Beat the Streets is almost here and for athletes participating in the event, fueling between WODs can present a challenge. Hopefully BIG athletes have a plan! If not, these guidelines can help; these can also be used by athletes participating in other multi-event competitions.
Adequate hydration is critical between events, especially during hot weather. Urine provides two good markers for adequate hydration—less volume and/or dark yellow urine—you need to drink more. A more accurate way to replete fluid is based on typical weight loss during WODs; athletes need 1.25-1.5 liters of fluid for 1 kilogram body weight lost (~ 3 cups of fluid per pound lost).
Electrolytes: especially sodium and potassium
Replace sodium through food or commercial or homemade sport drinks. Potassium, which is needed for muscle contraction, is also provided in most sport drinks. If you have time to eat and can tolerate it, snacks with sodium and potassium are: banana and yogurt, sweet potato with small amount of salt, avocado and tomatoes.
For events lasting 1-2.5 hours, consume at least 30-60 gm carbohydrate/hour of exercise, longer than 2.5 hours you will need 90 gm carbs/hour. A sport drink (~20 oz. to reach 30 gm carb) or gel are options. Other options are raisins, honey, GoGo squeez (applesauce, as well as fruit/vegetable blends), Sport beans, or Bolt chews. Test out your options before the event, though, since some can cause GI distress.
Protein during an event does not enhance sport performance based on research. It also delays stomach emptying and can result in GI discomfort, but small amounts may be tolerated between events. Post-event, though, a mix of carbs and protein (0.8 gm carb plus 0.4 gm protein/kg body weight) are more effective for refueling and repairing muscles than carbs alone.
All the best to BIG Beat the Streets teams!
Happy and healthful eating,
Donna G. Pertel, MEd, RD, LDN
SAVE THE DATE: BIG nutrition challenge kick-off October 1, 2016 meeting at BIG two weeks after Beat the Streets!