POST MATCH EATING
As an example, soccer players can use up 200 to 250 grams of carbohydrates during a game. It's important that they (and other athletes that perform for a similar duration) replenish those stores as quickly as possible. It becomes even more important if the athlete has more than one competition in the week or are involved in heavy training.
Ideally, a large, high-carbohydrate meal should be eaten within two hours of the finish and it can and should consist of high GI foods. Bananas and dried fruits are good immediately following a match, as are sandwiches and high-carbohydrate drinks like Gatorade Exceed and Lucozade. A main meal several hours later might consist of bread, pasta, potatoes and rice as well as other simple sugars like cakes and sweets.
Even under the best circumstances it can take over twenty hours to fully restore carbohydrate stores. This has implications for athletes who are competing five or six days a week (perhaps during a tournamnet). In this case carbohydrate replenishment at regular intervals during training sessions becomes very important. This is where high-carbohydrate drinks can offer a real advantage
Carbohydrate loading is often used by long distance athletes to "pack " their muscles with energy. The actual process involves depleting the muscles of carbohydrate a week or so before the event with exhaustive exercise and a low-carbohydrate diet.
Two to three days before the event the athlete switches to a very high-carbohydrate diet. In their depleted state, muscles take up more carbohydrate than they normally would giving the athlete a large store of energy.
For most sports and events, carbohydrate loading is unnecessary. In fact a disruption in an athlete's normal eating pattern can actually cause stomach upset and lead to impaired performance. A more sensible approach is to increase carbohydrate intake in the days leading up to a game or event.
That's it for today. Hopefully by now you have some useful strategies for eating before and after a sporting event, as well as inbetween. Of course, eating is not the only side of nutrition. What, when and how much we drink is also important and this will be the subject of the next part
For more details I strongly recomend you to consider THE EVERY OTHER DAY DIET GUIDE