If you are just joining us the blog has been broken down into 5 separate blogs. If you did not read Tip 1, click the link below.
Tip #2-Proper Nutrition- Way too many times 20 minutes before a competition, I see a parent trying to shove some fried food into their child’s mouth, or kids come walking in with a large Starbucks in their hand. While I know your intensions were good, your execution is lousy! The wrong food or beverage at the wrong time can cause a child to feel sluggish, resulting in a poor performance. Here is a list of things you keep in mind when it comes to the do’s and don’ts of pre competition meals.
- Eat 2-4 hours before the event. Athletes will preform better when their stomach is empty! No, this does not mean to starve your child. Because food must pass through the stomach and small intestines before it can be absorbed into the body, when and what we eat will have a direct impact on their performance. Fats and proteins take about 5 to 7 hours to digest and absorb into the body, compared to carbohydrates, which take about 3 to 4 hours. A meal that is filled with complex carbs, is the best choice before an event. Fats and proteins are ok but should be kept to a minimum amount since it slows down the digestion process. (Meals should be no more than 1,000 calories)
- Hydrate don’t dehydrate.-Staying properly hydrated can prevent subsequent injuries and illnesses for your child. While Starbucks and energy drinks are all the craze, making sure your child drinks lots of water starting the night before an event will help them put on a performance of a lifetime. A study by ACSM (American College Sports Medicine) shows how caffeine can improve one’s performance during short-term exercise lasting 5 minutes or less, the amount of caffeine is important. Too much caffeine can produce side effects such as anxiety, jitters and the inability to focus, just to name a few; all that will lead to a poor performance. The ACSM suggest having no more than 3-6mg of caffeine/km. This means an athlete weighing 45 kms (99lbs) should have between 135 mg-270 mg of caffeine in a day, one can 16 oz can of monster has about 160 mg of caffeine!
- Pack a snack-It is important to pack some health snacks to help increase your child’s chance of having an amazing performance. Sports drinks, pretzels, raisens, and smoothies, are all great snacks just before heading to warm ups.
I have attached three links to articles that will help you prepare a better plan for what your child should and should not eat before competition.
If you are not tired and want to get a sneak peak at any of the other tips click the links below