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Travel Nutrition Tips for Athletes

 

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As summer rolls around your race season is probably heating up. There’s a good chance you will need an extended stay or at least a weekend trip to compete in your next big event. Here are some of my top travel nutrition tips for athletes.

 

In terms of healthy eating and performing your best on race day, a little planning goes a long way.

 

Start Packing Early

Buy and pack all race day nutrition needs well in advance. Don’t wait until the night before, trust me, you WILL forget something.  If you procrastinate (you know who you are) start 1-2 weeks before your event.

This includes solid foods plus any gels, sports drinks, energy bars, or powders you might need on race day. There is nothing that will shake your confidence like realizing the night before your event that you didn’t pack race day fuel.

 

Stay Hydrated

If you are traveling out west or by air, drink a little more fluid throughout the course of your day. Lower humidity associated with the western U.S. and the altitude of air travel require an extra 1-2 cups of liquid per day. Remember, we discussed hydration in a previous post. You can read that article here.

 

Get To the Grocery Store

When you arrive at your destination, have your list ready and head to the nearest grocery store ASAP. Eating in during race week is good for your budget and your waistline! You want to get to the race start feeling light and ready NOT fat and out of shape.

Cooking your own food also decreases the risk of eating something that could make you sick, ruining your race. Also, think about drinking bottled water instead of tap. This is especially TRUE if you are traveling abroad.

 

Research your accommodations

If you are staying in a hotel some questions when making your reservations are:

  • Does the room have a refrigerator and/or microwave?
  • Is breakfast included in the room rate and what foods are typically served?
  • Are there restaurants nearby that you like?
  • How close is the hotel to the race start? This could alter meal timing.
  • If your room doesn’t come with a fridge, can the hotel store your food in their refrigerator?

 

If you stay in a condo, here are some questions to ask:

  • What kitchen appliances and cookware are provided?
  • Does the condo have staples like seasonings or sweeteners?

Carry healthy snacks everywhereDSC_0722

Don’t let a busy travel day or a trip to packet pick-up leave you glycogen depleted! Pack trail mix, pretzels, fruit, and individual packets of peanut butter. Try the travel size zip-lock snack bags, they are awesome!


Eating out

If you are going to eat out, search for restaurants online. Websites like www.healthydiningfinder.com  or www.calorieking.com  may be helpful.

If possible, make dinner reservations in advance to avoid unnecessary stress. When eating out the night before a big event, look for eateries that have foods similar to your typical pre-race meal. Use the KISS principle: Keep It Super Simple!

 

Now it’s Your Turn

These are some of my favorite travel nutrition tips for athletes. Join in the conversation by leaving some of your best travel nutrition advice.

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Get My FREE Cheat Sheet

Learn the exact steps I used to become a 9x Ironman finisher, ultramarathoner, and Boston Qualifier. Take the guesswork out of race-day nutrition.

it's free
100% privacy guaranteed, no messin' around