"Bonking" is when you "hit the wall", or just totally run out of energy during an athletic event. We need to fuel our bodies properly to prevent "bonking." We also need to learn to help repair our body after an event. Nutrition helps you get stronger, be faster, and play better! You need to get the most "bang for the buck" out of your food diet. It's important to pick foods that help you maintain normal blood sugar levels rather than ones that roller coaster up and down. When your body signals the brain that you are not getting the proper foods, you feel lousy (e.g., headaches, lack of energy, irritable, etc...)
There are three important factors in proper nutrition:
1. Food choices
2. When you eat
3. Mixture of foods
Food Choices: 1. Protein helps build and repair muscles 2. Carbs are a great energy source. More complex carbs better than simple ones and help maintain normal blood sugar levels 3. Fats are another helpful source of energy.
Timing of Meals: Eat within 1-hour of waking. Never go more than 4 hours without eating. Eat between 1-2 hours before a sporting event.
Mixture of Foods: It's important to include carbs, protein, and fats in every meal. Carbs are the largest part of the meal, followed by protein, and then fat (not the other way around). Protein has the additional benefit of getting fat out of storage and into use.
Hydration and electrolyte replacement also crucial for sports events. Water is best hydrator before events. Gatorade before a game will lead to bonking. Recommended watered down sports drink during an event
Travel diets include bringing protein powder to include with yogurt or fruit juice for vegetarian meals (where you are otherwise not getting protein in adequate amounts). Examples of good breakfast include peanut butter on whole wheat bagel with string cheese and fruit juice. You can apply this ratio to other foods available trying to keep in mind some carbs (complex) are better than others in maintaining steady blood sugar levels. Stay away from foods saturated with fats, which often includes the hot entrees at your hotel (greasy eggs, sausage patties) and also away from high sugar content items (most cereals, donuts, most muffins, etc...).
Have a recovery food within 20 minutes after game time with carbs and protein. Apply the same formula for breakfast to your lunch ... turkey sandwich on whole grain or oat bread with olive oil or avocado and all the veggies. Or chicken teriyaki with vegetables on brown rice.