CBD West Medical would like to send a good luck message to those competing in the fortieth Chevron City to Surf for Activ. You might wish to read our article about choosing a pre-event meal.

Below are some ideas for what to eat and drink to stay healthy before the race. 

The Pre-Event Meal

The pre-event meal plays an important part in achieving your goal and being well- fuelled can improve performance. Experienced athletes will have adjusted the timing and type of foods they eat before events, and have a familiar routine.

Research on endurance event performance shows that eating a substantial amount of carbohydrate 2-4 hours before exercise and a lighter snack 1 hour before improves the results. The foods most suited are low-fat, low fibre and low to moderate protein, which are less likely to upset stomachs.

It has been suggested that low GI foods could be useful in the pre-event meal as their slower and more sustained release of glucose during exercise would be a benefit. Research has not yet confirmed this and many low GI foodstuffs such as lentils and porridge are difficult to tolerate on race day.

General suggestions for the heavier meal are:

  • cereal with low fat milk and tinned fruit
  • crumpets with jam or honey and a fruit smoothie
  • wholemeal toast with jam and a sports drink
  • low fat yoghurt with fruit salad
  • baked beans on toast

General suggestions for one hour before:

  • cereal/ muesli bar and banana
  • sports drink
  • vegemite sandwich and juice

Some people experience dizziness and shakiness when they eat carbohydrate immediately before exercise, this is thought to be due to an over correction in insulin in response  to the carbohydrate, causing a drop in blood glucose. If this has occurred before here are some ideas: 

  • experiment with timing of the meal 
  • eat a snack with at least 70 g carbohydrate, the larger amount is said to offset the drop in blood sugar
  • include a low GI food in the snack to reduce the insulin response
  • include a high intensity exercise in the warm-up
  • consume carbohydrate during the event

If you are too nervous to eat close to the event:

  • slowly eat a cereal or sports bar over the last 1-2 hours
  • try a liquid meal as an alternative

Don't forget the importance of hydration in preparation and during an event. Dehydration causes fatigue and reduces endurance significantly

Source: Australian Sports Commission (, Charles Sturt University (

The excitement, energy and atmosphere of participating with large numbers of competitors makes for a terrific experience. Enjoy.

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