Important tips before,during and after a race


by Hennie Kriek

1) Before a race / competition

Just a few hours before the off and the nerves start to jangle. You’ve trained hard. Undoing all the hard work by eating the wrong foods now would be a real shame. Make sure to avoid food that is hard to digest in the hours leading up to the event. Eating high-fat, too spicy or high-fibre food, such as wholemeal bread, can make you feel unwell or upset your stomach during competition.
What should I eat?

Easily digestible meal: high in carbohydrates, low in fat and fibre, combined with sufficient fluid (5 – 7ml per kilogram of body weight is recommended)
Recommendations (3-4hrs before start)

  •         Pasta with low-fat sauce (e.g. tomato sauce or low-fat bolognese sauce) + fluid
    ·         Rice with steamed carrots and chicken breast + fluid
    ·         Baked potato with low-fat herbed soft cheese + fluid
    ·         Light vegetable soup with bread + fluid
    ·         Toasts with honey or jam + fluid
    ·         Sandwiches with low-fat cold cuts or cheese + fluid
    ·         Easy-to-digest breakfast cereals,with milk (providing you don’t have a milk intolerance), banana + fluid
    ·         Banana and yoghurt
    ·         Scramble / poached eggs

2) During competiton 

Carbohydrates. Supplying energy for refuelling.
Physical activity requires energy. Carbohydrates are the primary and fastest fuel source for endurance activities, and they can be stored in our body in the liver and muscles in the form of glycogen as an energy source.
Muscle glycogen is a readily available carbohydrate source for the working muscles. On the other hand, the main role of glycogen in the liver is to maintain a constant blood glucose level. Sounds complicated but it’s actually pretty simple. If blood sugar levels drop (known as ‘low blood sugar’), symptoms such as shaking and an impaired ability to concentrate can compromise performance. But even worse, if your glycogen stores are depleted, it will leave you unable to continue exercising at a high intensity.
It feels as if someone has just pulled the plug. In order to avoid this, you need to supply your body with the right type and amount of carbohydrates during sporting activities.
But how?
PowerBar® ISOACTIVE and ISOMAX Isotonic Sports Drink, ENERGIZE Bar and WAFER, POWERGEL® and POWER GEL® SHOTS contain a specially developed carbohydrate mix for endurance sports: the C2MAX Dual Source Carb Mix, features a specially developed ratio of glucose and fructose sources. The scientifically recommended carbohydrate intake depends on the duration and intensity of the competition and can reach up to 90g carbohydrates per hour.
3) After competition 

You’ve just crossed the finish line and are feeling elated and totally exhausted. But you’ve done it! So why have you now got to expend even more energy thinking about eating and drinking? It’s very simple: following intensive exertion in a competitive event your top priority should be recovery. It’s essential that you give your body the right type and amount of food and drink as soon as possible after finishing an event. Your body especially requires three things:
1.    Protein for the repair process and to build new muscle tissue.
2.    Carbohydrates to refill its depleted glycogen stores.
3.    Fluid and sodium for efficient rehydration.


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