Have you ever signed up for a competition and wondered how you should fuel yourself the day before, morning of, or throughout the competition? Or, “what can I do to have an upper hand on the competition?” One very SIMPLE but often overlooked area is fueling.
My hopes here are to lay out a little guideline about fueling to give you a better idea of how to fuel yourself, to CRUSH some workouts, recover, and crush some more. Please remember, without me being you actual Nutrition Coach I cannot make 100% accurate guidelines. However, this can be used as a template for just about anyone!
Since glycogen stores take about 24-48 hours to restore, 2 days before you can look into adding a “reefed day,” where you increase your overall carb intake. Depending on the individual and their ability to process carbs (or their current eating habits), this can be anywhere from 25-100g carbs. For most males, 50g is pretty safe and females 25g.
The day PRIOR to the event, once again depending on your OVERALL caloric intake, you could do a couple things:
- If you are UNDEREATING (most people that aren’t on a macro plan), another “reefed” day where your carbs are increased, but fats are dropped, is a good place to start. The reason fats are dropped is to regulate caloric intake, increasing the metabolism’s ability to break down the carbs and get them stored into the muscles, and to not leave you feeling heavy or full before your COMP!
- If someone is eating on a solid macro plan and has been fueling for a while, you should get back to normal fueling habits. However, there is still a positive nature to dropping some fats and adding a few carbs to keep digestion fast and to keep you “light” for the following day.
Fueling Pre Workout
This should consist primarily of proteins/carbs, and little fat (definitely no ADDED fats). Fats means slowed digestion. If you have to do 50 burpees and a ton of HR intensive work, you want NO food in your gut.
Fueling POST Workout
This should be a shake containing an ISOLATE protein and an HBCD (highly branched cyclic dextrin) carb supplement. Typically 1:1 ratio is a safe starting point.
Fueling BETWEEN workouts
My favorite? Fuel for Fire, HANDS DOWN. Why? It’s protein/carb based, and its pureed and broken down, so your body doesn’t need to waste energy to process. Slurp 1-2 down about 30 minutes before the next workout and you’re set. If those are out of the budget, I usually go with standard baby food (pureed carbs) and deli turkey (super lean, easy to digest).
Now, keep in mind this is when you have shorter breaks between workouts (60-90 mins). If you are at an all-day competition and you have hours between events, typically just white rice and chicken breast is a good way to go. Lean, filling, and easy to digest.
Fueling Post Competition
GO HAVE SOME FUN! You have earned the right to enjoy yourself! NO TRACKING!
Obviously, this can be taken far deeper and be more accurate when you’re working with a nutrition coach. However, these are some pretty basic guidelines to follow to ensure you are fueled, recovered, and ready to rock!
If you have any questions regarding this subject, let me know! I’m happy to have a conversation!