We’re less than three weeks out from Turf Wars – are you fueling your body with the right balance of foods and nutrients to maximize your chances of success? Just as you can’t expect to walk onto a track and run a 5-minute mile without training, you can’t start eating well the day before Turf Wars and expect to take home first place.
Here are 5 tips to help you prepare yourself for Turf Wars 2018!
1. Food timing. On May 19th, you’ll be pushing yourself and exerting maximum effort for three to four hours, give or take. While it’s okay to grab a light snack (100 to 200 calories at most) during the event, if you eat properly beforehand, it’s likely you won’t need to. I suggest eating a healthy breakfast three hours before you hit the Turf. Depending on your metabolism, this is an ideal timeframe to help avoid nausea and ward off fatigue.
2. Portion and proportion size. The portion of your plate and proportion of macronutrients is critical. The portion is how much food you consume whereas the proportion is how much of each food fills your plate. On a typical day, Athletes should eat 1/3 fat, 1/3 protein and 1/3 carbohydrates in every sitting. This can be confusing, however, because most foods fall into multiple categories. Take eggs for example eggs are fat and protein, so which category do they fall under? On the day of competition, breakfast should consist of mostly carbohydrates (60 to 70%) for sustained energy, limited fiber and a smaller amount of fat (10 to 15%) and protein (10 to 15%).
I suggest consuming 500 calories of quality, nutrient-dense food. My favorites options are: (1) one and a half cups of overnight oats with walnuts, cinnamon, blueberries chia seeds; (2) two pieces of Ezekial grain bread with almond butter and banana slices on top; (3) a sweet potato with cinnamon and two tablespoons of almond butter; (4) one cup of full-fat granola with strawberries, blueberries, almond slivers, pumpkin seeds and cinnamon. My go-to brand is Oat My Goodness.
3. Food quality. The quality of your food is almost as important as the nutritional value of it. While I always encourage clients to eat “clean”, over the next weeks, it’s especially important that you steer clear of heavily processed and packaged foods. They contain all sorts of questionable ingredients that cause inflammation throughout your body, slowing your recovery time and weakening your immune system. Opt for fresh, whole foods – which is why Tone House Fuel is such a great option! Other than Fuel, keep in mind that the healthiest foods out there won’t have a label on them. Yes, you guessed it, fruits and vegetables and fresh organic meats you can find at the Union Square Green Market. One to two days before the event, go lighter on your fiber intake.
4. Hydration. Our bodies are made up of 2/3 water. Water prevents cramping, increases energy and helps your system run efficiently. Whether you opt for Alkaline water, water with added electrolytes or good old fashion spring water, drink up! The week leading up to Turf Wars you should have a minimum of 3 liters of water every day. On the morning of, drink 1 liter before stepping onto Pier 46, and stay hydrated throughout the competition. We lose a lot of water when we sweat!
5. Recovery. An anti-inflammatory diet is a perfect complement to a grueling training regimen and proper rest and recovery. My favorite anti-inflammatory foods are beets, blueberries, bone broth, salmon, chia seeds, green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, broccoli), and turmeric. Make sure to eat the turmeric with fat though, otherwise, it won’t be absorbed as efficiently. If you’re up for it, start drinking beet juice (1/2 cup, roughly) leading up to the event. A study of triathletes found that those who drank beet juice before the race performed 3% better than those who did not.
Once you finish competing, your focus should be on refueling, rehydrating and rebuilding your muscles. First and foremost, replenish your glycogen stores with carbohydrates and protein (especially leucine) to promote optimal muscle recovery. And of course, drink another liter of water. Feel free to add extra electrolytes to the water as well – ROAR electrolyte beverages, for example. If you want something sweet and heavy, eat up. You deserve it!
Looking for a nutrition game plan leading up to Turf Wars that’s tailored specifically to you? Sign up for a consultation at the House with me! Visit tonehouse.com/passes to purchase a session.
See you on the Turf soon,
Jen Silverman, Tone House in-House nutrition expert