- Follow the advice of your physician, nutritionist and coach.
- Frequent meals rather than only two or three meals per day improve overall performance.
- The last meal must be eaten at least three hours prior to competition. It should be high in carbohydrates having a high glycemic index but low in proteins and fats. It should be a beverage. Avoid eating simple sugars.
- A high-Carbohydrates diet gives better endurance and higher muscular effectiveness than a high-fat diet.
- optimal amounts of proteins, vitamins, and minerals are beneficial. however, excessive intake of these does not improve performance.
- For long duration events, carbohydrate is a better fuel than fat or protein, while for short duration, high carbohydrate, low lipid is a better combination (4:1 ratio).
- Exercise tapering must be done 48 hours before the competition and the resting 24 hours before the event.
- There must be a shift to a high carbohydrate diet in the meal immediately preceding the event. (Cereals, e.g. oatmeal, toast, jam or honey can be given). Carbohydrate loading may be done two to four days prior to the event.
- Bulk foods and high protein foods must be avoided. Proteins are a source of fixed acids, which can be eliminated mainly by urinary excretion. Proteins are a source of fixed acids, which can be eliminated mainly by urinary excretion. Proteins intake is, therefore, best reduced to a minimum at the meal preceding the event. Similarly, bulk foods are best eliminated from the diet (lettuce, tomatoes, etc.) 48 hours preceding the contest. Highly spiced food should also be avoided during the last 48 hours.
- Alcohol is best avoided since even in small amounts it may have some effect on coordination. Coffee and tea, while stimulants, may have a depressing effect three or four hours after intake and thus impair performance if consumed at the meal preceding the exercise. They may also cause fluid depletion, which is detrimental.
- Nutrition during contests-Some sugar feeding during a long and exhausting contest does improve performance. feeding glucose pills, pieces of sugar or honey, however, tends to draw fluid for their digestion and absorption into the gastrointestinal tract and further dehydrate the organ. Two to three glasses of fluid, except milk, with the pre-event meal, ensure adequate hydration without producing a diuresis. The salt content of the fluid should be of the same tonicity as the total loss of fluid and electrolytes via the sweat, which is anticipated to occur.
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