If you’re thinking of entering this year’s URBANATHLON®, you have to make sure you’re in shape. If you still have some tuning up to do make sure you check out these exercises to prepare yourself for the race –> Top 6 Exercises to Train for the URBANATHLON®. But training is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to running an intense obstacle race like this. You need to make sure you are fueling your body properly if you want to successfully complete this race. Use these high-performance nutrition tips to dominate the 2015 Men’s Health URBANATHLON®!
The Day Before
Believe it or not, you should start planning your nutrition the day before the race. Take some time now to really pay attention to how your body feels after eating certain foods. We all have particular foods that make us feel bloated, gassy or tired and lethargic. If a food makes you feel this way, you may actually have a minor food intolerance. Although not serious, sometimes eating foods that we are mildly intolerant to can have a halo affect that makes us not feel at our best for a few days after eating. You don’t want to eat anything that could impact your performance for the URBANATHLON® – save the big junk food meal for a celebratory post-race meal!
You also want to ensure that you don’t eat any foods that you are not familiar with that could cause an allergic reaction and don’t consume any raw or uncooked food, like sushi, to limit your risk of food poisoning. Now is not the time to explore, stick to what you know and save the food experimentation for after the race!
Before the race starts, you need to set yourself up for success. All the training is in the books, so there’s nothing else you can do to prepare now except to eat! If you want to perform like a high-performance machine, you need the right fuel! Eat a meal packed with healthy carbs and protein about 1 to 2 hours before the big race, just make sure you give yourself enough time to fully digest, but not so much time that you are hungry when the race starts.
Make sure to eat a lean source of protein before your race – like white fish, turkey or chicken – to provide your body with the amino acids it needs to support your lean muscle tissue. Stay away from red meats at this time, which take much longer to fully digest in the body.
Carbs are the most important nutrient to consider for your race. You need to have carbs in your pre-workout meal to provide your muscles with fuel for the race. Your body breaks down carbohydrates and stores them as glycogen in your muscle cells. As you put your body through hard work, your muscle cells use this stored glycogen as fuel. Therefore, you want to make sure your muscles are fueled up and ready to go for the big race. But that doesn’t mean you should load up on sugar or processed carbs that will give you a big energy crash. Stick to healthy, fiber-rich carbs like quinoa, brown rice and sweet potatoes for your carb choice.
A big part of building and maintaining a lean physique is managing the amount of total calories and macronutrients (protein, fat and carbs) you consume. Many people fail to realize how many grams of sugar and calories they are putting into their body through liquids. Consistently drinking fruit juices, soda and dairy products will quickly add unwanted pounds to your physique. The only significant amount of calories you should be consuming in terms of liquids should be protein shakes, like Six Star® Whey Isolate Plus, that are low in carbs and fats but very high in protein. Other than protein shakes, stick to water as well as coffee and tea – with no added milk or sugar, of course.