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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.
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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.
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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.
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