(Photo by Aperture by Angelica)
Written by Rachel Jimenez
The weekend is here, the weigh-ins are over, and the competition you’ve prepped so hard for is less than 24-hours away. Exciting, right? PRs and Pop Tarts as far as I can see.
As you’re prepping your meet-day bag, you may be wondering (especially if this is your first meet):
“Wait… What should I eat on competition day?”
And the answer is both simple and a little less exciting than what Instagram may depict.
Meet day snacks are a very important part of your meet day that could either fuel you to success or leave you feeling less than optimal. Here are some tips to keep you fueled, focused, and ready to crush your day!
Keep It Simple
Have you ever experienced a food coma? That satisfying feeling after you just crushed a heavy plate of food that left you with a food baby and the need for a 3-hour nap?
Well, as great as those meals are, that is something we want to AVOID on meet day. Eating dense, voluminous, slow-digesting foods (like vegetables, greasy food, full-size meals, etc.) can sit heavy in our stomachs and make us feel lethargic and possibly a little bloated. On meet day, our focus is on performance, and we want to feel ready to go for our moment on the platform (and be able to latch our belt). Sticking with light, easily-digestible foods like, but not limited to, pretzels or candy that you can munch on throughout the day will keep energy levels up without filling your gut.
Keep It Familiar
Now before you go buying two dozen donuts and every box of candy you see, take a moment and ask yourself: have I ever eaten these things before? Or rather… do I feel good after I eat these foods?
As fun as it may seem to eat all the things you’ve dreamed of on meet day, we have to remember that this is a powerlifting meet, not a foodie festival. Adding in foods that you have never eaten before may upset your stomach or make you feel a little off. Everyone is different, and that “snack mix” or “go-go juice” that your friend swears by may not sit well with YOU. My advice: try to stick with simple foods that you eat regularly. If you want to add in a fun food that you don’t normally get to eat, pick foods that you’ve eaten before that you KNOW sit well with you. It may seem silly, but the last thing you want is a sudden urge to use the restroom right before you’re called to squat.
Keep It Hydrated
And this is a given, but I’m going to tell you anyways. YOU HAVE TO STAY HYDRATED. I’m not saying you have to chug your body weight in water (because we don’t want to have to pee every 5 minutes), but you do have to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. The last thing we want to have to deal with is a bad headache or feeling dizzy. Another thing we want to consider is taking in a beverage with some simple carbs, sugar, and electrolytes, like Gatorade or Powerade. This will be a big help if you are someone that doesn’t like to snack a lot on meet day, if the meet lasts for over two hours (and most do), or if you’re competing in a different climate. You have to be prepared to keep yourself in prime condition and feeling your best, especially if the venue environment is different than what you normally train in.
Staying properly fueled on meet day can help you feel both mentally and physically ready for the platform. If it is your first meet, focus your excitement towards stepping onto that platform, not towards packing every snack you’ve ever wanted to try. Keep your snack choices simple, familiar, and don’t forget to pack enough to drink. Over time, you will find what works best for you, and your trips to the grocery store will become more routine and less confusing!
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