8 Things you should avoid to eat before your next race 

Congratulations! You’ve just finished the Techcombank Marathon! You’re probably thinking of everything that you’re going to eat after burning all of those calories. You deserve a good treat for yourself, so by all means, enjoy your next cheat meal. 

But hopefully, you enjoyed the race and are looking forward to your next challenge. Before you sign up for your next race, we’d like to show you a list of processed and foods that you should avoid at all costs to make sure that your focus, energy and performance are all working at a high level.

For today’s busy athletes, the choices are overwhelming and can be confusing due to misleading marketing. it’s not hard to see things on the package like “fat free”, “sugar free” or “made with real fruit”. Some unhealthy foods are even packaged as being made to help your athletic performance. But do you know what replaced the sugar, the fat and what else is in the food beside the real fruit? And how can something keep its freshness date to years ago? If you look more closely, you can see that most of these foods have ingredients that most of us cannot pronounce, let alone understand what they are. Yes, most of them are chemicals that may not harm us if we consume them once or twice per month, but daily consumption can severely affect your performance and enjoyment of your race.

Here is a basic list of foods that are commonly abused. The list could be expanded many times.

Canned “Sports Drink” Cocoa powder 

These are the most deceiving foods on this list. Because of their clever marketing strategies which often use athletes as models, we often believe that these drinks will help us become healthier and even perform better in sports. However, this is not the case, as these drinks are packed with sugar and harmful chemical additives.

One of those additives is maltodextrin, a highly refined form of sugar. According to this article published by Run Society, this additive not only causes extreme spikes in blood sugar, but also harms the production of gut bacteria, which are very important in food digestion. 

Instead of this cocoa powder, you can solve your chocolate craving with a small amount of dark chocolate. Choose one that is 70% dark or higher, and has fewer than five ingredients. There are a lot of really great locally grown chocolate options here in Vietnam. Dark chocolate also helps improve focus, boost energy and is packed with helpful antioxidants. Just be careful not to eat more than about the size of your thumb! 

Chocolate Milk: Nutrition, Calories, Benefits, and Downsides

Instant Noodles

Noodles do not contain much nourishment; instead they contain some harmful chemicals which can interfere with your physical and mental wellness. Here is a list of some ingredients that are present in instant noodles that will make you think twice before eating such unsafe foods while training:

> What is the list of ingredients?

Fruit juice drinks, sodas, and sports drinks

 Sodas and sports drinks are a “no” because of the brominated vegetable oil that they contain which can lead to bromine toxicity and affect your nervous systems, skin, and memory. Additionally, both drinks contain a high amount of calories and sugar which can cause cavities and doesn’t provide any vitamins or minerals.

Alternatively, make yourself a nutritious fruit smoothie with milk or yogurt to add a milkshaky flavor or fizzy water for a homemade healthy soda-like drink.

Canned food & processed meat

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a toxic element found in many packaging materials like plastic, but in higher amounts it can be detected in cans, a lot of which is also emitted in the food contained in the cans. This dangerous element can affect the   reproductive system and it is also linked to cancer.

So, when you decide to make pasta with tomato sauce, look for a glass jar in the supermarket, or better yet, use fresh chopped tomatoes.

Hot dogs, and as a matter of fact, any processed meat, should also be avoided. A study performed by the American Cancer Society showed that eating 50 grams of processed meat a day increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. “We should be limiting red and processed meat to help reduce our colon cancer risk, and possibly, the risk of other cancers,” they announced.

A great alternative to this is fish-based products. Even with fast food, fish is a much healthier choice than meat. A burger with fish or even better a veggie burger is always a better option.

Low fat foods and drinks that contain aspartame

Many people prefer artificial sweeteners as a way to avoid sugar. However, choosing “light” products that contain a substance called aspartame instead of sugar are far more dangerous. A study has shown that these compounds in foods might limit a very important enzyme in our body that prevents diabetes and obesity.

Replace artificial sweeteners with naturally sweetened foods like fresh fruits or make a delicious popsicle by freezing a fresh fruit juice or vegetables mixed with yogurt.

Potato chips and snacks

Potato chips are for sure a salty delight for anybody, but they are not a healthy snack option. They’re high in fat, calories, and salt, all the things athletes should avoid consuming because they are bad for them. Too much salt can cause several problems from hypertension or high blood pressure to kidney stones. Also, salty foods might lead to obesity, since they are as dangerous as sugary snacks.

If you love potato chips — and who doesn’t really! — you can easily make your own by baking potato slices in the oven, or even better, try making sweet potato chips for a richer flavor.

Cách làm khoai tây chiên bằng nồi chiên không dầu cực nhanh

Supermarket bought ice cream

The main ingredients of regular supermarket bought ice cream are cream and sugar, and most of them contain substances called emulsifiers that have been shown to interrupt the work of the good bacteria in our stomach and lead to obesity. Also, ice cream that has melted and been refrozen is extremely unsafe because bacteria like listeria can grow in it and become hazardous for our health. Since we cannot be sure of the conservation conditions of all those cartons, we could face the risk of ice cream poisoning.

Instead, you can try making homemade ice cream or sorbet from fresh frozen fruits that are much healthier and contain vitamins. This way you definitely know where all the ingredients are coming from.

Tìm hiểu về Quy trình sản xuất kem trong Công nghệ thực phẩm


Take-out pizza or the frozen ones that supermarkets sell aren’t a good choice for a athletes for obvious reasons. All those toppings, of unknown origin, with all the extra fat and salt in the cheese aren’t healthy at all. According to a medical study, fast-food addiction has become a worldwide health problem, especially among children. Doctors are trying to raise awareness that childhood obesity and diabetes has a lot to do with regular poor food choices.

What you can prepare instead is homemade pizza with healthy ingredients of your choice like tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, or olives. 

Blog chính thức - duy nhất của Pizza Express Việt Nam

10 Chemicals to Avoid in Food Products

  1. Trans fats (hydrogenated oils)
  2. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  3. Artificial sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame, and saccharine)
  4. Artificial colors (Red no. 40, Yellow no. 6, Blue nos. 1 and 2)
  5. Sodium nitrites and nitrates
  6. Growth hormones (rBST and rBGH)
  7. Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  8. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)
  9. Antibiotics
  10. Pesticides


Again, congratulations on finishing your race! We hope this information helps you prepare for your next big challenge. If you are interested in learning more about how to plan for your next race, whether it be for nutrition, technique, strategy or cross training, please direct us on Upfit Fanpage or contact us via 0325 406 661.

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