Race Day Nutrition

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    Craig Pickering on #17576

    What to eat on the day of a race is very important, as it can make a few hundredths of a second difference; at the top level, this could be the difference between an Olympic medal and nothing. Without wanting to get too technical and in depth, there are some basic goals we want to achieve with our race day nutrition:•Reduce bodyweight as much as is safe to do so•Avoid excessive dehydration•H

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    Alex Andre on #108490

    For my last TT I actually tried your recommended low fiber diet and ate basically chicken, egg whites, and white bread for the 60hrs leading up to the TT. I ate sparsely for my standards, trying to be as light as possible for the TT, but instead ended up gaining ~1kg and felt very bloated for the TT. I have a few different hypotheses for what went wrong, but I imagine we have different body compositions. I usually eat a very high fiber diet, so I think maybe the sudden change caused a lot of water retention. I also think I was rather constipated.

    Usually, I like to have a solid, well-rounded meal with lean meat (chicken or turkey) and carbs (veggies, sweet potatoes, whole-grain bread, etc.) 3.5-4.5 hrs before my event, and then a small simple sugar snack like a nutri-grain bar and an apple and also a cup or two of caffeinated tea (Yerba Mate is my go-to) 1-1.5 hrs before to get my blood going. I like electrolyte drinks on long training days but not for races.

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    comando-joe on #108493

    I want to know about the glycogen stores. Why is it important to have it full for a 100m race? I have read you can lose 2kg very quickly if you empty the stores, mostly losing water weight.

    What would happen, is the 3% body weight decrease not worth it even for a short burst activity?

    Also what would happen if you do the usual bodybuilder/powerlifter thing where you lose loads of water weight in the last few days? Ive heard of guys losing up to 10kg.

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    oshikake@ymail.com on #108501

    Since the the 100m burns around 6-10 calories, some fruit & small sips of a good quality mineral water seals it for me. Gets my bodyweight/power/energy ratio to where I want it.

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    Craig Pickering on #108507

    I want to know about the glycogen stores. Why is it important to have it full for a 100m race? I have read you can lose 2kg very quickly if you empty the stores, mostly losing water weight.

    What would happen, is the 3% body weight decrease not worth it even for a short burst activity?

    Also what would happen if you do the usual bodybuilder/powerlifter thing where you lose loads of water weight in the last few days? Ive heard of guys losing up to 10kg.

    If you empty your glycogen stores, you will feel like crap, and it affects you mentally too. They dont have to be full, but at a fairly decent level (in my opinion).

    If you lose loads of water, you will also feel like crap, and not perform well. Bodybuilders stand and pose. Sprinters move as fast as they can.

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    Craig Pickering on #108508

    Since the the 100m burns around 6-10 calories, some fruit & small sips of a good quality mineral water seals it for me. Gets my bodyweight/power/energy ratio to where I want it.

    I assume the warm-up will burn calories too. As will your increased nervous energy. And post-sprint performance, your metabolism remains increased for a while. This add to the caloric need.

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    Craig Pickering on #108510

    For my last TT I actually tried your recommended low fiber diet and ate basically chicken, egg whites, and white bread for the 60hrs leading up to the TT. I ate sparsely for my standards, trying to be as light as possible for the TT, but instead ended up gaining ~1kg and felt very bloated for the TT. I have a few different hypotheses for what went wrong, but I imagine we have different body compositions. I usually eat a very high fiber diet, so I think maybe the sudden change caused a lot of water retention. I also think I was rather constipated.

    Usually, I like to have a solid, well-rounded meal with lean meat (chicken or turkey) and carbs (veggies, sweet potatoes, whole-grain bread, etc.) 3.5-4.5 hrs before my event, and then a small simple sugar snack like a nutri-grain bar and an apple and also a cup or two of caffeinated tea (Yerba Mate is my go-to) 1-1.5 hrs before to get my blood going. I like electrolyte drinks on long training days but not for races.

    60 hours is quite a long time to go low residue for – I usually do it for about 24-36 hours before. Maybe try that next time?

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    oshikake@ymail.com on #108512

    It’s incredible how food/water/supplements (creatine) can weigh you down before a race & make you really top heavy. It all has to be accelerated & once that happens, doesn’t greater mass also affect top end speed?.

    I always look to Carl for inspiration, light, nimble & looked very hollow.

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    Alex Andre on #108551

    60 hours is quite a long time to go low residue for – I usually do it for about 24-36 hours before. Maybe try that next time?

    Ah ok I must have misinterpreted your post in that thread. I might give that a try next time.

    It’s incredible how food/water/supplements (creatine) can weigh you down before a race & make you really top heavy. It all has to be accelerated & once that happens, doesn’t greater mass also affect top end speed?.

    I think about this often. It seems that the guys who excel at top speed are often the lightest.

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    GiveYourBest on #108568

    I usually eat a very high fiber diet… I follow a low fibre diet only on a day of a competition. A day before is similiar as a usual day, I just add a little more carbs.
    On a competition day I eat mostly carbohydrates (rice, pasta, etc.) with some protein (meat). I try to avoid fats. 2-3 hours before start I consume some carbohydrate bar and 30-45 min before I add caffeine. After my competition I drink my PWO drink and then i eat a normal meal.

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    comando-joe on #108574

    Craig, when you talk about eating more higher carb foods leading to a race, are the foods higher on the GI index better to have?

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    Alex Andre on #108552

    Craig – what about protein intake for 36 hours up to a race? Do you want your usual 200g to maintain your muscle mass, or is there not much need for protein during a rest period? It seems that more weight can be lost or gained with protein-rich foods than by adjusting carb-rich foods.

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    Craig Pickering on #108668

    Craig, when you talk about eating more higher carb foods leading to a race, are the foods higher on the GI index better to have?

    I pick lower-fibre based CHO, which therefore puts them higher on the GI scale. So white bread over brown bread, white rice over brown rice. But not stuff like sweets.

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    Craig Pickering on #108669

    Craig – what about protein intake for 36 hours up to a race? Do you want your usual 200g to maintain your muscle mass, or is there not much need for protein during a rest period? It seems that more weight can be lost or gained with protein-rich foods than by adjusting carb-rich foods.

    There is a lesser demand for protein in the days before a race, as you are tapering down and training is much less intense. However, as the day before a GP meet is usually spent flying, along with long travel periods, I like to keep protein intake pretty high in order to maintain my immune function. I also think that there may be some positive hormonal influences from a high protein intake.

    Im not sure that keeping protein intake high will contribute to weight gain, as it is relatively hard to store protein as fat. In addition to this, just taking protein doesnt really stimulate muscle protein synthesis to any great degree (it generally requires exercise), so you wont be bulking up from it. A high protein intake my attenuate some of the muscle loss from decreased activity in the days pre-race.

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    Craig Pickering on #108670

    I usually eat a very high fiber diet… I follow a low fibre diet only on a day of a competition. A day before is similiar as a usual day, I just add a little more carbs.
    On a competition day I eat mostly carbohydrates (rice, pasta, etc.) with some protein (meat). I try to avoid fats. 2-3 hours before start I consume some carbohydrate bar and 30-45 min before I add caffeine. After my competition I drink my PWO drink and then i eat a normal meal.

    Thats really good!

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