Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Eat what, when, and why?!?!? My game plan for WFTDA Western Regionals

Most of us have a game day routine that we follow leading up to a bout. I get lots of skaters asking me what to eat on game day so I thought I would share how I got through an epic weekend of skating at Besterns.

2012 West Region Playoffs Logo

Regionals this weekend could have been a challenge if it hadn't been for some good preparations and packing most of what I needed to eat with me.  ACDG had some tough teams to go up against and I wanted to be fueled and ready! I stocked up on 
Formula 1 sport, Hydrate, Prolong, Prepare,  "Magic liftoff cookies" as Duchess has now coined Liftoff (my healthy energy drink), and some bars and little snacks. This way I knew all I had to find was a healthy meal or two and I was good to go! We skated 2 games Friday (WASATCH and Rose City) with no crashing feeling in between them.  On Saturday we skated against Rocky Mountain and thankfully I had taken Restore Friday night because otherwise I might not have been able to walk the next day. Sunday was our final game against Sac City. Every game was challenging and I am so proud of my team and so thankful for having a kick ass nutrition program to get me through my very first Regional Tournament.

Here are the basics of what I did each day:

It took me a bit of trial-and-error with my diet to come up with a plan that works for me, there are a few key points that all athletes should keep in mind when trying to match their meals and snacks to their activity. Carbohydrates are primarily what the body relies on for energy. The body needs a fairly steady source from the diet, since there’s only so much carbohydrate the body can store – in the form of glycogen – in the muscles and the liver. This doesn't mean carb loading the night before on 7 lbs of pasta is going to make you skate any faster. Keep it healthy the days leading up to a bout but powering down massive carbs the night before is not necessary. It’s important to ‘top off the tank’ with some carbohydrate before an athletic event.  In choosing what to eat, all athletes need to consider how much time they have to digest before they start an athletic performance or event.

Key Points to remember:
  • Foods high in fiber and fat delay digestion time so save them for after your bout.
  • Light or liquid meals digest more quickly than solid ones.
  • During continuous activity that lasts longer than an hour, athletes need to keep the carbohydrate coming in.  Specially designed sports drinks are ideal for this purpose, since they provide fluid and salts as well as the right amount of carbohydrate to keep muscles well fueled; some also provide small amounts of protein that help with muscle recovery.
  • Post-exercise, athletes must consume plenty of carbohydrate to replenish the stores in their liver and muscles.  Ideally, athletes should try to eat within 30 minutes or so after their event or workout is over.  Fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans and dairy products are all terrific recovery foods. This is the time to load back up on the higher fiber carbs since digestion time is no longer a concern.
  • Whey and casein – proteins derived from dairy products – are also needed after exercise to help promote muscle recovery.  A protein smoothie made with milk and fruit, a sandwich on wholegrain bread with a glass of milk, or some yogurt with a piece of fruit are all excellent post-exercise meal ideas

More than 3 hours before the game.
Planning ahead is key!  Eat a regular, balanced meal no less than 3 hours before the bout.  Just keep it healthy and avoid the heavy stuff.

Between 1 and 3 hours to start time.
If you have only an hour or two before your event, then enjoy a lighter, solid meal, maybe some cottage cheese and toast, or a bowl of low fiber cereal. I usually have a chicken and veggie wrap or snack on a protein bar. If we are getting close to game time I down a Formula 1 sport shake.

Less than 1 hour until you compete?
For athletes who have only an hour or less to digest before an event, choose something that will be easy on your stomach such as a smoothie or a yogurt. I drink Formula 1 sport before my bouts. 30 minutes prior to my game I drink 1/2 a Liftoff with 2 scoops of Prepare.

During the event?
Keep topping up – water and use a specific sports hydration drink are both important. During the first half of the bout I drink water with 1-2 scoops of Prolong to ensure my blood sugar doesn't crash before the second half. Then I drink water or Hydrate for the rest of the bout.

Just completed the bout?
Dig into some healthy snacks like fruit, raw vegetable sticks, and hummus, or a Rebuild Strength.

When you are doing strenuous exercise, paying attention to what you eat – and when – can have a big impact on your athletic performance, so don’t let eating become an afterthought.

This is Krissy Krash, signing off! You can always hit me up with questions, for advice, to give feedback, or for a free nutrition and performance profile at krissykrash.derbalife@gmail.com.  Plus, if you want to try out anything I mentioned above or you are are ready to get your ass in gear, you can get 10% off plus free 1:1 coaching from yours truly by hitting up www.goherbalife.com/krissykrash by using the coupon code AllDerbyDrills.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Whether you’re fresh meat or an all star, you food choices can have a huge impact on your performance.
When you’re really active, you can burn through a lot of calories – so much so, that it often seems there’s no way to satisfy your appetite.  So many skaters these days cross train, play other sports, and live an incredible active lifestyle. Pre workout and post workout can often be the danger time: when your appetite is out-of-control, it’s tempting to let yourself eat whatever you want – thinking that you will ‘burn it off’ later.  Remember though – even when your calorie needs are high, you don’t have license to eat foods with little nutritional value.

To eat like an athlete you need to think about food as fuel.

Ask yourself about the benefits of a particular food: is it protein or carb based, does it contain the nutrients you need?  You can’t let yourself be tempted by only thinking about the taste, or by constantly giving into cravings for sweet or fatty food.
Getting fueled up for activity means having the right pre workout meals, staying hydrated, and properly refueling after an event or workout.  If you’re a picky eater, vegetarian, or vegan, meeting these goals can be challenging, so think about your athletic aims and keep in mind that that a healthy diet is vital for a good performance.
An athlete’s body is like an engine – one that needs the right fuel to run properly.  Healthy carbohydrates – from fruits, vegetables and grains (like whole grain breads, rice and corn) – are the body’s preferred source of fuel, not beer and french fries... I know its hard to believe.  These good carbs help to not only sustain exercise, but they are needed afterwards to help replenish body stores.
The body also needs healthy lean proteins – from foods like lean meats, poultry, fish, milk, yogurt, eggs and soybeans – to help build and repair muscles after exercising, and small amounts of healthy fats (from foods like avocados or nuts) to help meet calorie needs.
Try these basic tips for healthy eating to keep you properly ‘fueled up’ for exercise:

Before a workout

You need to ‘top off the tank’ with some carbohydrates to provide energy.  The best choices are foods that are easy to digest like a fruit smoothie, a carton of yogurt or a small bowl of cereal and milk.  Keep meals low in fat so they’ll be easy to digest.

During exercise

Staying hydrated is key.  Water is fine if you’re exercising for less than an hour, but a hydration drink is great for extended exercise or when the weather is particularly hot or humid. High or low carb hydration drinks will depend on the duration of your workout.

After exercise

It’s important to refuel muscles with some healthy carbohydrates and protein.  A healthy meal replacement shake is an all-time favorite recovery food since it provides fluid, potassium, carbohydrates and protein – all of which the body craves after activity.  Other great post-exercise foods are sandwiches, fruits, yogurt.
Your body needs fiber, but it’s best to eat high-fiber foods after exercise, rather than before, to avoid stomach distress.  Save the wholegrain breads and pastas for after your game, race or workout.
If you have high calorie needs, make healthy higher calorie choices that are also nutrient-rich like nuts, 100% fruit juices, dried fruits, peanut butter and trail mix.

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