When the day comes – what should I eat pre-event?


Many people across Melbourne will gather tomorrow morning for the annual Herald Sun | CityLink RUN for the KIDS. Just like a car needs fuel to run, an oil change from time to time, and enough water to operate, your body also needs adequate hydration and optimal fuel (glycogen / carbohydrate) stores pre- and during event to optimise performance and delay fatigue. Participants: make sure you wake up early enough to have a good, nourishing breakfast that won’t cause stomach upset (this is not the time to experiment with new foods in case it leaves you with gastrointestinal discomfort). Also, ensure that you ‘top up’ carbohydrate stores 30 – 60 minutes prior to the event. Carbs = body’s preferred fuel source. Have a look at the following guide to pre-event nutrition adapted from the Australian Institute of Sport for helpful hints (note that individual tolerances may vary and this is not an exhaustive sample):

Time Before Exercise Suggested Food Choices
3-4 hours crumpets with jam or honey + flavoured milk
baked potato + cottage cheese filling + glass of milk
baked beans on toast
breakfast cereal with milk
bread roll with cheese/meat filling + banana
fruit salad with fruit-flavoured yoghurt
pasta or rice with a sauce based on low-fat ingredients (e.g. tomato, vegetables, lean meat)
1-2 hours liquid meal supplement
milk shake or fruit smoothie
sports bars (check labels for carbohydrate and protein content)
breakfast cereal with milk
cereal bars
fruit-flavoured yoghurt
Less than 1 hour* sports drink
carbohydrate gel
sports bars
jelly lollies

Source: Australian Institute of Sport 2009,ย Nutritional preparation for tournaments and multiple heat competitions,ย Australian Sports Commission

Have fun!


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