TOURNAMENT STRATEGIES FOR FUEL AND HYDRATION
Athletes are forever challenged with how to manage their fuel intake for those long tournament weekends where they may compete multiple times a day, sometimes with consecutive days.
7 on 7 football tournaments alone guarantee three competitions a day with potential to play as many as five games over the course of a 10 hour day.
What keeps an athlete from suffering from an empty tank half way through the day? The answer is proper nutritional management.
“The challenge is how do you quickly recover from one event and go straight into another event after a short period of time,” says Brett Singer, certified sports dietitian for Memorial Hermann Ironman Sports Medicine Institute.
“There are many variables to manage over the coarse of the tournament. How much time do we have between events?
Is there food service onsite or does the athlete need to bring their own meals? What is the intensity or duration of the event? Is the athlete simply running a (100 meter) sprint or are they playing a high intensity basketball game?”
Research has shown that protein consumption during short recovering periods is not as beneficial as carbohydrate and fluid replacement.
“Protein is not crucial for the upcoming event as far a fuel is concerned. Protein should be viewed as a your recovery source once your day is complete. What’s most important is refueling the carbohydrates you’ve burned off from your previous event.”
The optimal recovery in a tournament setting is for the athlete to consume 500 milligrams of carbohydrates during the first 30 minutes of recovery. This could be a simple as a slice of apple fruit or 2 oz of a sports drink.
For more information on Sport Nutrition and Diets contact Brett Singer MS, RD, CSCS, LD of the Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute of Houston.
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To Listen to the full version of Brett Singer’s interview on Tournament Nutrition click the link below.