Written by on February 22, 2017
Precompetition meals have to be prepared and designed by professionals, but I’ve learned some things over the years and that’s why I would like to share them with you. Depending on the physical activity that the athlete is going to engage in, he or she needs different numbers of calories.
Eating a precompetition meal should be done at least three to four hours prior to the actual event. This makes it possible for your body to digest the nutrients so as to avoid getting in the way of your performance. About 3 hours before, you have to eat a larger meal consisting of something that you consume on a regular basis. You don’t want to push your luck too much and have something like Indian food or any other spicy specialty unless you are well-accustomed to eating such heavy foods.
The meal should be high in both fluids and carbs, which is why I would suggest eating some rice, pasta, or vegetables. Unlike the other ones that you eat throughout your regular days, this meal has to be somewhat low in protein and fat because these two core nutrients can take as many as six hours to be processed and digested by the body. They can make you feel bloated, too, and we all know how unpleasant that is when you’re trying to get the best out of yourself.
As for the number of carbohydrates, it of course depends on your weight. If your weight is 130 pounds, you should eat about 236 grams of carbohydrates around four hours before the competition, and around half of this about two hours prior to the event.
Healthy carbohydrate sources are anything from a cup of cooked pasta, one large banana, grapefruit, apple, pineapple, and baked potatoes. Depending on the quantity, these foods can have about 30 grams of carbs.
Above all, you should try to stay away from foods such as candy bars, doughnuts, French fries, potato chips, and virtually any carbohydrate that has been fried or has a high fat content. Soda is another no go because it contains a lot of acid and might make you feel less comfortable when you’re trying to focus on your performance. High-fiber foods should also be avoided because they might lead to the accumulation of gas in your gut, which is pretty self-explanatory.
As for liquids, you can drink as much water as possible. Sports drinks are all right if they’re not carbonated. Smoothies are another alternative that you can rely on if you’re looking to combine the nutrients that you should have gotten from solid foods and the proper water intake that’s necessary before a competition. Drinking a lot of water can also help you shed some pounds before the event, but I wouldn’t recommend exaggerating in this sense.
I highly recommend reading this article: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02640414.2011.585473
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