Get Race Ready with SOBEYS

Get Race Ready with Sobeys – This Week: The Importance of Good Nutrition

Race day is around the corner! Whether you are running for fun or striving for a personal best, nutrition is an important part of your training. Let’s take a closer look at what foods will help you fuel up for the big event.

Boost your energy with by eating well in the weeks leading up to the event. Follow these simple suggestions to make the most out of your meals:

  • Use Canada’s Food Guide to balance your meals. You can find a copy at https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/.
  • Fill ½ your plate with vegetables and fruit. Fresh, frozen and canned are all good choices.
  • Choose whole grains. Try something new like quinoa or brown rice or stick to the familiar with oats, 100% whole grain bread or barley.
  • Plan meals to include a variety of proteins. Have fish, such as salmon, haddock or canned tuna. Try plant proteins such as beans, tofu, nut butter and seeds. Include lean meats and poultry, as well as eggs and lower fat dairy products.
  • Have snacks that include 1 or 2 healthy foods. Put snacks on your grocery list so you always have healthy choices on hand.
  • Eat meals at regular times throughout the day.
  • Limit foods that are higher in saturated fat, sugar or salt, such as sweets, chips and fast food.

On the day of your event, your pre-race meal will give you the fuel you need to run your best. Eat smaller amounts of food closer to the start of the race. If you want a hearty breakfast, make sure it is at least 4 hours before the race. Smaller meals or snacks take less time to digest. Plan what you eat based on how much time there is before your event.

  • Fruit and crackers
  • Applesauce and dry cereal
  • Dried fruit and yogurt
  • Fruit and cereal bar
  • Muffin and milk
  • Toast with nut butter

You may have heard the term “carb loading” and wondered whether it’s something you need to think about before your run. Endurance athletes (half marathon or triathalon) often eat more carbohydrates in the days before a race to build up the energy stores in their muscles. These energy stores, called glycogen, help athletes get through an event with less fatigue. But carb loading isn’t necessary before a 5 kilometre run. Instead, focus on eating healthy every day and choosing the right pre-race meal on the day of your event.

Hungry for more? Sobeys Dietitians are available at select locations in Ontario and have a world of healthy ideas to help you eat better, feel better and do better.  Like Sobeys Dietitians on Facebook and follow @sobeysdietitian on Twitter for tasty recipes and helpful nutrition tips!

Find the Sobeys location nearest you by clicking here.

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Get Race Ready with Sobeys – This Week: The Importance of Staying Hydrated

With race day getting closer, you may be using this time to train for the upcoming 5K Fun Run. Make staying hydrated part of your training routine. Proper hydration improves your performance and is important for overall health.

Most people need 2 to 3 litres of fluid a day to stay hydrated, and to keep the body working properly. Fluids can come from what you eat, but it is mostly from what you drink.

Sweating is your body’s natural way to cool down when your internal body temperature is rising. Fluid lost from sweat during exercise needs to be replaced to stay hydrated. Water is an effective and calorie free way to quench your thirst.

Canada’s Food Guide recommends making water your drink of choice. Other healthy drink choices that can hydrate are milk or unsweetened fortified plant-based beverages, such as soy or almond beverage. The best fluids for race day are ones that you included in your training.

Adding some flavor to your water can help make it more appealing and help keep your taste buds from losing interest.

  • Add fresh fruit, vegetables or herbs to your water. Cucumber, basil, mint, watermelon or berries can do the trick.
  • Slice some citrus fruit (lemon, lime, orange) to give your water a fresh zesty taste.
  • Add frozen berries or fruit pieces to add flavour and keep water cold.

Water is the best choice for staying hydrated before and after exercise. However, the recommendations for what to drink during exercise depend on how you are training.

  • If you are training for 45 minutes or less, water is usually your best choice.
  • If you are training for more than 45 minutes, you sweat a lot OR if you are training in hot and humid conditions, than sports drinks are recommended during activity.

In addition to providing fluid for hydration, sports drinks also provide sodium and potassium, two minerals that are lost when you sweat. Normally, sodium and potassium comes from foods in your diet, but you can’t replace these minerals lost in sweat quickly if you drink only water for rehydration in these scenarios.

So is there any harm in consuming sports drinks when water would be enough? It’s best to choose a sport drink only when you need it and go for water otherwise. Why? In addition to sodium and potassium, sports drinks may contain sugar and calories that aren’t needed in less intense activity.

Excessive sweating and inadequate fluid intake can result in dehydration.

Symptoms of dehydration include:

  • dizziness, confusion
  • excessive thirst
  • dry mouth or tongue
  • fainting
  • decreased urination
  • dark or bright yellow urine
  • weakness

Seek immediate medical attention to treat dehydration is you have any of these symptoms.

Hungry for more? Sobeys Dietitians are available at select locations in Ontario and have a world of healthy ideas to help you eat better, feel better and do better.  Like Sobeys Dietitians on Facebook and follow @sobeysdietitian on Twitter for tasty recipes and helpful nutrition tips!

Find the Sobeys location nearest you by clicking here.

Sobeys Dietitian – Colleen Miller MHSc, RD, CDE