It’s bout day. What do you eat and drink to get the best performance at the game ? This is what works for me…
I know this is not the perfect approach. But it works well for me. It worked well when I was a competition speed skater for both short and long distance events. It has also worked well recently when I have competed in roller derby. My preparation begins the night before the game. I avoid food that helps to build muscle and instead focus on food that will provide energy for the game.
This is my routine for the evening before and the day of the game:
- Hydrate. Start hydrating gradually the day before. Dont overdo it and get bloated. Water is fine, but I prefer to drink Powerade or Gatorade the night before the game, one the morning of the game, one an hour before the game and I keep another one handy to sip on during the game. Thats a lot of expensive drinks to buy! Try the tubs of Gatorade/Powerade from supermarkets and make your own as its the same thing and a lot cheaper.
- Electrolyte tablets – you can buy these from most bike stores like Bike Force in Perth. I use one tablet in the morning of a game and another in Gatorade. It makes the Gatorade fizzy so dont use two tablets because you will be the Queen Of Burps at the bout.
- Carbohydrates – Do you remember the fad diet of removing all carbohydrates from your diet. Great for losing weight fast, but its a bad idea for bouting. Carbs provide energy that you can use in the short term. Rather than removing carbohydrates, I go on a carbohydrate loading diet just before the game. I eats loads of pasta for dinner, and eat bananas almost exclusively on the day of the game.
- Energy bars or gel – Bike riders often use these when competing. These are high energy bars or gel that releases energy quickly, so its best to take them about 15 minutes before the game starts. The ones that I use are Roctane Energy Gel which I buy once again from Bike Force in Perth. They are expensive at $5 a shot, but I think they work really well. I really like the orange flavoured ones but they have a lot of caffeine and if I take too many I get a buzz and start to make fast silly decisions on track. Better to go for the ones without caffeine and keep a smart head on your shoulders.
- I avoid red meat. Meat helps to build muscle. Yay! But, it isn’t very good at providing energy to burn, which you need for a bout. If you havent got muscles the night before the game, its too late anyway. Meat stuff takes time to get through your system and is just dead weight, avoid it for about 12 hours before a game. On the other hand, you might really need protein and iron at the big game, so make a judgement call on this one.
Im sure that sports nutritionists will say there are better food and drinks, but I know this approach works well for me. In a bout, I usually feel that I have energy to burn and can get through an entire game without feeling exhausted – not too shabby for a 45 year old.
Schedule: The Night before
4-5 hours before – stop eating
Try before you bout
Some of these ideas will make you puke. I dont mean that as a creative analogy. I mean your stomach may not like some of these ideas and you might vomit up. You might get better results if you try these on an empty stomach or with food (it could go either way for you). Some of these might work better with an empty stomach, some with at least some food in your stomach. Dropping a Technicolor yawn on your opponents will probably kill your chances of scooping up an MVP award, so try these at home or a training session first.
So thats my bout diet in a nutshell. Tell me about yours.