack (one that is low fat and low in fibre) can be taken to provide extra field, e.g. banana or energy bar.
- Continue to stay well-hydrated by sipping on fluids prior to the race. Consider electrolyte drinks if this is something you can tolerate. Caffeinated drinks also count towards your fluid intake - this may also help to enhance running performance.
- After a long run, your body will need good nutrition to support its recovery.
- Refuel with carbohydrates to replenish lost glycogen stores.
- Include a lean source of protein to help muscle tissues repair and adapt.
- Rehydrate by drinking plenty of fluids (consider electrolyte drinks if tolerated).
- Nourish your body with vitamins and minerals to support bone health and the immune system.
- If you are unable to eat a meal soon after your race, consider a protein and carbohydrate-rich drink e.g. yogurt and berry smoothie or banana milkshake.
- There is no 'one size fits all'. Trial different foods and drinks prior to race day to see how your body responds.
- Don't try any new foods or drinks on race day or the night before! Stick to what you know your body can manage.
- Prepare your meals and snacks in advance so you have one less thing to worry about.
- Stay hydrated before, during, and after the race by sipping on fluids or electrolyte drinks.
- If you need any personalised advice, please speak with a registered sports nutritionist or dietitian.