Sports Nutrition: When and What Should I Eat Before I Compete?

Choosing a pre-sporting meal needs to be done with a lot of care. You might have practiced and gotten well ready for a competition, but forgetting to eat a proper diet could make you lose. Therefore, it is important to keep track of what you eat pre-competition. Here is a simple guideline of what and when to eat before a competition.

A Guide on What to Eat
Sporting activities take up a lot of your energy. Therefore, it is important to consume a high-energy meal before your competition. Foods that are high in carbohydrates are ideal. This will provide you with the needed energy to keep you going throughout the competition.

Proteins that are low in fat also make an ideal pre-competition meal. Low-fat proteins tend to settle in the stomach for a long time, keeping you feeling full for a longer time. High-fat proteins should be avoided as they might slow you down, given that they take long to leave the stomach.

Ensure that you drink a lot of water before the competition. This is to keep you well-hydrated during the competition. And, if you will be competing in sports that take long, an energy drink is allowed. It will provide you with a source of electrolyte replenishment, hence, allowing you go on for longer.

Taking a look at the Glycemic index of foods will also be helpful in identifying foods that may make your blood sugar go high. Avoid foods that are high in sugar as they may cause sugar rush, which might jeopardize your competition.

When to Eat
Once food is consumed, it takes approximately 3 hours for it to be digested and provide energy to the body. Since, a competition will use-up a lot of energy, it is important that you learn to time your meals. Take your ideal pre-competition meal 3 or 4 hours before the competition begins. This will give it adequate time to get digested, so that the needed energy will be available once the competition begins. Also, it will help ensure that your competition is not disrupted by any discomforts. Again, this will depend on the type of meal you consumed. Not all foods will take this long to get digested. Some take a shorter time. Therefore, it is important to take note of the time taken to consume the type of food you plan on taking.

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