XTERRA Certified Coach Alexandra Borrelly is the co-founder of Organicoach, and a pharmacist who specializes in sports nutrition plans for athletes of all levels.
Here are her Top 3 Tips for race week nutrition to maximize your health and performance in a sustainable way:
Tip #1 - Focus on Quality
Find local, organic produce that is grown without the use of pesticides.
“Quality carbohydrates and proteins are essential for your body to refuel, while organic fruits and vegetables are rich in minerals and vitamins to help your body maintain a good acid-base balance,” explains Borrelly. “Together, these nutrients are essential for recovery and injury prevention.”
Tip #2 - What to Eat on Race Week
On race week, keep it simple and be consistent.
“For example, don’t change your nutrition a few days before a race. It’s too late, and your stomach can get confused and cause trouble for you,” says Borrelly, who advises eating carbohydrates with every meal in normal quantities, so as not to reduce glycogen stocks.
“I prefer gluten free carbs and proteins such as fish, eggs, chicken, turkey, and vegetables to keep my intestines nice and quiet,” she explains.
Borrelly consumes the same quantity of veggies and fruits on race week, just less pepper, onions, spinach, cabbage, oranges, and other acidic fruits to avoid increasing the amount of work for her intestines.
Other staples in her race week nutrition plan include adding good vegetable oils and omega3 foods (but not fried or cooked), and maintaining excellent hydration – especially during training.
As for specific pre-race meals, “Stay with the whole classic meal, not only just pasta the night before the race,” exclaims Borrelly. “After the race, don’t feel guilty if you order a burger or pizza, you deserve it, but it’s better to have veggies, salad, and baked potatoes on the side. That’s what I call quality junk food!”
Tip #3 - Act Sustainably
Support your local organic producers, and ride your bike to the markets!
“In the south of France we are lucky to have a lot of sunshine perfect for the veggies, and many local producers. People realize the importance of taking very good care of your nutrition, and more and more shops around the world now offer organic produce, so find these places in your community,” said Borrelly.
She also says don’t be too picky.
“When you’re choosing your fruits and veggies, the nicest looking ones are not always the best. Sometimes, for example, the little distorted carrots can give you the best taste in the world!”
And her final request, “Walk or take your bike to shop, that can be part of your training, to carry a big watermelon and bag of potatoes. A heavy basket of goodness for your training provides marvelous motivation, and will keep you healthy and strong.”
Learn more about Alexandra and connect with her at xterraplanet.com/coaches