Before your sportive it’s essential to eat and drink the right things, which means a calculated reduction in training (tapering) coupled with a balanced diet throughout the week leading up to the event, which is considered best.
If in any doubt, you should really continue to eat the fuel you consume prior to any regular training, or event and avoid any surprises. There are many ways athletes and individuals may adjust their diet prior to a particular challenge and you need to understand what works for you. It is however always recommended that a balanced diet should be maintained whatever you are working towards and the pre-event nutrition should take on the shape of your day-to-day diet too. Complex carbohydrate (pasta, potatoes, rice, which are typically low in calories and high in fibre provide sustainable energy; protein (meat, poultry, seafood, pulses) protecting and building muscle and unrefined fats (fish oils, nut oils, some dairy products) maintaining a balance and energy source for your body within. These three key groups are certainly best consumed as real foods over any supplements.
On the morning of your event have a good (balanced) breakfast and then try eating little and often after that. Don’t forget to leave time for digestion though following any sizeable consumption and especially before you jump on the bike. Little and often is also best practice on the bike too as it ensures a steady release of energy and continues to fuel your body as it’s burnt during your ride.
Want more information on nutrition? Take a look at the British Cycling Insight Zone for advice from the same experts that work for the Great Britain Cycling Team.