5 a.m. Light breakfast: Plain bagel with creamy peanut butter and a cup of coffee.
Why: “Foods rich in carbohydrate, such as a bagel, will help restore liver glycogen that was depleted overnight,” Austin says. “These are also low in residue, which will help minimize GI distress during competition.” If your body can tolerate coffee, Austin says caffeine “can help increase the amount of work you can perform and sustain.”
6–6:50 a.m. Sip a sports drink.
Why: “Supplying carbohydrate to the body in the hour prior to competition can help maintain stable blood-glucose levels and has been shown to enhance performance,” Austin says.
7–8:30 a.m. For a sprint race lasting 1.5 hours, take in 30–60 grams of carbohydrate, ideally in liquid form on the bike. Aim for 20–24 ounces of liquid with 1500mg of sodium per 6–8 ounces.
Why: For a race longer than 60 minutes, carbohydrates help performance by delaying muscle glycogen depletion, Austin says.