View Full Version : Eating On Race Day

December 2nd, 2007, 10:42 PM
My first meet in many years is fast approaching and I would like some advice on what to eat the day of the race. More particularly: What is a good breakfast menu that provides energy and will not weigh me down? I imagine that steak and eggs with a bloody mary may be a mistake, while cereal alone may not be enough. What are good foods and drinks to take to the meet and use for lunch or snacks? How often or when do you eat at the meet (e.g., after events, no later than one hour before next event)? Also, advice on what to eat the day before would be great.

December 2nd, 2007, 11:17 PM
I rather suspect it's how long your races are, how many races you intend to swim and what time of day they are. I pretty much only swim long distance stuff (like postal swims). For that I tend to consume Accelerade or other carb/protein supplement for a few days before the swim. If the swim is longer than about 3000 yds I will also suck down a GU gel or something similar and maybe a splash of water every 2000 yds or so.

Your pre-meet day meals might include something like Accelerade, but assuming your races are much shorter than postal swims and are therefore not likely to deplete your muscle glycogen, then something light for breakfast (cereal, banana) would seem sufficient to me unless you have a very early morning race. I'd stick with light stuff during the day as well, maybe a Clif Bar or other carb/protein bar. Something that's got a little more appetite satisfaction in it than a GU, but still not too heavy.

Skip Montanaro

December 3rd, 2007, 12:01 AM
Skip has already given you some good advice and I am sure you are going to get lots more. Here's one bit of advice someone gave me that I can pass on to you: don't try something new on race day. Your stomach could react badly to it and you could get cramps or worse. My advice would be to eat lightly and as frequently as you need. I just competed recently for the first time in 24 years and I had a light, egg pancake and a chocolate milk for breakfast on race day. That was all I could stomach because I was so nervous. To be honest, I didn't want to eat anything and only did so because I knew I would need the energy I would get from it.


December 3rd, 2007, 02:45 PM
In addition to what's mentioned above, you might think about eating more complex carbs 2 or 3 days before the meet, just to make sure your glycogen is as full as it can be.

The day of the meet, just graze on food as you're hungry and keep it light. I'd probably concentrate more on drinking enough water before and on the day of the meet. Water is one thing many athletes (myself in particular) seem to overlook, but lack of it can affect your performance. Good luck.

Blackbeard's Peg
December 4th, 2007, 12:27 AM
don't try something new on race day.

AMEN... eat something you've eaten 100 times before w/o incident.

some things I enjoy eating on a swim meet morning:
a good western omelette, esp if i am away from home and there are a few extra hours till race time
blueberry muffins (esp if mom baked them for me!)
plain dry cereal (honey nut cheerios, honey bunches of oats, raisin bran)
bagel w/ butter
quaker makes a lot of oatmeal-based breakfast bars, cookies, etc., that i like these days
i do love OJ with my breakfast, but be careful with this - the acidity is known to cause adverse reaction in large quantities or with close proximity to vigorous physical activity

as for food during the meet, power bars (or like product) work well; afformentioned blueberry muffins and quaker things, and the Muppet Mid-Meet Snack of Champions: PB&J!!!

December 4th, 2007, 11:40 AM
Have some protein on the day of your meet. Nothing too heavy...like pancakes and syrup. (Lots of food and adrenalin can make you feel queasy).
Some scrambled eggs should stave off hunger pangs...and give you a longer lasting source of energy.

In between events...if you have enough time for a snack...a few bites here and there will get some glycogen back into your muscles.
I'm a big fan of Rice Krispie treats. Light on the stomach...and loaded with sugar. And yes water.

You can eat like crazy when the meet is over.