Food for Sport

In the middle of August, I was up a mountain in France as a member of the GB team, competing in the Field Archery World Championships. Before I went, I wrote about what I might eat.

Lots of people have views on what is required for sporting performance eg carb loading or energy drinks. Similarly to healthy eating, we are all different when it comes to our ideal fuel for sport. I have tried out lots of ideas over the years to find out what helps me feel good for the 7 or 8 (in France 9 or 10) hours of a competition day.

My food of choice when competing in Britain is sprouted mung beans, celery and cheese. We stay in bed and breakfasts so enjoy the benefits of a full English breakfast to start the day, from which I save the sausage to add to my lunch. I always have a bag of nuts with me with some pieces of protein bar mixed in. I take bottles of plain water to drink.

Competing abroad means thinking about how to get what I need as a high protein metabolic type. I know that full English will not be on the menu at Val d’Isere but I’m hopeful of cheese and ham. Lunch is trickier. The 2009 European Championships were also in France and they bombarded us with bread several times a day. Staying in the middle of nowhere, I had no choice but to eat it and suffered as a result. I love the taste but have learned that bread does me no favours. Actually lots of people struggle with bread and most of those don’t even realise that it’s a problem for them. If you think this might apply to you, try cutting it out for a couple of weeks and notice what happens when you add it back in.

 So this year I’ll take a range of emergency supplies and go shopping as necessary. Wish me luck!

Top tip: Learn what suits you and your sport.

P.S. What actually happened.

It’s true that bread was available in vast quantities, but I didn’t have to eat any because the food at the Village Montana hotel, Tignes was superb.  I started each morning with a shot of wheatgrass juice (from Tonic Attack) before a splendid breakfast of fruit, natural yoghurt, ham, cheese and boiled eggs (most days the weather was too hot to eat bacon and fried egg but it was available!). I took bread-free packed lunches.  Evening meals were salads, meat, fish and vegetables.  Brilliant.  Glad to have eaten well on this, my last trip with the GB team.

Photo by Gerard Zonjee of http://www.fieldarcher.org – pics and reports of international field archery events.

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