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What to Eat & Drink before a Race

Learn what to eat and drink before a race from sprinting coach Shane Paul Neil in this Howcast video.


Hi. My name is Shane Paul Neil from City Coach Multisport and I'll be discussing what to eat and drink before a sprint.

The overall answer to this question is it varies depending on the athlete, depending on the sprint, depending on the time of day. What you do want to make sure of is that you are A, fully hydrated and B, have enough calories in you to sustain yourself through the day. Outside of that, how much you can and can't eat will vary on what your stomach can withstand. Some folks can deal with heavier foods like bagels, eggs and other forms.

With those who have a more sensitive stomach, they may be down to simply to a sports shake or some lighter form of food just to make sure that they have something in them. Overall, it's going to be a matter of trial and error that you want to experiment with during the course of your training. Once you find what works for you, my best advice to you is do not deviate. Keep in mind some foods process faster than others, so your heavier fare may take a little longer to get through your digestive system and for you actually to draw any caloric intake from it.

So that bagel or steak and eggs five minutes before the race is probably not the best idea. For myself, I generally eat one or two small breakfasts before I even leave for the meet, and then maybe an energy bar, some peanuts, some seeds or something through the course of the day. Just make sure that it's light enough that I can get some calories from it but it's not sitting so heavy on my stomach to cause discomfort. Also keep in mind not to overhydrate because too much food in your stomach can cause the same result.

And that's the answer to what to eat and drink before a sprint.

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