By Rob Gilfeather (Co-Founder of Fuel For Fire) and Ryan Leker (Director of Operations at Fuel For Fire)
After all your training, and modifying your diet and lifestyle, the key to theday before/of a race or competition is don't eat anything new. You've spent months figuring out what works best for you, now's not the time to take a page out of your runner-buddy's book and start slamming fettuccine alfredo.
1) Hydrate with water to satisfy thirst all day long. The recommendation is 1oz/kg body weight or roughly 1/2 your body weight in ounces. A 200lb person needs 100oz water. That’s a minimum! Consume AT LEAST that much water.
2) It is very important to get some carbohydrates in you the day before. Sweet Potatoes and low GI fruits, like apples, berries and grapefruit are good if you’re sticking to a paleo diet, but rice, bread and pasta are ok just for today to make sure you refill your glycogen stores.
3) Last meal of the day should not be too large, eaten 2-3 hrs before bedtime, especially if you are competing in the early morning. Should
contain mostly carbohydrates and some good lean protein (chicken breast is good choice), very little fiber and little to no fat.
1) If you are competing first thing in the morning, do not eat anything up until 15-10 minutes before. At that point, consume about 15-30g carbohydrates with 7-15 grams of protein. 1-2 Fuel Packs depending on your body weight and tolerance for food will satisfy this. However, if you typically train on an empty stomach, it's probably best again not to try anything new.
2) If you are competing later in the day, eat the pre-workout solid meal of your choice no less than 3 hrs before. This will give you enough time to digest the solid meal and clear the gut. Hydrate as necessary with water to satisfy thirst.
3) 10-15 minutes pre-competition, follow the above protocol #1 based on personal tolerances. If you don’t feel comfortable eating closely to competing go with some easily digestible carbs and protein 2hr-30min before the workout like a Fuel Pack, which settle nicely in the tummy.
Immediately within 10-15 minutes, replenish muscle glycogen and reduce protein breakdown, reduce fat storage, reduce muscle soreness and start the recovery process with an appropriate recovery beverage that contains 3 parts carbs to 1 part protein. A recovery shake combined with a Fuel Pack will satisfy this in that critical recovery window. Fuel Packsprovides both fast acting carbs, quality protein and hydration all in 1 package.
1 Hour Post-Competition:
Back on the Paleo wagon or following your normal diet with a solid food meal loaded with antioxidants. Lean meats, nutrient dense, veggies, and plenty of water.