Diet & Fueling in Taper Time


“Can’t say enough about EFS-PRO! Multiple CHO sources, huge electrolyte blend, BCAAs, Suntheanine, and PharmaGABA all in one. And somehow, they managed to make it taste great. This is my go-to for long hot racing and training.”
Matt Hanson, EdD

Two days before a race, I might add a bit more salt to my food. If it is going to be a hot race, I’ll be drinking EFS-PRO mixed at ½ strength rather than just water. (And definitely do this the day before the race and morning of, regardless of race temp!) I keep my breakfast and lunch pretty normal the day before the race as well.

The night before the race, I always have Chicken, white rice, and broccoli. I want to reduce the fiber starting the night before the race and make sure I have foods I am comfortable with and can get wherever I am racing. I’ll drink a little more fluids the day before a race, but not so much that it keeps me up all night making trips to the toilet!


Race morning, I typically have one serving of Ultragen, a cup of coffee, some oatmeal/grits, and some applesauce. My breakfast is just meant to replenish the calories that I burnt overnight so I can start the race with a full tank. I like to feel like I am a little hungry at the start of the race, but know that I have full tanks. That gives me confidence that I won’t have GI issues during the race which can quickly derail your day. I’ll sip on EFS-PRO throughout the morning as I’m getting my transition area set up, then take a Liquid Shot about 5 minutes before the swim start.


I’ve continually tinkered with this process to find what best works for me. That is always my biggest piece of advice when the athletes I coach ask about race week nutrition. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so you need to practice this. Your last few long workouts leading into the race are a great time for this!

It is also a wise move to plan ahead and know where/what you are going to eat before you travel. There isn’t much worse than being fully “hangry” when traveling and settling for whatever is convenient because you didn’t plan ahead!

Finally, make sure you follow the “nothing new on race week” with your food as well. Race week isn’t the time to be adventurous. Stick with what you know your stomach can handle and will sit well!

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