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Participating in a Tough Mudder is a once in a life time experience. It’s a moment where you overcome physical obstacles with some of your closest friends and at the same time you’re having a great time trudging through the muddy course. If you want to get your Tough Mudder t-shirt and headband at the end of the race you need to prepare. While it is extremely important to train and wear proper clothing, an over looked aspect of Tough Mudder training is what to eat before, during and after the Tough Mudder.

Before the Tough Mudder:

One of the most important parts of the Tough Mudder is what you eat before the event. During the months and weeks of training leading up to the Tough Mudder make sure to consider your diet. Make sure to eat lean meat (Chicken, fish, etc.), vegetables as well as whole grain food items. With a well balanced diet going into the Tough Mudder, you are fueling your body with the things it needs and putting it in tip top shape.

As the Tough Mudder gets closer (about 2-3 days away) it is vital to fuel your body with the things it needs. Your body will be moving non-stop for several miles and going through challenging obstacles, so plan accordingly. During those 2-3 days before the event your diet should be carbohydrate heavy. Carbohydrates are broken down into sugars, those sugars are turned into stored energy, which will be used during the Tough Mudder. That means whole grain foods, vegetables and fruits. Keeping yourself hydrated those few days before the event is also very important. Drink plenty of water on the days leading up to the Tough Mudder.

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On the day of the Tough Mudder it is important to plan and time your meal accordingly. Time your meal about 3-4 hours before your event begins. Plan to eat something with a lot of carbohydrates, while keeping it around 200-250 calories. In addition, make sure to drink enough water the morning before the event. For myself, I wanted to make sure I ate enough, but not too much. Before my event I ate about 3 hours before hand and I had a Clif Bar and a banana. That worked perfectly for me.

Some keys to the pre-race diet. Keep it light. Eat carbohydrates. Avoid consuming a lot of protein (hard to break down before the race).

During the Tough Mudder:

For those who are experiencing their first Tough Mudder, the Tough Mudder staff and volunteers have around 4-6 water stations. These stations have snacks, which consist of energy bars, bananas and of course plenty of water. It is very easy to get wide eyed when you approach your first water station. Maybe you want a 2 or 3 bananas because you don’t know how many will be at the next station. I’ll tell you that every station is stacked with plenty of food and water.

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My advice is this. Eat 2 or 3 times through the course. In the beginning, have a half banana or a whole one. Keep it light to start. About half way through (there are mile markers) have an energy bar and a banana. That should refuel you enough without filling you stomach to a point where it hurts your performance. For the last quarter of the course, if you find that you could use a little more food or energy, have a small portion of an energy bar or a half of banana.

The advice I have concerning water is drink as you go. Have a cup or two (the cups are not too large) of water at each station to keep yourself constantly hydrated. If your body is telling you that you are very thirsty or it is very hot, then of course please drink more water.

During the Tough Mudder, the goal is to keep yourself fueled as you go.

After the Tough Mudder:

After the Tough Mudder it’s time for recovery. Consume proteins to rebuild broken down muscle and eat nutritious food to replace everything you have lost.

The most important thing to do after you are finished is to enjoy yourself. You’ve made it! Enjoy your Dos Equis beer and celebrate with your fellow Mudders! You put your body through a tremendous test and you passed!

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