Tips for Sporting Events
Here are a few tips to follow if you are gearing up for a sporting event.
- Make sure you keep hydrated.
- Don’t eat a meal too close to your event but make sure you keep up the fluids.
- Try a carbohydrate rich snack or drink just before your event.
- If your event is more than one hour of continuous activity you will need to take on board more carbohydrate.
- Refuel your energy stores straight after by having a carbohydrate rich snack.
- Eat a balanced carbohydrate containing meal within a few hours after your event.
After the event you need to start refuelling your glycogen stores by eating more carbohydrate and also drinking plenty of fluids to help recovery.
It’s All About Timing
On the day of a match or competition, your last big meal should be eaten hours beforehand. This gives the body enough time to digest and absorb all the nutrients. Ideally the meal should contain plenty of carbohydrate foods. Keep this meal light and easy to digest and stick to things you know won’t upset your stomach. This is not the time to start experimenting with food you are not familiar with. But don’t worry if you can’t eat much, it’s perfectly natural to lose your appetite if you’re feeling a bit nervous. If you have been eating well all week, and have lots of carbohydrate foods the day before, you should be fine. About 20 minutes before you start, have a last small carbohydrate snack, this will top up your energy levels. Choose a carbohydrate food or drink with a high Glycaemic Index (Gi). The isotonic sports drinks are a good choice.
After exercise, your muscles need carbohydrate and protein for them to refuel and recover. As soon as exercise stops, muscles can refuel their glycogen stores twice as fast as normal, so it’s important to eat a meal or snack or drink containing plenty of carbohydrate and some easy to digest protein as soon after you’ve finished exercising. This means before you get showered, changed and go home!
- Small bottle of fruit smoothie
- Pot of rice pudding
- Flavoured milk drink
- Yogurt and a banana