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Fueling for events later in the day

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Fueling for events later in the day

Postby Corey Sheehan » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:34 pm

I compete in Thai Boxing competitions which typically begin around 6:30pm and weigh-ins are day of. A constant problem i battle during the bouts is bonking and I am looking for some good tips on fueling for the duration of the day leading to the bout.
Corey Sheehan
 
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Re: Fueling for events later in the day

Postby steve-born » Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:01 am

Hello Corey -

My brother wrestled in high school and college for many years so I understand how difficult it can be to be at the weight you need to be for your division, especially when weigh-ins occur the same day as your matches. I remember how hard it was for him to go through the day not eating much, if anything, in order to make weight for that evening's competition... a big zero on the "fun-o-meter" if you ask me!

I think a primary key for you will be starting your match with as much muscle glycogen on board as possible. Muscle-stored glycogen is the first-used fuel when exercise begins and you will have a definite advantage if you have the maximum amount available.

So how do you maximize glycogen stores? You train, which sends a signal to your body that it needs to "step it up" in terms of storing more glycogen. Think of it this way: When you train, your body is saying, "You know, if Corey's going to be doing this to me on a fairly consistent basis, I've got to be better prepared." So one of the ways the body adapts to the stress you put on it in training is by "learning" how to store more glycogen in the muscles.

You need to do your part to make this happen and it's really easy: Just put some high-quality food or fuel (Recoverite is ideal for this) into your body immediately after your workouts. The combination of training stimulus and ASAP post-workout refueling is truly a major key for enhanced athletic performance. When you train consistently and when you "refill the tank" ASAP after all of your workouts you will build up a nice 60-90 minute reservoir of muscle glycogen, which again, is the first fuel your body will use when exercise begins.

I am quite zealous about post-workout refueling because it provides athletes with such a distinctly noticeable advantage over your opponents who blow off post-workout refueling. Think about it: having a 60-90 minute reservoir of premium fuel (muscle glycogen) ready to serve you is most definitely advantageous compared to an opponent who didn't bother with post-workout refueling and has, perhaps, only about 10 minutes of this fuel available. Plus, maximizing glycogen stores is so darn easy to do!

This is discussed in more detail in the article "Recovery - A Crucial Component for Athletic Success" (http://www.hammernutrition.com/knowledg ... .1278.html) and I would encourage you to adopt the principles outlined in that article.

One last thing: To me, the true meaning of "carbo loading" is not what you do in the few days leading up to a competition. It's similar to training... if you're not fit in the few days leading up to a competition there's little-to-nothing you can do to increase your fitness (you can really screw it up, however, by training too long or with too much intensity leading up to a competition).

Same is true with fueling... there's not a lot you can do in the days leading up to an event, and certainly not the night before or the day of the event, to positively influence glycogen stores. Athletes who eat extra amounts of food in the days leading up to a race, and for sure the night before/the day of the race, thinking that they're "carbo loading" are making a HUGE mistake. My unflinching opinion is that true "carbo loading" is what you do in the 0-60 minutes after all of your workouts in the weeks and months leading up to your competition.

Now, after your weigh-in and prior to your match I would suggest sipping on a 1-2 scoop bottle of HEED. That will supply your body with some high quality calories, fluids, and some electrolytic mineral support (you may want to take an additional Endurolytes capsule or two as well). If you're still feeling the need for fuel prior to your match, a serving of Hammer Gel washed down with water, about 5-8 minutes before your match, would be perfectly acceptable in my opinion.

Also, sucking on a tablet of Energy Surge (http://www.hammernutrition.com/products ... e.atp.html) every 30 minutes (I'm just using that as an example) in the 2-hour period prior to your match will also help with energy levels and without screwing with your Central Nervous System (i.e., you won't get the jitters) or adding any calories to the body. This is a great little product that supplies ATP, the body's "energy current" on demand. It's certainly worth trying, in my opinion

That's all I can think of at this time, Corey, and I hope I've helped answer your question. If you need more information or clarification please post on the list and I'll be happy to help as much as possible.

Sincerely -

Steve
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Re: Fueling for events later in the day

Postby Corey Sheehan » Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:31 am

Great info, I truly appreciate the feedback. I do have one more question on the subject though.

The morning of I typically eat one packet of oatmeal with a one-scoop protein shake. Assuming that I have properly refueled the day/night before and my muscle glycogen levels are good to go, would it be better to avoid breakfast all together and just try to keep them from depleting throughout the day leading up to the event?
Corey Sheehan
 
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Re: Fueling for events later in the day

Postby steve-born » Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:55 pm

Corey -

I don't know how long your matches are duration-wise but if you're doing several matches in the course of a tournament, chances are you'll be quite active (meaning your heart rate is up and metabolism is still revving on high) for a good 60 minutes or more. If that's the case then you definitely want to preserve muscle glycogen stores. To do so requires that you complete all pre-exercise/competition food consumption three hours prior. This is explained in more detail in the article "How to Properly Fuel Prior to Workouts & Races" at http://www.hammernutrition.com/knowledg ... .1279.html

Now, if your matches start early in the morning, and assuming you're going to be active for 60+ minutes during them, then you still don't want to consume any calories prior unless you have a very comfortable 3-hour window in which to complete a small meal.

Otherwise, if your matches are later in the day, by all means eat! Just make sure that you cease pre-exercise/competition calorie consumption three hours prior. You won't really be active enough to deplete muscle glycogen stores to any significant degree and you definitely don't want to deprive your body of the fuel it requires to do its daily tasks. So if your matches are later in the day absolutely have a high-quality breakfast and lunch, ceasing all food consuming three hours prior to the start of your matches.

Again, all of this is explained in greater detail in the earlier-listed article. If you have any additional questions, especially after reading that article, please let me know.

Sincerely -

Steve
************************
Steve Born
Fueling Expert
Event Sponsorship Coordinator
www.hammernutrition.com
800.336.1977
************************
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