Should you carb-load before a race? Only in moderation

Pre-race meal should balance carbs, veggies, and protein

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The Basic Bowl is basically great for a pre-race meal. - JONATHAN BONCEK FILE
  • Jonathan Boncek file
  • The Basic Bowl is basically great for a pre-race meal.
Allow me to brace you for a teeny reality check, Cooper River Bridge Runners. But it's not all bad. That big ol' pasta/pizza/loafabread dinner you planned for tonight isn't actually going to help you in the race tomorrow. I know, I know. The thing is, those carbs are good for you pre-race — but in moderation.

For a definitive ruling on carbo-loading, we checked in with registered dietician Jane Fleming:

"To properly carb load, you need to start eating carbs 2-3 days prior to your race for the body to store and utilize the carbs. Moderation and balance are the key to a pre-10K meal. Carbohydrates increase glycogen, an important resource that our muscles use for energy, so enjoy in moderation. Plan on one half to one third of the pre-race meal to be filled with complex carbs, one third should be protein, and the rest should be vegetables."



So, carbo-fiends, don't get too crazy with that all-you-can-eat pasta tonight — instead eat whatever healthy ish you've been eating (no drastic changes, duh), like hearty salads, rice bowls, and veggie-heavy stir fry. There are plenty of places in town that serve up pre-race approved meals, but here are a just a few of our go-tos:

Basic Kitchen

Their Basic Bowl — brown rice, sesame kale, braised beans, grilled Brussels, grilled sweet potato, and added chicken or salmon — is a great ratio of good/good/good stuff.
Location Details Basic Kitchen
Basic Kitchen
82 Wentworth St.
Downtown
Charleston, SC
(843) 789-4568
L, D, (Mon.-Sat.) Sun. brunch
Cafés

Five Loaves

They don't have loaves in the name for nothin' ... Five Loaves is the ideal spot for a healthy entree — we're fans of the whole smoked salmon salad — paired with some of their yummy bread. The roasted turkey sammy will do the trick too.
Location Details Five Loaves Cafe
Five Loaves Cafe
1055 Johnnie Dodds Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant
Charleston, SC
(843) 849-1043
Lunch & Dinner (Mon.-Sat.). Sunday Brunch, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Mt. Pleasant location. Downtown closed Sunday.
Cafés
Location Details Five Loaves Cafe
43 Cannon St.
Downtown
Charleston, SC
(843) 937-4303
Lunch & Dinner (Daily). Sun. Brunch
Cafés

Huriyali

Grab and go on your way home with some Huriyali goodness — the goddess bowl with shredded carrots and beets, heirloom tomato, almonds, rice, and seasonal greens, allows you to add lentils or curry chicken for extra protein power.
Location Details Huriyali
Huriyali
401 Huger St.
Downtown
Charleston, SC
Vegetarian + Organic and Gourmet Groceries

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