Nutritionist Lori Nedescu, RD LD, contributes a guest blog examining the nutritional component of endurance sports competition. Similar to training plans, optimal nutrition strategies are specific to the individual athlete, the competition type, conditions, duration and intensity. This article outlines general guidelines and sample fueling and hydrating strategies for reference as a good starting point.
During athletic competition, the body is being asked to meet great demands. In order to achieve top performance, it is key to fuel your body properly. Many athletes eat well and practice fueling in normal day-to-day training, yet when race day comes, fueling issues seem to be the cause of disaster. Keep in mind that while training, a variety of exercise methods (long run/bike, tempo, sprints, strength, etc) in order to fine-tune your bodies ability to perform on race day. Nutrition should be approached in that way as well; training the body under various fueling methods to determine a race day plan. Here we will discuss the body's energy needs, common fueling problems, ways to address such problems and common fueling strategies. Finally, we will examine sample plans of adequate race fueling methods for various sports. After reading this document, the athlete should feel more prepared to meet their individual fueling needs during competition.
Common Fueling Issues & Overcoming Them
Nutrition Fueling Basics
Common Food & Drink Examples and Caloric Value
Common Fueling Strategies: Race Day
Sample Plan For A Half Ironman
Remember that every athlete's body and competition goals are different. This means your individual needs may differ from the common approach. If you are struggling with meeting nutrition needs, begin working one-on-one with a registered dietitian.