What should I eat and Drink the Day before a long run?
Nutrition and hydration are critical to your performance and comfort! One of the most important periods to make sure you are adequately prepared is in the days preceding the race. The two days before your run should include sufficient carbohydrates which should stem from your dark green veggies and complex carbohydrates such as spinach and multigrain breads. Essential fats are important as well such as unsaturated fats or polyunsaturated fats. Examples of these are avocados, nuts and eggs. You also need to make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and non-alcoholic fluids. Not only will alcohol dehydrate you, but it can effect your quality of sleep. To be adequately hydrated you should be drinking 37mls of water for every kilo you weigh. This is if you are not exercising!
The other thing to do is to make sure you hydrate before the race. The ideal amount would be between 500-750mls of water. This should be consumed about an hour before the race. Then drink another couple of mouthfuls 10 minutes before you start.
Why is it important to get sufficient protein after your workout? After a run you have increased amino acid turnover in your muscle fibres. Your cells want to increase protein synthesis to repair and build the muscles fibres that have been active during your run. However the cells can’t build and repair the muscle fibres from nothing. This is why it is important to supplement protein following a run. The ideal time frame for protein synthesis is up to 20 minutes following a workout, which means there is an ideal window for muscle growth and repair. Within this 20 minute window the muscle cells will only absorb a maximum of 20 grams of protein so ensure that your shake or meal contains at least this amount of protein.
What’s all this about electrolytes? </p?
When people refer to electrolytes they are talking about essential ions that cells require to work. These ions include sodium (Na), potassium (k) and Magnesium (Mg). Most people are aware of sodium and potassium and that these ions are lost through sweat during a run. It is important to supplement these post run because these are the essential ions required to move nutrients in and out of our cells, as well as conduct nerve transmission. But have you ever wondered why after a long run or workout you get spastic or tight muscles? This is due to depleted magnesium, which is an essential ion that allows the muscle to relax after a contraction. Ideally you should take 300-400mg/day depending on your age and sex.
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