Swimmers know how critical timing is, and timing your meals on race day is just as important in helping you reach your competitive best. Knowing what foods and supplements to take, and when to take them will give you an edge over the competition, helping you to achieve your personal best. Having a training diet and an execution plan can remove doubt and worry about hunger, energy levels, digestive problems, and keep you focused on the race at hand.
Before the Race
Start your day with the right type of breakfast; and by this, we mean the right amount of food. If you are competing in the morning, be sure to keep it light. Opt for a heavier breakfast if competition is in the afternoon. Instant oatmeal made with skim or low fat milk, toast with nut butter, dry cereal, yogurt and fruit are all light options that rev up the body. Then about 30 minutes before warm-up, use Enduroboost Adaptogens for a pre-race supplement. They work wonders for stamina, endurance, and recovery. Take these only if you have been taking them for some time, and by then you should know your dosage.
During the Race
Pack enough snacks and pack a variety. We can’t stress the importance of snacking for swimmers, and as we saw in a previous blog post, the right types of snacks can give you a competitive edge and keep you fueled for the long haul. Have a healthy mix of protein and carb heavy snacks in your bag. Protein will be an ally in keeping your blood sugar stable, thus keeping your hunger, energy levels and mood in check. Hummus, hard-boiled eggs, a protein shake or edamame are all great protein fuels. And don’t forget the carbohydrates since your muscles rely on carbs for fuel. Pack easily digestible sources such as 100% juice, applesauce, or dried fruit. In addition, some complex carbs such as wheat crackers or graham crackers will keep your energy stores at the right level. If you make finals, you need to get something in your body asap. That magic combo of low calorie carbs and proteins will help keep you going and the Nutriboost protein shake works wonders here.
After your Race
So you’ve just completed your personal best and you and your team have lots to celebrate! Don’t forget about providing your body with the right nutrients to help it with recovery. Keep your dinner high in carbs and protein, but low in fat. Try sleep as soon as you can after a race, after your warm down and once you have eaten something. This will help your body recover faster and allow you to be on your game for race night or tomorrow. Although not a nutrition recommendation, sleep enables nutrition to do its thing. Sleep is energizing and restorative, and the time of day when muscles are in major renovation mode, healing, building, strengthening and using all that good nutrition it received during the day.
And don't forget!
Avoid sugary snacks and drinks, which will only sabotage your nutrition strategy. Bring more food than you need, since those hunger pangs sometimes sneak up on you during a meet. Of course, hydration is always paramount, so don’t forget about the water. And watch out for fiber rich snacks. These may upset your stomach, which is the last thing a swimmer wants to worry about on race day.