This article continues the series dedicated to sports nutrition for shooters. Remember to check out the other posts in this series:
So what is pre-competition meal? In simple words it is food with all the essential ingredients for athletes body to fuel up before start and avoid hunger till the finish line. But in reality it is a bit more complicated. To avoid unexpected situations and body reaction every athlete must stick to simple rules.
1. Schedule Your Large Meal
Pay attention to when you have your large meal of the day. It should not be too soon or way to close to the beginning of your performance. Time to eat your large meal from 3 to 4 hours before the start.
2. Avoid Experiments
Eat food that you are eating every day. In other words stick to the food your body is familiar with. Pre-competition is not a right time to experiment. If you want to try something new, do it before your regular training.
3. Win Your Stomach's Favour
Meal should be high on carbohydrates and fluids. Brown rice or oatmeal and vegetables make good selection to choose from. Eating fat and proteins would make an ill service to your body as it will take too long to digest such food.
4. Measure Your Fuel Dosage
Carbohydrates will fuel your body more excessively if consumed right. Follow this pattern for maximum effect:
4 hours before the start; eat approximately 4 grams of carbohydrates per 1 kilo of your body weight,
3 hours before the start; eat approximately 3 grams of carbohydrates per 1 kilo of your body weight,
1 hour before the start: approx. 1 gram per 1 kilo of body weight.
5. Stay Well Hydrated
To be well hydrated for the competition, have yourself an extra dose of water the day before the competition. In this case “extra” would mean 4-5 glasses more than your usual take. Drink extra 0,5l of water before the start.
There might be circumstances that will not allow you to stick to good eating schedule or diet. That may be high protein diet, hard training or event mental stress. In that case just make sure to eat well one day before the competition, and then - early on the competition day.