Eat To Win
This nutrition tip is courtesy of Sydney Jacobson, registered dietitian at Hy-Vee in Windsor Heights, IA.
Eat to Compete
Eating a well-balanced diet is one of the most important things you can do to promote optimal performance. Eating a variety of high-carbohydrate, low-fat foods and consuming enough fluid to avoid dehydration are key. To increase endurance, muscle strength and speed, you must eat to compete!
Get the Athletic Advantage with High-Performance Nutrition
Fuel Up with Pre-event Preparation
Fuel up with familiar foods on competition day and allow adequate time for that food to digest. A large meal can take three to four hours to digest, a small meal can take two to three hours, and a snack will digest in one to two hours. A substantial pre-event meal will help prevent fatigue and ensure you have the fuel stores needed to power your way to peak performance. Include complex carbohydrates, lean protein, fruit and healthy fats. About two-thirds of your plate should be carbohydrates. Top off fuel stores with a carbohydrate-based snack one to two hours before competition.
During the Event
Continue to refuel during competition, as needed, with carbohydrates, electrolytes and fluid to prevent fatigue and prevent depletion of fuel stores. Sports drinks, gels and bars are all efficient ways to refuel.
Refuel to Recover Post-Competition
Refueling begins immediately after competition with a recovery snack consisting of carbohydrate and protein to refuel stores and repair damaged tissue. Chocolate milk can be a perfect sports recovery drink as it contains the ideal ratio of carbohydrate and protein to refuel muscles. Continue refueling with a meal one hour after the recovery snack.
Stay Hydrated in the Heat
Maintaining adequate hydration in the hot summer heat can be a challenge. Dehydration can severely impair athletic performance, making it crucial to go into a competition well-hydrated. Consume fluids throughout competition day, then hydrate two to three hours prior to competition with 16 ounces of fluid and again 10 to 20 minutes before event with 8 ounces of fluid. Fluid should be consumed during competition and fluid replacement of all sweat loss should take place following competition. Choosing the right fluid for hydration is important. Water is appropriate for mild to moderate intensity exercise lasting less than 60 minutes. Sports drinks are preferred for high-intensity exercise lasting more than 60 minutes. Soft drinks and fruit juices are best avoided.
- Oatmeal with almonds, strawberries and low-fat yogurt
- Whole-grain wrap with turkey, spinach, tomato and pesto
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a glass of low-fat milk
- High-protein energy bar and a piece of fruit
- Whole-grain crackers and low-fat cottage cheese topped with fruit
- English muffin with an egg, sliced tomato, lettuce and avocado
- Low-fat string cheese and baked whole grain chips
- ½ whole grain pita stuffed with choice veggies, edamame and hummus
- Trail mix made with nuts, whole grain cereal and dried fruit
- Smoothie made with low-fat milk, yogurt and frozen berries
- Banana dog – whole wheat tortilla with peanut butter and banana slices
- Granola, yogurt and fruit parfait
Sydney Jacobson earned a dietetics degree from Iowa State University and is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is also a marathoner with an interest in sport nutrition. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is there a separate Elite Cup race for the professionals this year?
A: In 2013 the Hy-Vee 5150 Elite Cup will kick off the action at Gray’s Lake, with 60 of the world’s top triathletes (30 men and 30 women) competing over the same course the age group athletes will be racing.
Scheels All Sports will be serving as mechanic support as well as a receiving location for bike shipments and setup for the 2013 Hy-Vee Triathlon. Scheels will transport all bikes to the race location the day before the race. Ship now until July 31st for only $120! Starting August 1st the price will go to $170. If you have any questions please contact Josh Wells at email@example.com.