A Track Day is incredibly physically and mentally demanding. Is it possible to remain energetic and focused for the entire day? Yes, but it does require discipline. I wrote about how to show up at a track day properly (right here) which touched on nutrition. Nutrition is the key here. The food and liquids we put in our body really matter.
Since 2010 I have been reading and experimenting with my diet and eating habits. Since that time I have lost close to 40lbs and know what works for me and what doesn’t. With a little more research it seems that we require very little to keep us sustained during long periods of focus and exertion.
These are the notes I took on what I ate on July 31st, 2017 and September 10th, 2017 at the Ridge Motorsports Park with OPRT hosting the event. The weather was very hot on July 31st (a lot sweating on and off the bike) and the weather on Sept 10th was cooler (less sweat). Both are challenging days. I was able to make it through the entire day and all seven sessions, riding over 200kms/125miles. My energy level was constant and I did not feel sluggish or yawn once.
Maintaining that focus with Fat and Protein
Let’s start with the night before. I went to a Mexican restaurant for dinner. Tacos and a Margarita. Kept it an one margarita, this time! I didn’t stay up late that night and was in bed by 1030pm. Slept great.
For breakfast. I had coffee, three hard boiled eggs, guacamole, salsa, and water.
After the 1st Session. Coconut water (electrolytes), water (with electrolyte powder), and a no sugar 20g protein bar.
After the 2nd Session. Coconut water and water (with electrolyte powder).
After the 3rd Session. Lunch break. I had the rest of the coconut water. For lunch I had sliced roast beef, guacamole, veggies, hummus. It was hard not to sit down and just start eating. After three sessions in the heat you’re already starting to feel the effects.
After the 4th Session. I drank water and drank some pickle juice. I also had a 5 hour energy. I do not normally drink energy drinks but I do see a benefit when you are getting physically and mentally challenged. I will only drink one per day as any after this seem to have limited positive benefits.
After the 5th Session. I ate another no sugar 20g protein bar, pickle juice. water, and a few tortilla chips. You’re probably wondering why on earth i’d drink pickle juice. I first heard of it from Vinnie Tortorich on the Adam Carolla Podcast. It is great for recovery as it is full of sodium, magnesium, and potassium. Do a search about it. It is an interesting find.
After the 6th Session. Water and a Cherry Pie Lara Bar.
After the 7th Session. Done! Whatever I want! I managed to have my best sessions of the day in the last sessions. The last session is usually one of the worst and you’re drained. Most of the time it is best to skip it. I was feeling great so I went out there and challenged myself to keep going. The food for the rest of the day was made up of beer, more Mexican food, and whatever snacks I had for the drive home. It could have been the buzz from the great day but I was wide awake the entire way home which was a 3.5 hour drive.
I did have a green drink made up of Ginger, Turmeric, Parsley, Apple, Lemon, Spinach and Wheat Grass. It is what I make at home. It is a quick way to get good amount of veggies in you. Parsley is loaded with magnesium so that is good for your muscles. Turmeric is a great for keeping inflammation down.
Looking back at other forms of eating I have done to keep sharp they all have one thing in common. Very little carbs. Most carbs are just converted to sugar which just spikes our blood-sugar levels. Sugar is sugar. This feels good but the crash down to a blood sugar low makes us sleepy and crave more poor food choices. Our liver doesn’t know the difference between a starchy banana or a piece of cake. Protein and fat (good, natural ones) keep the brain and body happy throughout the day. The best time for carbs is the evening when the day is nearing the end.
By no means am I an expert on this. I’ve merely figured out what works for me. The above details is something to start on. Figure out what works for you. If you have felt sluggish during the day, look at what you’re eating and see what it can be replaced with. I quick stop to a grocery store (or Trader Joes like I did) can make all difference in the world in making your track day a fast and safe one.
Feeling great after seven session!