The average person’s breakfast will include cereals, milk, bagels, orange juice, toast, biscuits etc.
Unfortunately, although these foods can seem tasty and will fill us up for a short period, they are not great for optimum health or performance. All of these foods cause our blood sugars to increase dramatically. Our body recognises that the sugar levels are way too high, and sends the hormone insulin into the blood to lower the blood glucose. Unfortunately, insulin sends our blood sugars WAY TOO LOW! This drop in blood sugar occurs usually within an hour or two. This is also why you tend to crave sweet foods and feel highs and lows throughout the day.
If you are eating these foods 2-3 hours before a race or training – the chances are by the time you put on your spikes or racing trainers and join the start line, your sugar levels are low – and you’ll be feeling heavy legged and drained of energy before you even start. THIS FEELING ISN’T ALWAYS DOWN TO PRE RACE NERVES!
Depending on your race, you will have to adapt the amounts of food you take in. A meal rich in wholefoods including good protein, carbohydrates and good fat sources is best for optimum performance.
Good foods to include are:
- Natural Yoghurt
- Nuts and Seeds
- Fruits – be careful of sugar intake
- Organic Peanut Butter
- Stir Fry Vegetables
- Coconut Oil
- Vegetable Juices
It’s always best to experiment with what works for you. I would advise trying some of the foods on easy training days and build up towards main sessions and then on smaller races. Once you know which foods are best for you, you can start to take these foods in on your main races and really start to feel the benefits.