8 Best Foods to Eat On Race Day

by Claudia Tan
FOOD  |  June 04, 2019
  • What you eat on race day could make or break your race timing. Here are the best foods you should eat on race day to run faster.
    1 / 9 What you eat on race day could make or break your race timing. Here are the best foods you should eat on race day to run faster.

    Deciding what to eat on race day can be a real dilemma. Fasting may leave you feeling weak and hungry while overeating can lead to side stitches or other gastrointestinal issues. That’s why it’s important to fuel up with the right foods that can take you through the race.

    Have a low-fat, low-fibre and high-carbohydrate snack or meal at least one hour before the race. Trust us, you need that energy to keep you going. It’s also advisable to test out how close to your run you can afford to eat. Some individuals may suffer from issues like nervous diarrhoea so it’s best to try out what works and what doesn’t during your training phase. This helps you choose the right foods to ace the race. Here are eight safest bets on race day.

    Have you signed up for Shape Run 2019? Visit www.run.shape.com.sg/2019 to register and join us as #WeRunTheWorld.

    (Also read: These 11 Instagrammers Will Make You Crave For Real, Healthy Food)

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  • Energy bar
    2 / 9 Energy bar

    Many of such bars are meant to be eaten right before your workout. They are jam-packed with carbs and low in fibre, fat and protein. Check the nutrition labels to look out for nutritious ingredients like vitamin C and E as well. Steer clear of low-carb energy bars – you’ll need those carbs to fuel you through the race.

    (Also read: Easy Recipe for Healthy & Wholesome Energy Bars)

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  • White bread
    3 / 9 White bread

    We are often told to opt for wholegrain, unprocessed foods but it’s best not to do so before your race. While not as nutritious, processed white bread makes a better pre-race food as it can be digested more easily. Plus, white bread is what many of us typically eat on a regular basis, so it is a safe breakfast option on race day. The bread will also give you the carbs and energy to kick-start your race. Top it up with a thin layer of your favourite spread for a flavour kick.

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  • Banana
    4 / 9 Banana

    This is a popular fruit among athletes as it is easy to digest and provides you up to 31g of carbohydrates in one serving. Banana is also jam-packed with potassium and magnesium – important electrolytes your body requires to carry you through the race.

    (Also read: 3 Things You Didn’t Know About Bananas)


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  • Protein shake or smoothie
    5 / 9 Protein shake or smoothie

    Too nervous to keep any food down? Fret not, it’s absolutely normal to suffer from pre-race jitters. But it is important not to start your race on an empty stomach – you don’t want to feel faint and end up not completing your race. Go for a liquid meal replacement like a protein shake or smoothie that will give you an energy and hydration boost. Remember to keep it high-carb, low-fat and low-fibre.

    (Also read: 10 Pre-Race Day Tips To Get A Better Race Timing)

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  • Chee cheong fun
    6 / 9 Chee cheong fun

    Yes, you don’t have to give up your local delights on race day. Chee cheong fun makes a great breakfast option as it is a healthier alternative to other local breakfast foods like fried carrot cake. The carbohydrate-based dish is sure to fill you up for the race. To make it even healthier,  switch out the sweet sauce for some light soya sauce.


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  • Low-fat yogurt
    7 / 9 Low-fat yogurt

    If you’re pressed for time and cannot give yourself two to four hours to digest your breakfast, have some yogurt as a pre-run snack. Its high carb and water content gives you just the right amount of energy without being too filling.

    (Also read: Taste Test: Best Store-Bought Yogurt in Singapore)

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  • Oatmeal
    8 / 9 Oatmeal

    For those who require filling up your bellies before the race, oatmeal is a great option. It is high in carbs, but also light and easily digestible. Plus, oats are super easy to prepare so you don’t have to fuss over breakfast in the morning. To make your oats even more wholesome and tasty, jazz things up with a dash of cinnamon or fruits.

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  • Water
    9 / 9 Water

    This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to drink sufficient water on race day so that you can start the race well hydrated. Dr Ben Tan, author of Run For Your Life!: the Complete Marathon Guide, recommends that you drink 400 to 700ml of water two to four hours before your race. This gives you sufficient time to urinate excess fluid. Then aim to drink another 300 to 600ml of fluid within 15 minutes before the start of the race.

    (Also read: Is It OK To Drink The Old Water In Your Water Bottle?)

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