What should you eat and drink on race day?

What should you eat and drink on race day?

As the City of Edinburgh Running Festival event grows closer, athletes should start considering what they’ll be eating in the 24 hours before their race in the evening. Here’s some food for thought on what’s best to consume for energy.

Night Before

A light dinner is perfect the night before a big race. A small pasta dish with chicken and veg is an ideal option. If pasta isn’t your favourite then you can get your carb intake from brown rice. Other good food types to eat the night before include sweet and baked potatoes.



It’s important to involve carbs in all of your meals prior to a run and meals don’t come any more important than breakfast. Enjoy a bowel of porridge topped with a banana or blueberries or alternatively some wholegrain toast or a bagel with a glass of fruit juice. You must keep yourself hydrated in the run up to and on the day, but don’t make the mistake of drinking too much water or risk being too bloated before the race.


With the CERF races taking place in the early evening lunch is the last proper meal you’ll eat before your event. Firstly you should ensure this meal is eaten at least four hours before your race. The meal will take a while to digest so it’s important to give your body enough time to do that. An ideal lunch could be a baked potato with beans. Alternatively some small sandwiches could provide the carbs that you need.


In the run-up to the evening it’s important not to eat anything too large and avoid fatty foods. The likes of bananas, rice cakes and cereal bars would work as a light snack and should provide you with the energy you need for your race. As well as this electrolytes are important so it may be an idea to alternate your water intake with Gatorade in the run-up to the race. Another drink that can benefit your race preparation is blended beetroot. This drink can really help with boosting your V02 max which in turn can increase the amount of oxygen an athlete can utilise during exercise. It’s recommended to do this a couple of days before a race as opposed to a couple of hours before.