EATING ON THE ROAD
Everybody wants to know what to eat to help optimize athletic performance. The human body requires 22 amino acids, thirteen
vitamins and more than twenty-five minerals so how are you supposed to do this with diet? The key is to eat a VARIETY of
healthful foods. You need to eat balanced meals from each of the food groups and try to eat different kinds of food instead
of always eating the same things. Athletes need to eat similar foods recommended for other healthy people, except young female
athletes need more calcium, iron and protein for muscle, bone and other body tissues to grow.
Carbohydrate loading has been very popular in the past, however it is not necessary for the vast majority of athletes.
The current trend for optimal performance for athletes in the tournament setting is a mixed balanced diet high in complex
TIPS FOR EATING ON TOURNAMENT DAYS
Do not load up on sugary foods before competition! Here's why!
Eating foods like candy, sugar & chocolate, or drinking soft drinks within an hour of competition can be a big mistake.
This causes a lot of insulin to be released into the blood stream to help your body use the sugar. This reaction has little
effect when you are relatively inactive. But once you start competing, your muscles become very sensitive to insulin and
there is a decrease in blood sugar level. As a result you will feel fatigued and may not be able to perform at you best.
Foods and beverages except water should not be consumed and hour or less before competition.
The diet you eat 2-3 days before competition fills your muscles with glycogen (energy). By the time you go to bed the
night before competition, you have the glycogen stores you will compete with. The purpose of pre-competition meals is to
prevent hunger. If you eat too much before you play, it can cause indigestion, nausea, and discomfort and ultimately sub-optimal
It takes 1-4 hours for the food to be processed by the stomach and emptied into the small intestine.
Foods that are mainly carbohydrate like grain products, fruits and vegetables take the least amount of time to digest.
Foods that contain protein, like milk products and lean meats, take a little longer.
Foods that are mainly fats like mayonnaise, gravies, and salad dressings take the longest to digest.
If you are eating a lot of high sugar foods, you are eating empty calories that are replacing nutrients your body needs
to build and perform. If you remember nothing else, remember to eat balanced meals and a variety of foods.