Part 5 – Special Circumstances and Further Experimentation
In this, the final part of my blog series, I will look at what I have called “Special Circumstances”, but which, in reality, refers to competition nutrition. Nutrition around the competition period has to:
a) Improve performance
b) Improve recovery
c) Keep weight as low as possible.
Lets start with the day before the race. From the moment I wake up on this day, until immediately after my last race, I will be following a low residue diet. This diet is designed to reduce the amount of food left in the bowel, and can reduce bodyweight by up to 1.5kgs, a not unsubstantial amount which may make all the difference in a race that can be decided by thousandths. From a food point of view, this means eating quickly digested foods, i.e. white bread, skimmed milk, white rice. It is very low fibre (so not much fruit or veg), and, as fat tends to slow digestive transit, is also low fat. My main protein sources during this phase tend to be low-fat milk and yoghurt, protein shakes, egg whites, and chicken. I generally go slightly higher protein on this day to improve my hormonal profile.
In addition to the low residue food aspect, I also tend to run slightly dehydrated, again to reduce weight as much as possible. I will usually drink pretty normally until about 4 hours pre-race, where I will start to cut down a bit. I monitor my urine colour until I am at about the correct level of hydration, and then just drink for maintenance from there.
In the hour pre-race, I tend to consume high levels of caffeine to stimulate me, and some carbohydrate gels and drinks to ensure that I have optimal levels of carbohydrate in my body for performance.
Post-race, to improve recovery, I immediately have a carb-protein drink, followed by a main meal as soon as possible. Again, this usually contains high levels of protein and carbohydrate, and as much fruit and vegetables as possible to get as many minerals as I can into my body. At this point I usually go higher on my immune supplements, and so will dose slightly higher for probiotics, vitamin C and glutamine. This will continue into the next day, as will the slightly elevated protein intake for recovery purposes.
In terms of further experimentation, I am very interested in looking more into specific amino acids, particularly ones that my boost GH naturally. I am also interested in performance enhancing herbs. Hopefully I will find out some interesting stuff with these, and I will endeavour to keep you posted if I do.
I hope you have enjoyed my 5-part series on my diet, if you have any questions please leave a comment and I will try to answer them as quickly as possible.