Here are some of the key steps to my nutritional balance and how I use nutrition to prepare, perform and recover.
The day before a race I usually fill up on carbohydrates such as pasta. Carbohydrates contain hydrogen and oxygen in the same ratios as water. I also drink up to 8 pints of water every day, not just the day before a race. Another thing you should make sure you consume is proteins such as chicken. Protein is an amino acid which supports the proper function and structure of tissues and organs, your muscles.
The day of my race I have a consistent routine I like to follow. I find that doing the same routine for every race helps your body to be prepared and not risk any surprises like stomach cramps by introducing something new right before a race. First I drink beet juice, beet juice helps improve your endurance and muscle performance during a race. I also make sure I eat a banana which is a great source of potassium, potassium helps with muscles because it is an electrolyte. Potassium will also help keep you hydrated, especially during the hot summer track season.
My other go to pre-race item is all natural honey, I usually take a spoonful of honey 30 minutes before my race, 10 minutes before and then again right before I go to the starting line. Honey is a great natural energy boost.
After I finish I need to replenish all of my water that I lost during my race. In addition to lots of water, I make sure I consume protein within 30 minutes of finishing. This helps my muscles to repair and recover from the hard work of racing. Just like a race car driver putting the best gasoline into his car, I need to put the best fuel into my body to get the most out it.