Our team, the Romsey Town Rollerbillies are off to Paris this weekend to play some European Roller Derby against Paris B and Bordeaux A team! There was lots of excitement at the end of training last night as people started discussing the finer details of the trip, and most importantly, if Eurostar will let our team mate board with a dish full of pasta bake.
Meal preparation ahead of a bout can be tough in itself but food prepping for an overseas trip can be even harder. Our advice on this is to plan, plan, plan. Now this doesn't have to be hard work, see it as a positive way of maximising your fuel reserves to perform the very best that you can.
It's really important before any competition that you plan your meals in the the week ahead, if you are competing for more than 90 minutes then you should carb load.
CARB LOAD I hear you say...penne to linguine, farfalle to bucatini, you have it covered!
Pasta, rice, potatoes, quinoa, couscous, porridge are great source of carbs for this purpose, remember though that other food groups are also important so make sure you are also including, fruits, vegetables, proteins, dairy/dairy substitutes, grains and fats into your diet. Try to keep rich foods and high saturated fats out.
The idea of carb loading is to fill the glycogen stores in your body, this is what fuels you. Glycogen stores are not infinite so you need to keep these levels up ahead of a game so that you have enough fuel to get you through.
HYDRATION is also really important ahead of a game, a standard rule is that you should drink 2 litres of water a day. You should also drink an additional 400ml of water for even hour of exercise. You can drink more than this but be aware of over hydrating which can result in excessive trips to the toilet and watering down the sodium levels in your body which can cause symptoms very similar to dehydration. Check your urine colour to monitor your hydration levels - pale is good!
When competing at high intensity for more than an hour a sports drink is important, not just something containing electrolytes but also containing carbohydrates so it replaces fluid and fuel. Remember to try these products out in a training session and don't try anything new on game day!
Here are some top tips to think about when planning for an overseas trip or one one which requires time away from home.
- Avoid new foods
- Do some research before hand about food places near to where you are staying
- If you want to prep some meals to take with you, check the rules for taking food overseas as there can be restrictions on meat and dairy products.
- Take food packets with you that just require added water from the kettle in the hotel room
- Take a trip to the local supermarket to get any extras you need
- Pack water bottles and sports supplements/sports drinks
- Pack an empty lunch box (and a fork!)
- Pack snacks for your journey; nuts, dried fruits, cereal bars/flapjack, fruit (a trusty banana!)
- Make sure you've got your medication and are equipped with other bits in case you need them e.g. Ibuprofen, dioralyte etc.
On the day:
- Keep food fairly plain, avoiding spices and anything that may unsettle your stomach with pre game nerves: e.g high fibre foods and vegetables that can errr...cause flatulence!
- Caffeine is a great mental boost, known to improve concentration and performance. However, if nerves and caffeine do not mix well for you then do not mix them!
- Liquid meals are an option, especially if you can't face eating, opt for protein and carbohydrate sports drinks, flavoured milks, yoghurt drinks etc.
Hydrate and fuel your way to success and prepare to be on top form.