Are you ready? Only days to go until the An Post Tour of Sligo! Good4U are proud sponsors of the event which includes a Family Fun Day on Saturday May 4th, with the Tour of Sligo taking place on Sunday, May 5th. We’ve got your back, as Good4U’s Nutritionist and Dietician Michelle Butler has compiled a simple guide for competitors to ensure you give your best performance on the day.
Energy needs on the day will vary depending on age, training load and distance. Fuel for endurance sport depends largely on the supply of carbohydrate to the exercising muscle. A good quality diet with a wide range of foods from across all food groups will help to provide protein, vitamins and minerals for performance.
Part of the training diet will be consumed on the bike so must be easy to carry. Pack foods such as:
2. Energy Bars
3. Sachet of seeds
4. Sports drinks
On average, 300kcal is burnt during a 30 minute cycle but this will depend on your weight, intensity and incline, so you need to make sure that you are well fuelled.
Consume a rich meal 2-4 hours prior to the start of the cycle, such as wholegrain toast or cereal.
Top up glycogen stores an hour or so before the race with foods such as a banana or muesli bars.
In longer races easily digested carbohydrate-rich foods should be consumed to prevent fatigue secondary to glycogen depletion.
What about carb loading?
In general, people need about 5-7g carbohydrate per kg body weight. When you are carb-loading this should increase this to 7-10g of carbohydrate per kg/body weight. However, you can’t completely fill your muscles with glycogen from just one meal, which is why you should start carb loading 3 days before the race. During these last 3 days of training your carbohydrate intake should make up about 70-80% of your total calories. This doesn’t mean that you need to consume hundreds more calories than usual; it’s just that more of those calories should come from carbohydrates.
Don’t just focus on the evening meal the night before the big day. This is a common mistake people make, and only results in you feeling lethargic and uncomfortable afterwards. Sensible carb-loading is about breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. If you can add a few more carbs at every meal and snack you will saturate your muscle and liver glycogen stores, ready to be released around the lovely sights of Sligo.
What about Fluid?
Fluid needs are high, it’s important to keep well hydrated during the day and extra fluid throughout the cycle. During the cycle aim to drink 1 litre of water every hour. Plan to refill regularly. Sports drinks can be consumed as they are a good way of supplying carbohydrate and fluid.
Begin the race well hydrated by drinking the equivalent of half a litre to one litre of fluid with the pre-event meal and 500ml immediately before starting.
Best of luck, I’ll see you all there. Watch this space for tips on recovery.
Please drop in to the Family Fun Day on Saturday the 4th May, where we’ll be standing by with Good4U samples and snacks! Keep up to date with the weekend’s events via our twitter (@Good4UNutrition) and our facebook (http://facebook.com/good4u), you can find us on instagram @Good4UNutrition!