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What to Eat Before a Mud Run: Top Ten Pre-Race Meals

By Mud Runs (573 words)
Posted in Mud Run Tips on August 20, 2012

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A mud run is a fun, challenging, and sometimes grueling military, obstacle- style race. The duration of the run varies. Whether it is 5K, 10K, or a marathon course it’s something an athlete trains for. In order to obtain optimum results one must also prepare for the race nutritionally. Food is the body’s fuel and when participating in such a demanding sport what is eaten, and when, is vitally important.

Like training, it is imperative that an athlete knows his/her nutritional requirements long before race day. While preparing for the event they should practice scheduling and eating the meals that will be consumed on the day of the event. By doing this, participants will know what makes them feel good and what supplies the most energy.

Most trainers and nutritionists agree that there are two main factors for race like a mud run: carbohydrates and hydration. Carbohydrates are the main source of fuel for muscles. The carbohydrates are stored within the muscles as glycogen. It can take several days for glycogen reserves to reach an ideal level, so what is eaten prior to race day is important, too. Staying hydrated is also vital. Participants should drink plenty of water prior to the race and should take advantage of the water that is offered during the event. Without proper nutrition and fluid intake an athlete will end up burning muscle as fuel and will not perform to their highest potential. It will also take longer to recuperate after the run.

On race day, what foods should be consumed and when? Easily digested carbohydrates are the best choice; these include fruit, pasta, bread, energy shakes and bars. Again, it is best to test these suggestions long before race day to see how the body responds. Everyone’s body is different and what is perfect for one may be detrimental for another. In general, on race day, meals should be consumed according to how many hours until start time. Ideally, a participant will have a meal four hours prior to competition that should include a combination of items such as fruit, bagels, potatoes, energy bars, cereal with milk, or toast with a lean protein. As it gets closer to race time, only the the most quickly digested choices, such as fruit, energy gels and sports drinks are suggested.

If the mud run is a daylong race, preparing for meals and snacks that will be consumed during the event is important as well. Tournaments are especially vital for advance planning. Making certain that all meals and snacks are well thought out, timed to maximize not just strength but time during the event, is essential. Again, race day is not a day for experimentation. Make sure that meals and snacks will provide energy and work well with the athlete’s system by only eating foods that have been tried and tested prior to the race.

With proper nutrition and hydration a mud runner will be able to enjoy peak performance. Race day will be demanding, but with the body fueled, watered, primed and ready to go it should be exciting, and fun, too! Proper nutrition before and during the race will supply the fuel to have the best run yet!

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