Friday 3 October 2014

Amy’s Ride SA Nutrition Preparation

Whether you’re tackling Amy’s Ride SA for the first time, or you’re a seasoned-competitor, the coming month is an ideal chance to fine tune your ride day nutrition preparation. Here are a few tips from Alison Patterson - and Advanced Sports Dietitian - to get you to the start line in great form and help make the day as enjoyable and successful as possible

Preparation for the event – eating to match your training load

Adjusting your eating plan to match your training load is important to ensure you get the most out of each training session and recover sufficiently for the next session. Carbohydrate foods are the key fuel for active people and persistently eating inadequate amounts can result in fatigue and an inability to finish training sessions at the desired intensity. This issue can be easily fixed by eating nutritious foods rich in carbohydrates each day. Wholegrain breads and cereals, fruit, dairy foods and some vegetables (e.g. pumpkin, potato, sweet potato) are all great options. Importantly, including protein containing foods such as lean meats, eggs, dairy foods or vegetarian choices like tofu, legumes and nuts at meals and snacks helps your body to recover from training sessions. Of course, not to be overlooked, eating fruit and vegetables each day will give you the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy and avoid unwanted breaks in training.

Eating and drinking during training

Since most training rides are early in the morning, eating a light carbohydrate based snack before you head out on the road will help to top up your fuel stores that have been partially depleted overnight. Simple, easy to digest options like a bowl of cereal, couple of crumpets with jam or a fruit smoothie are all good options to consider. For coffee lovers, having a small amount of caffeine before your training session (or at your mid-ride coffee shop stop!) has been shown to have positive benefits on training performance. If your training session lasts longer than ~90minutes it’s important to top up your fuel stores along the way. Aiming for ~30-45g carbohydrate per hour is a good starting point. This can be from a combination of specialised products like sports drink, gels and bars or foods like bananas, fruit buns, muesli bars and simple sandwiches. The most important thing is to practice a variety of options to determine what works best for you – then stick with this as your Amy’s Ride nutrition plan.

Hydration – does it really matter?

Active people are usually very good at drinking enough during a training session (and even in the few hours afterwards) but often forget to drink enough fluid, especially water, over the rest of the day. This can lead to dehydration, which can contribute to feelings of fatigue and poor recovery. It’s worth having a quick check of the colour of your pee now and then to see how you’re going with your hydration needs. A simple rule of thumb is to aim for straw (or pale yellow) pee. Dark coloured urine is usually a fair sign that you’re dehydrated and should up your water intake. 

Register to ride Amy's Ride SA on Sunday 2 November. 

If you want to know more, join us at our free public lecture and meet local Accredited Sports Dietitians on 28 October at UniSA. For further details and to register for the event follow this link

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