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Pre-Ride/Race Nutrition with Factory Yamaha's Jason Raines

Jason Raines

Fitness and Nutrition with 6 time AMA Hare Scramble Champion Jason Raines

Pre-Ride/Race Nutrition

One of the biggest questions off-roaders and motocrossers have is, “What do I eat the days before and the day of the race or ride and when’s the proper timing to eat these meals?”

The tips below are based on a race scenario but most of them are just as important for the trail riders as they are for the racers. You never know what can happen and being nutritionally prepared is just as important as being mechanically prepared!

It has taken many years to come up with the right diet. This system will help you be the strongest and most nutritionally prepared before every race or trail ride you line up for.


(Everybody's body is different and you never want to try something different the day of an event. Always test something new a few weeks prior to an event!)

Here are a few suggestions to help you be stronger from start to finish!

Days Leading Up to an Race or Ride:

DO NOT hammer water the day before the event! I see so many riders decide to get hydrated 1-2 days before the go ride, by that time it’s way too late and your body is just going to flush it out. You should start hydrating at the latest 5 days prior to an event. Drink moderate portions, your body can only absorb so much fluid (32 ounces) per hour so drinking too much too fast doesn't do you any good and it just runs right out. So drink smart the week before the event, that way you are fully hydrated and ready for the battle! (Note: If you have trouble finding the time to drink during the day, try wearing you’re a hydration system so your fluid is easy to access!)

I personally start electrolyte loading 2 days prior to an event. A performance drink like Accelerade combines electrolytes, carbohydrates, vitamins, calories and protein.

The week prior to an event, it is also good to up your carbohydrate intake. You want to maintain a good diet but the week leading up to the event you want more of your meals to be focused on higher carbohydrate levels!

Below is a guide to give you the percentage of your diet that needs to be focused on carbohydrates. Eating pasta, baked potatoes, oatmeal, brown rice, etc. are good choices to help get your body become fully ready and energized for the event.

6 Days before event- Usual Diet-60-65% Carbs

5 Days before event- Usual Diet-60-65% Carbs

4 Days before event- Usual Diet-60-65% Carbs

3 Days before event- Usual Diet-70%Carbs

2 Days before event- Usual Diet-70%Carbs

1 Day before event- Usual diet 70% carbs

There is a good list of foods high in carbs here: http://www.buzzle.co...rate-foods.html

Day of The Race or Ride

Timing is a big key the day of the race, you want all that work you have put in leading up to the event to pay off. Remember, you do not want to eat too late or too early. Eating too late will make you feel heavy and tired because your body is trying to process the food. If you eat too early, your body will have already processed the food and you will not be able to get the nutrition and energy you need.

Most of the time races start at 1:00pm, but if your event or your ride starts earlier or later, adjust your time accordingly.

7:00am - Breakfast

My breakfast is a Banana and a meal replacement drink (boost, slim fast, etc.) I like the meal replacement drinks in the morning because they are very easy to digest and give you all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals your body needs for one full meal.

11:00am - Lunch

Always eat your lunch about 2 hours before you race or ride. This is very important; eating your meal at the right time will let your body process the food properly. This will give you all the energy when you are sitting on the line without feeling heavy.

The most common lunch for top off road racers is 1 or 2 peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a banana. The PB&J gives you a good rounded meal that includes carbs, fat, protein, vitamins and minerals. (Note: Make sure to use all natural peanut butter and jelly so they are not too high in sugar.)


One hour prior to the rider or race, you NEED to lay off drinking your fluids. You can sip if you get thirsty, but try and slowly drinking. This lets you bladder be drained so that you won't have to stop on the side of the trail 2 laps in or 15 miles in if your trial riding!


1 hour before the racer or ride, I personally take 2-3 Tylenol. Tylenol helps you from cramping. I have also known riders to grind the Tylenol up and mix it in their drink system.


1/2 hour from the start, when you are about ready to head to the line, I normally take 4 tums to help me clam my stomach and tums has also been known to help with arm pump.


All your hard work has been done and now you are ready to put the hammer down from start to finish!

Hope this helps you in your quest to accomplish your goals!

I look forward to seeing you on the trail or at the races... Have a Great Day!

#100 Jason Raines :thumbsup:

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