Mira Erda is one of India’s leading female racers.
She competes in open wheel racing and won the women’s category of the LGB Formula 4 series in the 2019 JK Tyre National Racing Championship.
Mira’s dedication to fitness has been at the forefront of her success in race cars. And one unknown factor of that dedication to fitness has been her eating habits and dietary discipline.
She discusses her method to getting the most out of a race weekend, especially with regard to the nutrition intake that helps her on race days.
Getting in the right mindset
Mira likes to wake up on race weekends with positive thoughts and a focus on the targets she has set for herself.
“I also like to surround myself with three-four friends. We discuss all about our cars and strategies for the race to get into the mood,” she says.
She tries to avoid any undue mental pressure, even if things don’t go well. “I like to keep reminding myself to enjoy being on track, enjoy being able to race, and to give my best,” says Mira.
Mira’s sporting diet
Mira follows a simple diet for her sport. Rather, she doesn’t have a diet based on nutritional needs, but instead a diet based on comfort for her sport.
She prefers to eat light meals that are easy to digest before she gets into a car on race weekends. And when she is done with her races, she eats a full meal to make sure she has all the nutrition needed to recover well.
When asked about her favourite healthy meal before a race, she said it would depend upon where she is at that moment. Since most races in India take place on circuits in South India, Mira’s staple pre-race meal usually contains South Indian dishes with lots of vegetables, coconut milk and lentils.
Mira Erda - No Excuses
What does Mira eat before a race?
Her meal-related preparation for races starts with the day before her race. “I prefer to have proteins a night before the race day,” says Mira.
Once she wakes up on the day of the race, Mira has a good idea of what she prefers for breakfast.
“My first meal for the race day is quite simple. It starts with some dates, dry fruits and a milkshake. Then some pancakes or bread, and fruits or fruit juice,” says Mira about her race day breakfast.
She likes to stay light on the stomach through most of the race weekend. This means giving herself enough time to digest food before getting in a race car.
“Since we have around three-four races in a day, I prefer to stick with breakfast and lunch as my main meals for race day. I usually eat one-two hours before my race,” Mira says.
After her meals, she usually just likes to stay hydrated while she waits for the start of a race. If she does feel hungry, she keeps a small protein bar handy.
Drinks that help Mira through a race
Aside from snacking on protein bars, Mira also likes to munch on dry fruits throughout the race day, while drinking water to stay hydrated and Red Bull to keep up her energy levels.
“Since we have time gaps of 45 minutes between our races during the day, I like to drink some Red Bull about 30 minutes before my races,” she says.
Mira has definitely noticed positive changes to her performance behind a wheel since she started drinking Red Bull regularly on race weekends.
“Red Bull has surely helped keep my energy levels up while driving the car at high speeds. And it helps me get more alert and push myself more during a race,” Mira says.
What Mira eats to recover
After her races, Mira makes sure to eat well to give her body the best chance at recovery.
“I prefer to eat a full course meal since I try to keep it light during race weekends,” Mira says when asked about what she eats for recovery meals.
Cheat meals are rare for Mira but she allows herself to indulge once she is done with competition.
“After a race weekend, the next morning, I like to eat some waffles with chocolate syrup and whipped cream to satisfy my cheat meal cravings after eating healthy all week. I love food so it's difficult to not have many cheat meals. But whenever I do, I make it to a point to workout extra,” she says.