Recommendations for Pre-competition Meals

Recommendations for Pre-competition Meals

September 01, 2015

  1. Pre-competition meals are unlikely to provide any enhancement of competitive performance unless: the activity requires a consistent effort over a time period of 60-90 minutes or longer OR the food is consumed at least 2-3 hours prior to the event (the minimum time required for the stomach to empty its contents into the GI tract).


  1. Avoid foods high in fat prior to competition since high fat foods require 3-4 hours or longer for gastric emptying to occur.


  1. Select foods with a high water content and diluted beverages since solids take longer to digest and liquids are more rapidly absorbed than solid foods.


  1. Water is the single most important nutritional concern immediately prior to, and during competition; cold water is emptied by the stomach faster than warm water.


  1. Drink more fluids during hot, humid weather; exercise conditions may increase blood flow to the skin in order to support heat loss, thus fluid absorption is even more critical.


  1. Avoid concentrated solutions immediately prior to competition since such solutions impair nutrient and water absorption. These types of fluids can compound the risk of dehydration.


  1. Retaining concentrated fluids in the stomach may cause discomforts like cramps and side stitches.


  1. Pre-competition meals should be planned for the individual considering his/her special needs, likes, and dislikes.

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Sports Nutrition