Food Prep for Race Day: 5 Triathlon Diet Tips to Try for Athletes

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Whether you’re preparing for your first triathlon or your tenth, you need to make sure you’re eating right before your race. Food is fuel, and if you don’t have the right fuel in your body, you won’t perform well during the race.

But what foods should triathletes eat? Are there triathlon diets that can help you on race day?

The answer is yes, but the foods you should eat will depend on how far out from the race you are. Here are some triathlon diet tips that will fuel you for the big race.

1. Energy-Rich Carbohydrates the Night Before

On the night before a big race, it’s important to eat a meal that is high in energy-rich carbohydrates and low in fiber. A good meal choice would be spaghetti with low-fat marinara sauce.

This type of meal will provide you with energy on race day but won’t upset your stomach. Consider getting healthy meals delivered so you can ensure you’re eating right before every race.

Also, make sure you stay hydrated with electrolyte drinks the night before. But try to avoid sugary drinks like Gatorade. You can simply get water with added electrolytes to get the hydration you need.

2. Eat an Early Dinner

You should be eating your last big meal at least twelve hours before the race. If you eat too late at night, you may still feel full and sluggish in the morning.

You’ll want the food to have time to digest, so your body’s energy can be spent on the race instead of on digestion.

3. Eat Foods Your Body Is Familiar and Comfortable With

The night before a big race is not the time to experiment with new foods you don’t normally eat. The last thing you’ll want is for your body to reject the food and leave you with a terrible stomach ache and unable to race.

Stick to healthy carbs that you frequently eat every week because your body will be used to those foods already.

4. Eat a Light Breakfast on Race Day

It’s important to eat a light breakfast of carbs and a bit of protein on race day. Toast or a bagel with peanut butter would be a great option.

It’s light enough to not leave you feeling sluggish but will give you the energy you need to last through the race.

5. Post-Race Meals Are Just as Important

Don’t reward yourself with a large cheese pizza after completing a triathlon. It’s important to stick to a quality triathlon diet after your race and in the days following because your body will be recovering.

Create meals and snacks using healthy carbs, lean protein, and healthy fats. Your body needs the proper nutrients to recover from the strain of a difficult triathlon.

Triathlon Diets Give You the Fuel You Need 

After months of training for your upcoming triathlon, make sure you give your body all the fuel it needs to succeed by using these tips for triathlon diets.

Need more triathlon preparation tips? Check out our triathlon training blog today for more information!