Trackside medicine is intended to provide a general medical guideline and is not intended to replace the clinical judgment of a doctor or take the place of the medical doctors’ diagnostic or treatment recommendations. These articles will always err on the conservative side for safety purposes.Dr. Terry Weyman is the clinic director of the Chiropractic Sports Institute. He has been involved with action sports for over 20 years and provides Sport Chiropractic Care and Strength and Conditioning for athletes at his Westlake office. Visit www.gotcsi.com to learn more.Have you ever “bonked” or felt “flat” of energy during your training or competition? There is a lot of hype and theories about pre-event meals but little scientific evidence to support them. This is probably because there are too many individual differences and other variables such as stress, age, time of day, exercise intensity and duration to make across-the-board recommendations regarding food. However, the following information may help to debunk some of the things you thought you knew about prerace nutrition.Intense Exercise
With intense exercise your body shifts 80 percent of its blood supply to the muscles in use. This shift deprives the stomach of the blood needed to digest food. This slows digestion and may cause an uncomfortable feeling in the stomach because of undigested food that is still present. A meal that is high in calories will take longer to digest than a lighter snack. It is suggested taking a three- to four-hour delay between high-calorie meals and intense exercise.Moderate Exercise
During moderate exercise, the stomach is still deprived of 60-70 percent of its normal blood supply due to muscle exertion. Athletes are recommended to wait two to three hours after a small meal and one to two hours after a blended or liquid meal. Nevertheless, there are energy “boost” supplements such as performance gels that are consumed by the athlete immediately before and during exercise that can be easily digested and provide energy during long-term events.Pre-Event Guidelines
. Race day is not the time to experiment with foods that are unfamiliar to your stomach. Eat foods that are familiar to you.. Eat meals that are reasonably high in carbohydrate and low in fat (avoid high-fat sauces on pasta, and fast food). Complex carbohydrates will help keep the energy level high, while fatty foods delay digestion.. Drink adequate amounts of fluid (avoid dairy). The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 17 ounces of fluid two hours before exercise, as well as enough fluid during exercise to replace the water lost through perspiration. A rule of thumb is to drink enough water to urinate clear prior to performance. For the first hour of aerobic exercise use water only. Use electrolyte replacement drinks after the first hour of exercising.. Use caution with foods that have a high sugar content (such as soft drinks, energy drinks and candy). Since an athlete’s metabolism is higher than the average person’s, they may experience a drop in blood sugar following consumption that can result in light-headedness or fatigue and loss in performance.. Eat well the day before an event, especially if you tend to be jittery or unable to tolerate food on the day of competition.For more Pro Secrets from the experts, check out www.dirtrider.com/riding_tips.