Competition

Competition: Game Day

This section includes snack and hydration at two hours prior and one hour prior to the competition (which includes breakfast for an early-morning competition) as well as nutrition during the competition, and in between heats or at intermission in a game.

Two hours prior to the competition:

If you’re not competing in another event at this time, you should be consuming 200 to 400 calories, two hours prior to the event.
This should be made up of half the carbohydrates, protein and fat of the pre-competition meal.

Approximate Servings:

  • 40 to 50 grams of carbohydrates
  • 9 to 11 grams of protein
  • 3.5 grams of fat

Any food consumed at this time should be light, easy to digest, and low glycemic index (see pre-competition meal, above).
A half serving of pasta, pearl barley, long grain rice or oatmeal as tolerated. Oatmeal must be cooked and not “instant oatmeal”. No bread, crackers, or meat – they are too hard to digest this close to the competition.

One hour prior to the competition:
If you’re not competing in another event at this time, you should consume 100 to 200 calories, one hour prior to the competition.
Fruits, berries, and vegetables only. These are easy to digest — have high moisture content — and are high in vitamins and minerals – the spark plugs you need to utilize your energy stores.

Half hour prior to the competition:
Don’t eat anything, and drink only water (sips, not gulps to prevent bloating) for the 30 minutes prior.

During the competition:
Drink only water during the competition. If the competition runs longer than 60 minutes, sip on a sports drink after 60 minutes.

Between heats or at intermission in a game: 
Drink a thin recovery drink or smoothie (with ¼ to ½ the protein of milk – eg. Accelerade, either full strength or diluted by half, or Gatorade with a little whey powder added), or nibble on a sports bar with a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein (eg. a Clif Bar or Power Bar Sport), for light recovery between heats or at the intermission in a game.

Learn more about Recovery.

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