How to prepare for race day: Chris Eldridge’s 9 nutrition tips for runners

By Cure Cancer Team | 22 September 2023

Accredited dietitian Chris Eldridge shares his expert nutrition tips for runners taking on the Bridge to Brisbane on Sunday, 15 October. 

Cure Cancer ambassador Chris Eldridge wears a white Cure Cancer tank. He has his arm around his dog.

Chris Eldridge is a Brisbane-based accredited dietitian specialising in sports nutrition. Source: Supplied

Meet Chris Eldridge, Cure Cancer’s new Ambassador for Bridge to Brisbane

Chris is an accredited dietitian and your go-to expert in sports nutrition. He’s dedicated over 7 years to teaming up with athletes of diverse backgrounds, from beginners taking their first steps in sports to seasoned pros pushing the limits. 

While Chris loves all things sports, his real passion lies in helping people reach their health and fitness goals - and making a real difference. His experience of seeing his family and friends go through cancer has led him to fundraising for Cure Cancer and running in support of bright new ideas in cancer research at the upcoming Bridge to Brisbane fun run. 

Chris Eldridge wears a red Cure Cancer tank.

Source: Supplied

“Funding and researching ways to help find pathways to cure cancer have always been a passion of mine, after personally having near experiences and having family and friends undertaking many treatments. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough funding in the research area, nor can everyone afford treatment.”
- Chris Eldridge, Accredited Dietitian

Here are Chris Eldridge's 9 nutrition tips for race day: 

1. Hydrate, but don't overdo it

Start hydrating well in advance of the race. Aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day before the race, but don't overdo it right before to prevent feeling too full and frequent restroom breaks.

2. Carbohydrate loading

Consume a carbohydrate-rich meal the night before the race. This can help maximise your glycogen stores for energy. 

3. Balanced breakfast

On race day, have a balanced breakfast that includes carbohydrates, protein, and a little healthy fat. Oatmeal with banana and a sprinkle of nuts is a good choice. 

4. Avoid high-fibre foods

Steer clear of high-fiber foods right before the race, as they can lead to digestive discomfort. Opt for easily digestible options instead. 

5. Light snack

About 1-2 hours before the race, have a light snack like a banana, energy bar, or a small serving of sports drink to top up your energy levels. 

6. Caffeine consideration

If you're used to caffeine, a small amount before the race may enhance your performance. Just don't overdo it as it can lead to jitters. 

7. Stay relaxed

Manage pre-race nerves with relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation. Stress can affect your digestion and overall performance. 

8. Know your body

Stick to foods and routines you're familiar with. Avoid trying new foods or supplements on race day to prevent unexpected digestive issues. 

9. Timing is key

Plan your meals and snacks so that you have enough time to digest them before the race starts. Everyone's digestion time varies, so experiment with this when you're training. Remember that nutrition is highly individual, so it's essential to test what works best for you during your training runs in the lead up to the race. Consult with a sports nutritionist or dietitian for personalised advice if needed.

Ready to put Chris' nutrition tips to the test in your next race while making an impact? Join one of our fitness events and fundraise for vital cancer research today!