Imagine being on a long-distance trip, in the middle of the highway and suddenly your car runs out of fuel. Only to realize that you did not carry extra fuel and there’s no fueling station within sight. This is a nightmare for anyone right? Without mid-event Fuel, Not only is your trip cut short indefinitely but getting help will more than likely take a long time, and worse still if the location affects your mobile network coverage.
Think of your body the same way. In sports events like a marathon,
you need to maintain your stamina and energy by fueling the body in between the event. This is important to sportspersons as they will not perform at their best on an empty tank. Topping up a sportsperson’s energy levels helps them sustain their energy for that next lap, allowing them to continue putting forth their best effort to the end.
Preferably, the mid-event snacks should be easy to consume, portable and capable of staying fresh for long hours. The snack should also be fast absorbing and including a good amount of carbohydrate.
For mid-event snacks, one should choose healthy snacks that are packed with nutrients, vitamins and minerals which fuel their body and keep their blood sugar levels steady. Some of these snacks include:
- Peanut butter and honey sandwiches on whole grain bread
Combining a healthy fat and protein, along with the fiber from the whole grain bread, provides a sportsperson with the optimal blend of nutrients to keep them fueled for a longer workout. This works best in an event like golfing.
Mix nuts like peanuts, almonds and cashews together with a good source of simple carbs, like dried fruit or granola, and you’ve got the ideal combo which will not only provide the sportsperson with the required amount of energy but also keep them full for long.
- Protein or energy bars
Eating protein bars with no artificial sugars are great because they take no time to prepare and are portable and are designed to increase the fuel levels of a sportsperson.
- Raisins and dried fruits
The reason dried fruits such as raisins are a terrific choice in the middle of an event is because they are high in calories and one barely feels like they are eating anything.
- Sport drinks
Taking sport drinks is one of the ways to get carbs on the run. Sports drinks have ingredients intended to provide not only carbs but also electrolytes (salts) one loses while sweating. Make sure to not confuse energy drinks and sport drinks. And while at it start testing your sport drink before the actual event and get the one that works for you.
You do not have to overthink your mid event snack it can be a fruit like a banana or even berries. The trick is to get in something light and slightly high in fast absorbing carbohydrates. Make sure you can be able to chew, swallow during your event and not choke while at it.
Do not eat hard foods to digest since that can give you digestion problems hence affecting your performance. Foods high in fiber, lots of sugar, spicy foods and dairy products should be avoided.
The same way you make sure to get all your gear together in advance, take the time to plan your meals and snacks the night before events. It will guarantee you fast start when the whistle blows, and you will have energy to sustain you throughout the event.
Image courtesy of crissyluna.com
By Eunice Nthenya,
Certified Nutritionist, MSA Nutrition Expert