I want to keep it real basic so you, the coaches, athletes and parents can understand nutrition today as it is a massive world of speculation and scientiﬁc jargon. If after reading this, you would like to get more in depth then you can contact me.
Well do we eat Coco Pops or avocados?
Do we have to drink water or don't we?
So why even bother?
Well nutrition plays a massive role, in everything to do with being alive.
Let's get real basic about it!
It's no good forcing all this healthy nonsense down our athlete’s throats when they’re not even EATING or getting the timings right.
If any nutrition expert disagrees with me then take a look at my medals and you can contact me and we will discuss.
Week Prior to Competition
1. Just eat
Before we get deep in to it rule 1, we need to make sure the athletes (and coaches) are eating! As lots of athletes will think it’s a good idea to drastically cut down on their food running up to comp to look their upmost best in their uniform on comp day, it isn’t going to work!!
It will just make them/you suck on the comp ﬂoor so make sure they/you are eating enough food.
2. Try to keep it real most of the time
Try and manage what goes in is 80% real food. Don't stress about proteins, fats and carbs and quality they don't need to know just eat real food 80% of the time and quality will be on point.
Make sure your athletes/children are eating regular meals EVERY DAY not just pre and post comp/training. It doesn't matter if it's carbs, fats, proteins just make them eat! Nutrition plays a massive role in the body's recovery for up to a week after a session/comp.
Also, if they can’t eat breakfast in the early morning don't force them to (myth 1 busted!) as it's not the most important meal of the day! If they are sleepy before school/work, then maybe check their sleep before you ram breakfast down their throat.
That brings me onto my next point...
Make sure your athletes are getting adequate sleep, minimum 6hours a night sleep is where all the magic happens! It's where all your cheeky hormones come into play and get all the recovery and recharging done. Explain to athletes it’s like a battery that needs to recharge from the hard training the coaches put them through.
Get them off their games consoles and phones and make them chill out before heading to bed to give them a chance of getting a better night’s sleep.
Also, eating close to bed time MAY affect sleep but nothing else, deﬁnitely not weight! Myth 2 busted!!
Drink plenty of liquids, not coke or Fanta, I'm talking water! I know to get a smaller athlete to drink boring water these days can be a hard slog so put some sugar free low-calorie squash in it just make them keep hydrated.
Diet drink options are not adequate but are made up of mostly water so for day to day consumption it's cool! Also, aspartame will not kill you or your athlete, BUT dehydration will!
Myth 3 busted!
Training and Competition
*TREAT THEM BOTH THE SAME*
“But Sam, isn't training longer than doing a competition?” Well yes...
We have 2 hours training and at comp we have pre-warm-up, warm-up, then comp warm-up then we compete! We all know you coaches are going to make us warm up before the warm up before the warmup!!
THE NIGHT BEFORE
It's the same with nutrition it doesn't start the 60 minutes before comp or training it starts the night before, so we have a pre-pre-comp day meal, but it isn’t magic guys!
A nice big dinner the night before, remember the 80% rule. BUT maybe with a higher amount of carbohydrates to keep the muscle glycogen stores (stored energy, boom scientiﬁc stuff right there) full up for the intense workout the following day.
Google high carb foods - Simples.
Big meal for breakfast IF they are not competing too early then taper down towards comp time to 2 hours before. If on early, then small breakfast is best.
An adequate meal 2 hour before training or competition just so their body isn't putting in the work digesting food when it needs to be ﬂipping and performing at their best! This can either be upon waking up or literally 2 hours before.
Refer to rule about breakfast and make sure it’s not too heavy.
Now we are looking at our time pre-comp and training just keep the athletes hydrated and throw in some little faster digesting goodies like isotonic glucose drinks maybe mixed into a big bottle of water and some sweets (small amount not a 500g bag). These items are just to sip/chew on throughout warm up and training sessions!
Also, at training, you can add in some fruit maybe as we don't want to be carrying bananas into warm up do we.
For the older athletes we have our king of all kicks - caffeine! Which has been proven to improve physical and mental performance. I'm not talking an all singing and dancing spiced latte with 6000 calories and no coffee, I'm talking white/black coffee or a calorie free monster 90 minutes before, so it can take full effect.
Stay away from ﬁzzy drinks, such as our diet sodas on comp/training day, athletes will be ﬁne not having them for 1 day.
Going back to our 2-hour training and 40 minutes comp warm-up! Ensure to drink/eat more of our faster digesting goodies throughout the 2 hours training session than the 40-minute comp warm-up.
We return to our normal routine of having your next balanced meal and life goes on.
-Nutrition is NOT just for comp/training day
-Eat 80% real food
-Remember pre pre (the night before)
-Make sure they eat
-Don't stress about eating avocado rather than Coco Pops!
I hope this is simple and easy enough for everyone out there to follow!
There may be a few questions about things, something you don't agree with or something you are not sure about then contact me and I will be able to point you in the right direction.
The Body Mechanic
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