With the Mountain2Mountain Challenge and other endurance events just around the corner, knowledge on WHAT and WHEN to eat and drink can make the difference between all the hard work in training paying off. Read on for our tips to maximise exercise performance on race day!
A high carbohydrate diet is essential for optimal sports performance as it allows you to maximise muscle and liver glycogen stores. Glycogen can be converted to glucose which is the main fuel source for our body.
Glucose (glycogen) is obtained from the foods we eat fruits, vegetables, meat and milk but is most concentrated in foods such as bread, pasta, rice, cereals, root vegetables and foods containing sugar.
Performance Day Nutrition:
A meal containing slow digesting carbohydrates should be eaten 2-3 hours before exercise to allow time for the food to leave the stomach, enter the small intestine and begin to be digested as an available fuel source.
Slowly digested and absorbed foods means a glycaemic index of less than 55.
High carbohydrate, low fat and low in fibre options should be adopted on the event day. It is important meals on performance day are be tried and tested to prevent unwanted stomach upset or premature fatigue.
Performance day suggestions:
- Bread with softened wholegrains
Generally you should aim for 2-3L/day of fluids
On training/sports days another ½-1L may be needed, more if weather is warmer or signs of dehydration are present.
For those engaged in Intense exercise 60-90+ min may need special rehydration strategies (carbohydrate electrolyte fluid – Gatorade, powerade)
On the day – Suitable fluids should be consumed prior to exercise (300-500mL water). This can help prime the stomach to stimulate more rapid gastric emptying of fluid, so better absorption of water.
A meal containing at least 50g of carbohydrates is essential post-event, ideally this should be consumed within an hour of finishing.
Post- event meal suggestions:
- 250-300mL smoothie
- 200g yoghurt and a large fruit salad
- Large bowl of breakfast cereal with milk
- wholegrain bread roll with slice cheese/lean meat and a banana
- 220g can baked beans and 2 slices wholegrain toast
- 2 wholemeal crumpets with peanut butter and a glass of milk
Good Luck to all those participating in upcoming events.
It’s not too late to join team ‘Chodat Fitness’ in the M2M Challenge on the 2nd August!
Registrations close 27th July – CLICK HERE TO JOIN NOW!