Race day nutrition | 80/20 Endurance

Race day nutrition

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    Marius T

    Hi all,

    Race day is coming fast for me (4 weeks to go) and I need some help/advice from you.

    I do not tolerate well gels or super sweet things (stomach acidity), so for the race day I tend to prefer whole food options.

    Till now, I tried on long bike sessions: bananas, panini with cream cheese and a piece of grape. For liquids – water and electrolytes (magnesium, potassium).

    Is here someone who tried whole food/not so sweet nutrition on race day?

    I’m looking after some options that are easy to carry on the bike and easy to make/buy while I will be abroad, on the race venue.

    Thank you for your help,


    Hi Marius,

    I tried quite some stuff but eventually saw the best results with gels (Hammer Gels are quite good if you have stomach issues).
    Anyhow, here is what it tried, mostly with satisfying results:
    – bred with high quality nut butter and mashed banana
    – raisins
    – bananas, but not too ripe
    – home made energy bars (banana, egg white, oats, honey).
    – rice cake made from brown rice (rice, cream cheese, honey… but brown sugar works better)
    – I had good experience with some bars like RX bars LARA Bars.
    – I tried adding fresh pressed lemon juice and Himalaya Salt to my water. My personal feeling is that I didn’t get all the electrolytes that I needed though. I currently use “liquid IV” on longer rides. That works well for me.

    Does that help?


    Matt Fitzgerald

    Great answer, Winoria. Thanks!

    Marius T

    Hi Winoria,

    Thank you for your extensive answer, it helps me a lot.

    Hammer Gels looks good with only 2 grams of sugar per gel but, unfortunately, in my part of the world, they are not easily accessible.

    Next ride I will try the bred with high nut butter and mashed banana.\

    Rice cakes work well for me also, but is complicated to make them when you travel for the race, especially in other country.

    Thank you again for your help,


    You didn’t say what your race distance/length is but for long events (marathons and ultramarathons and up), my go to is Overnight Oats. You can make them as sweet or non-sweet as you like. The oats are good “slow” carbs and I like the taste.

    1/2 cup of oats
    1/2 cup of milk
    + whatever mixings you like. I like a random mix of almond butter, raisins (or prunes), sliced banana, cinnamon, honey, a pinch of salt or potassium powder, sometimes a partial scoop of protein powder, etc. Whatever I have on hand or in the mood for.

    As for Gels, a long time ago Matt suggested (somewhere, in a book or a blog) Accel Gels that have a mix of protein+carbs. These work very well for me.


    I also do oats as pre-race food, usually with cottage cheese and berries. But I think Marius is looking for food he can carry on the bike.

    IDK from what part of the world you are – your name makes me assume Germany or maybe Austria – but maybe you can get “Boom Gels” where you live? That’s another great option.

    In general, dried fruits can work well, like dried apricots or figs, etc.
    Don’t eat dried plums though….trust me.


    Marius T

    Thanks again for your help, lot of good options.

    Indeed, I’m in Europe, and some brands are harder to get/take too much time for deliver.

    Also, I tend to favor nutrition that is minimally processed although I know that special made gels/bars will get me better results/performance.

    Brian, sorry, I forgot to mention, is for a full ironman race.

    “Don’t eat dried plums though….trust me.”
    Winoria … thanks :))))


    Ha ha, I know that’s the general reputation for prunes (dried plums) but I myself have never had any issue. I’m not sure why they’d be any worse than raisins if you think about it, at least they haven’t been for me.


    I’m one of those fortunate people that can pretty much eat anything without issue.

    That being said, my two go to solid food items are Bonk Breaker bars (I prefer peanut butter and jelly and there’s a higher protein option as well) as well as fig newtons.

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