I’ve been guilty of it, I used to eat a ton of carbs before a race in hopes to have energy galore but in return it just made me feel tired and sluggish. Not to mention all those carbs you loaded have got to come out sooner or later and inevitably it’s during your race. So make sure you have some wipes handy.
As I’ve moved into clean eating, learning to take care of my body and use food for fuel instead of taste, I’ve been particular when it comes to the carbo load. I talked to my nutritionist, Kelli about when a big race is coming up and what to eat. Her advice was to simply add in a sweet potato for dinner before the race.
When it comes to nutrient-dense carb sources, you don’t have to look much further than sweet potatoes. In fact, sweet potatoes are great for carb-loading and training fuel. They provide a vast array of antioxidants including beta-carotene that fight the free radical build-up in athletes, anti-inflammatory nutrients to keep you rolling, and whole-food carbohydrates that promote steady blood sugars and even-keeled energy. – Kelli Jennings
I always cross reference things people tell me so I decided to dig a little deeper and see if I could find out anything else about the magical power of a sweet potato.
In all seriousness, sweet potatoes have some decent slow-burning carbs in them that does a decent job of fueling you for the next day. So bake you up one and woof that thing down the night before or if you’re slowly loading carbs for the week.
If you’re like me, you’re on the go 24/7 and dont’ have time to bake a sweet potato so I actually buy the organic baby food rather than deal with the actual peeling, baking and tapping my fingers waiting for it to come out of the stove or microwave. There’s no need to nuke it, there’s no preservatives in it (at least I hope) and you can down it pretty quickly if in a pinch. I put these in my green smoothies sometimes or pop them in my recovery shake if I need the carbs.
Lastly, remember introducing foods foreign to your diet a few days before a race? Not smart. The last thing you want to do is have some bad reaction to a carbo load someone suggested (like me). Try this during training or the off season. Also, there’s no magic bullet so what works for me may not work for you.
But that’s why I’m on the podium and you’re not. At least that’s how I see it in my head!
Disclaimer: I’m not a nutritionist, I’m not a doctor and I’m sure as hell not a dietician – so you should not take anything in this post as gospel truth or fact. Do you’re own homework!