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The Review is hosted by the Kinesiology Department at Tarleton State University (Stephenville, Texas).
Friday, March 20, 2015
Fueling up for the Race
The racing world is a very broad spectrum spanning from racing cars, various animals, and even people, but there is a common place amongst them. What all of these things share is that they require fuel to be able to compete, and the type of fuel I am going to hone in on is the type of fuel that track athletes require before a competition.
Proper fueling needs to begin a few days before the day of the race, and this helps the athlete not feel too full but not feel hungry either. Primarily when wondering what fuel to use remember, ”Eat high Carbohydrate meals the day and night before to fuel your muscles.”1 Carbohydrates are extremely important because they break down into glucose that acts like energy reserves. On the morning of the day of the race the athlete needs to continue to consume carbohydrates and some protein, but the athlete should stay away from fatty and greasy foods. Eating fatty foods can make the athlete feel bloated, gassy, or uncomfortably full, and that can be detrimental to the athletes performance. As the day progresses and gets closer to the event time it is recommended to eat lighter than normal in order to avoid any gastrointestinal problems prior to the race.
Along with eating properly, it is also important to stay hydrated properly. Many athletes think that they are hydrating properly, but in reality they are falling short of their bodys water requirements. “Losing as little as two percent of your body weight through sweat can cause cramps, overheating, fatigue, nausea and other performance problems.”2 Athletes will need more than the recommended amount a day for a normal person, because they are expending way more energy than someone who just goes to work and goes home. “To help you determine the amount of fluid you lose during exercise, you can weigh yourself before and after exercise. For each pound lost during activity, drink 24 oz. of fluid.”3
Staying on top of the athletes nutrition and hydration, by fueling properly a few days before the race day,should make the athlete a lean mean medal winning machine.