When it comes to meet day, you can't just eat like Luffy and expect to be at the top of your game. There is a strategy for getting the most out of your meet day when it comes to nutrition.
If you haven't ever thought of it, well that's why we are here, trying our best to get you to become the champion of your own tournament arc!
Here are a few tips we recommend to help get you to that next level.
Table of Contents
- The Down and Dirty Basics
- Eat Regularly, Even If You Need To Set a Reminder
- Carbs Are KING
- New Foods are a No Go
- Sip That Liquid
- Low Fat and Low Fiber for the Win
- Caffeine... The Right Way
The Down and Dirty Basics:
Meet day nutrition is NOT your everyday healthy nutrition. Your macro (protein/carb/fat) ratios are going to skew HEAVILY in one direction to build a total on competition day.
On meet day day, you want to fill your body with easy to access carbs, not slow to use fat or fiber for clearing your system. The reason to go about it this way is because carbs are most easily digested meaning that they will provide quicker energy for your depleted muscles to access.
To get your carbs in the RIGHT amount, a lot of athletes will focus on getting calorie dense carbs like candy, Gatorade, or honey. These carbs help prevent your stomach from getting overly full so you can eat more AND it also makes you less likely to hit that slow motion feeling from being too bloated.
Your mom wasn't right about eating your vegetables first, because here, it will just cause you to fail.
Eat Regularly, Even If You Need To Set a Reminder
From personal experience we can tell you that eating regularly on meet day is one of the foundational elements to success. The day is long and if you don't eat, there is the risk that you can go 6/9... and STILL bomb out.
So how do you combat this with the utmost success? The answer, while simple, isn't always easy. You need to eat consistently through the day without becoming super bloated. That's why we talked about high carb, low fill foods previously. But that isn't the only concern. Making sure that you are eating on time is another key to success.
Everyone is a bit different when it comes to this, however here are a few really quick tips:
- Set a timer so you eat at regular intervals
- Have friends shove food down your throat
- Eat a larger amount after squats and a smaller amount after bench
- Chug jelly/jam/honey/liquified gummy worms
It's not uncommon for people to get meet day nerves which changes their eating pattern/hunger levels. Personally, we can't eat a lot of warm foods so we sub in colder carbs to keep our body temp down. Liquid calories (that good ol' intra/sports drink) digests quicker as well and leaves room in our stomach for when we aren't feeling it.
Carbs are King
We've said it before and we will keep hammering it into the ground: CARBS ARE KING on meet day.
The reason why you don't really need to worry about protein, fiber, and fat is because they don't digest as fast and they don't provide as quick of an energy boost for exerting maximum weight on the barbell.
A decent amount of athletes regularly worry about their protein levels, and while you can still eat this as a small moncher, it shouldn't be at the top of your list.
New Foods are a No-Go
While it is a ton of fun trying out different foods on the weekends, we recommend you stay away from that the day before and during the meet.
Everyone responds differently to new foods, which is why you should only eat foods that your body has processed pre-training before.
This reduces the risks of back end blow outs, intermeet run downs, or just an uncomfortable day.
While we said chugging liquid gummy worms works, only do that if you've tried it before.
Sip That Liquid
While the basis of this article has been getting in them carbs we would be in the COMPLETE wrong if we also didn't hammer in the liquid portion of your day.
Your body fluids need to be replaced at a steady pace, or you won't finish the race (without a bit of discomfort).
Being dehydrated while lifting can cause an overall strength reduction of up to nearly 10% and may actually cause you to cramp up, tear a muscle or even have hallucinations.
Low Fat, Low Fiber
Fat is delicious and fiber keeps your bowels moving in the right direction. HOWEVER these aren't ideal on meet day.
Fat slows down your bodies natural digestion, which keeps you fuller longer and makes it harder to eat food throughout the day. It also is not a primary fuel source during lifting, so it won't give you that quick energy you need to hit your heaviest attempts.
Fiber on the other hand is used for clearing out your system and keeping you full through the day. Fiber is incredibly important through the course of your normal day, however on meet day, try your hardest to stay away from it.
Caffeine... Without OVERDOING It
When it comes to the legal drug a vast majority of lifters take, you want to make sure you don't overdo caffeine on meet day.
Research has suggested that you can have roughly 3-6 mg per kg of bodyweight to enhance performance. However, if you live off of caffeine or have never tried it before, your tolerance WILL vary. How much and often we consume is something that needs to be taken into account.
If you don't regularly sip the caf, you may find that a lower dose or no caffeine is the way to go. This is because it can cause anxiety, nauseousness, or nervousness when taken in irregular amounts.
Intake is something that you can play around with on SBD training days during your peaking cycle or when you are at a lower level meet. Developing the routine for meet day is crucial, as the days are long and the stims are high.
While these are suggestions for how you can get the most out of your meet, this isn't the end all, be all of meet day nutrition.
Our bodies are all different, which means that we all respond differently to what we eat. You can use these as guidelines for your meet day nutrition and start dialing it in as you compete more and more.
Remember, the goal is for you to get the most out of your meet, so eat up and have fun.