Pre-race nutrition prep

So I got pretty badly affected by loss of electrolytes a few races back and want to never feel that again. Got a race weekend coming up next week.

What’s a recommended pre-race plan In terms of what to eat/drink starting 48 hrs before?

I plan on making sure I drink a couple pedialytes the day before. Any other things I should consume prior?

Coffee and Red bull. Just playing. This is kind of a broad question because no two bodies are the same. Plenty of water on race day is key. That is when you are going to be losing fluids. If its a hot day, don’t overdue practice.

My wife and I write down the food that we prepare, before we go to the track.
We make sure that I’m constantly drinking water or Gatorade, as well as eating lightly throughout the day while we’re at the track, rather than just smashing food at lunch.

In my opinion, it’s less about pre-race nutrition prep, but about overall dietary changes that you make in your lifestyle, so that your body is overall acclimated, rather than a quick prep two days before.

Do I have the proper dietary answer? Nope, but also it’ll be dependent on your dietary and physical needs

@Trey_Shannon is a full time pro at this stuff and talked about it in our podcast:

Some other reading to digest:

The problem I ran into wasn’t hydration but rather over-hydration. It was so hot I was constantly drinking water. I managed to over do it and flushed the electrolytes out I think.

It was weird. I had some symptoms of dehydration but I was careful to be constantly drinking water. The following day I was having Charlie horses in my muscles.

So maybe drink Gatorade, rather than water?

These salt sticks are popular with some runners, bikers ,etc


1 Like

Hmmm. Not a bad idea. I’ll pop by the climbing store and see if the have those or something similar.

Ha! Don’t I wish, maybe by next month. Although I have now learned my lesson this year to avoid days that are 95+ at race time - headaches for a day otherwise so it’s not worth it to me. For that of course I’m called a fair weather racer - so be it. I’d rather run at 35 degrees than 95 any day.

I’ve tried lots of flavored water. I’ve tried Gatorade, and then G2. Next time out, I’m trying the Pedialyte AdvancedCare Plus stuff. Hopefully it helps keep me in better shape afterwards (during the races I’m fine).

Any thoughts on cold water vs. ambient? Living in Boulder, CO, you hear all sorts of different ‘facts’ about nutrition and health just anecdotally. Recently had a conversation with a cyclist that insists that warm water is better for you than ice cold to drink when exercising…forget the exact reason.

As someone that is a big fan of the cooler on race day, curious of anyone’s thoughts on this.

On another note, I’ve noticed that simply keeping junior drivers somewhat corralled during the middle of a raceday tends to improve their energy come time for the main events. A lof of them scooter around the pits or play with their friends all day, and are tired come main event time, which is interesting.

1 Like

I was a racing cyclist for a few years. In that mode ambient temp water is supposedly easier on your system and absorbs immediately. I think cold is more likely to make you have stomach cramps or some other adverse reaction. It is also way easier to maintain ambient on a bike. You still have weight and space constraints. So having cold water was never a luxury one could maintain anyway. I would not buy a road bike without 2 water bottle bosses and a cycling jersey with 3 pockets. 3 pockets help you balance the load of what you carry in the pockets.
I have also noticed how the kids are hard to keep from going “Ape Dookie” at the races. As adults, we don’t have the luxury of passing out on the ride home.

I recently heard of a product that had good references, but have not tried it myself yet. Lord know it is hot enough here to give it a try.
Drip Drop ORS - supposed to be a better “Sports Drink”

It is available @ Walgreens.
At least the site has some Q&A.

1 Like

I’d say it depends on where you live and what ambient is! Here in NorCal, if it’s 100+ F, no way do I want ambient water. Cold water then helps keep body temp cool. But if it’s in the 70s or heck, even colder, ambient is perfectly fine. Doesn’t cold water also boost metabolism? Or am I wrong with that? I’d think that if it does boost metabolism, cold water wouldn’t necessarily be a good thing for endurance sports like cycling because I’d say you want your metabolism slower for a more consistent energy burn throughout the exercise. Right?

I alternate water and Gatorade, but try not to have more than 1 or two Gatorades during the day, too much sugar for me.

I’m also a daily Soylent drinker, which I find is the absolute perfect beverage/meal on race day, especially in the morning. 400 calories, 20% of all essential nutrients, balanced fats, carbs, and proteins, all in a chocolate milk-tasting drink. It’s easy for me to sip on that all morning when I have pre-race butterflies than try and eat something heavy.

Also it’s the best hangover cure too… :beers:


TJ, just don’t get the green flavored soylent.


“It’s people!”:scream::scream::scream:

Chai and Cacao are my go-tos.

wow. Blast from the past. I wonder if the folks who started the company thought of that.

1 Like

I find it a bit strange . . .

Saw this on the net:
New, Soylent Green!
Now with more girls!

Davin hit the nail on the head with regards to it being less about pre-race nutrition prep, and more about overall dietary changes in your lifestyle. Ten points for @DavinRS! @tjkoyen has a good recommendation too with 1 or 2 gatorades throughout the day, but no more than that. Gatorade has a bunch of added sugar that will cause energy levels to drop when it wears off. I prefer to stick with water, myself.

When it comes to electrolytes, bananas and cucumber are packed with them. Those are two great snacks to have in the cooler. You could also throw down a coconut water or two. They have sugar as well, but it’s all natural sugar, and coconut water is great for recovery. If you’re not a coconut water fan, which not all people are, I would recommend adding an amino acid blend to your water sometime between qualifying and the race. Great for recovery from all the work you’ve done throughout the day, and will help your focus levels during the race. Play with timing and see what works best for you, everybody’s body is different.


They definitely named it after the movie.


I have read about the benefits of drinking beetroot juice to help prevent muscle cramps during, or after racing