Friday, August 3, 2012

Eating and Drinking Before Sport

Why Should I Eat and Drink before Sport?

  • A chance to tweak your ability to meet the nutritional goals ahead. 
  • To boost psychological from favourite menu choices or eating rituals.
  • Food and drink choices should leave you feeling comfortable and confident to start the event. 
  • To avoid hunger or gut discomfort/upsets
What is the most important nutrition need?
  • A major item you need is carbohydrate. To store glycogen in the muscles and liver.
  • Glycogen is a critical fuel in the muscle, but the smaller liver reserve is also important.
  • Muscle glycogen readily available energy for working muscle.
  • Liver glycogen helps to maintain blood glucose levels.

What Should I Eat Before Sport?

• Foods that easy to digest;
• Be rich in carbohydrates for fuel;
• Be low in fat and fiber
• Provide adequate amounts of fluids;
• Include foods and fluids that are familiar and enjoyable.


3-5hour before: eat larger foods, solid form, high carbohydrate, moderate protein, low fat, low fiber e.g set rice,pasta

2hour before:smaller meal, soft or liquid form, high carbohydrate, moderate protein, low fat, low fibere.g fruit smoothies, fruitjuice, sandwiches

Experimenting with your competition plan during training is highly recommended. Trying new foods or fluids on the day of an important competition or event is unwise.

Stomach Upset
  • Athletes who are at risk of stomach upsets and runner’s diarrhoea may find it difficult to eat solid food before exercise. 
  • Reduced blood flow to the gut, dehydration and being nervous may all cause stomach upset. 
  • These athletes should try low fibre carbohydrate-rich foods and drinks. A reduced fibre intake can help prevent bloating, diarrhoea and stomach discomfort. 
  • Eating solid meals earlier (4-6 hours before) or replacing meals with liquid nutrition may help to avoid problems. Commercially available liquid meals or homemade fruit smoothies can allow the athlete to fuel up without the full feeling. 
  • In some cases, legumes, spicy foods, excessive amounts of fruit and vegetables (especially if the skin is left on), and foods high in fat cause problems.
Is Glycemic Index Important

Is suggested that eating carbohydrate foods that are more slowly digested and absorbed (low GI) may provide a sustained energy release that may help endurance exercise performance. 
Examples of low GI foods are baked beans, pasta, oats.

Can I eat Sugar (High GI foods) before Sport?
  • Many athletes are concerned that eating sugar or sugary foods and drinks in the hour before exercise will affect performance. 
  • Eating carbohydrate foods including sugar raises blood glucose and insulin levels. When these levels are elevated just prior to exercise there is potential for a rebound drop in blood glucose levels (hypoglycaemia) after exercise has started and an increased use of carbohydrate stores during exercise. 
  • Recent research found metabolic changes are corrected within 15-20 minutes of exercise.
  • Furthermore, the athlete may actually benefit from the fuel boost from this extra carbohydrate. It helps to have adequate carbohydrate in pre-exercise meals to compensate for its increased use as an exercise fuel - at least 50g seems a reasonable target
Drinking Plan

Stay hydrated before and during the sport. Is better if you know your sweat rate. Watch your urine colour, supposedly yellow pale not dark.
  • 24hours before: drink plenty with meals to replace lost sweat in previous training and to minimize the risk of dehydration to next training.
  • 2hours before: drink 2cups (~500ml) water
  • 15min before: drink 1 cup of water

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