Photo by Nicole Fara Silver

Many distance runners prep for races by binging on pasta, bagels, and other starchy carbs to boost glycogen — the stored form of glucose our bodies break down to fuel extended bouts of physical activity. But is this really the best approach to lasting stamina, energy, and endurance? Only if the activity you’re gearing up for exceeds 90 minutes, experts say. Plus, it’s not just what you eat the night before a race that counts. Distance runners (and hikers, too, it turns out) benefit from upping carb intake three days prior to an event.

The Takeaway: Endurance athletes should take in four grams of carbs for every pound of their body weight up to three days before a race.

Do It Today: Stick to low-GI carbs like sweet potatoes and yams when prepping for a long race to avoid stamina-killing blood sugar spikes.

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