While a solid nutrition plan is always key for adopting a healthier lifestyle, it is increasingly more important when you are training for a race. Choosing the correct foods and knowing when to fuel can keep you on your “A” game. Here are some quick tips to keep a PR in focus.

1. Avoid fueling for runs fewer than 3 hours before working out

Your body has three hours’ worth of glycogen stores that should be burned up before adding more fuel to your system. Fueling too much for short workouts can lead to problems that include putting on the pounds and gastrointestinal problems. Delaying dietary carbohydrate intake until needed prompts the use of storage fat for fuel.

2. When to fuel while working out

If you are working out for less than two hours, you don’t need to fuel while working out. If you are working out for longer than two hours, it is helpful to eat something to replace glycogen and increase energy. Remember that everyone’s body is different. Some people can work out for up to three hours without fueling. Listen to your body for cues.

3. Don’t fuel last minute!

If you fuel 30 to 60 minutes before working out, you could create rebound hypoglycemia. This happens with low blood sugar due to the insulin response triggered by high-carbohydrate food. This condition can negatively impact energy levels. If you must fuel right before a training workout, do so in the 5 to 15 minutes before a run or race. It’s also best to steer clear of high-glycemic foods during this time frame.

4. Don’t fuel with junk!

Be picky when it comes to what you are consuming while racing. Read ingredients and know what you are putting in your body.