Be prepared for your skier to eat a lot! Skiers are burning a lot of calories due to their workouts, the cold environment, and the physical and mental stress of competition. While teenagers are notorious for their poor eating habits, it is very important that they pay attention to what they are putting in their mouths. Of particular interest to teen athletes and their parents is what to eat before, during, and after competitions and workouts. This pretty much means everyday.
The Glycemic Index
The glycemic index ia a measure of the effect of carbohydrate on blood glucose levels. It compares the rise in blood sugar after a particular food is consumed with the rise in blood sugar after an equivalent amount of pure glucose, (which is a 100 on the glycemic index) is ingested.
When you consume food with a high glycemic index, your blood sugar levels will rise rapidly. This will cause your pancreas to secrete a greater amount of insulin. This increased insulin is beneficial during recovery because it will replenish muscle glycogen more rapidly by speeding glycogen synthesis and storage. In essence, you store more fuel in your muscles for your next workout. High glycemic foods such as breads and cereals replenish glycogen more rapidly that low-glycemic foods.
During and after workouts and competition, it is better to eat foods that cause a quick rise in blood glucose, because they will supply quick energy to working and recovering muscles. Other foods such as dairy, some fruits, and certain beans have low glycemic indexes. Do not choose these foods immediately after exercise, because your conversion of glucose to glycogen will be less efficient.
There is a “magic window” of thirty minutes after competition or a hard workout in which you can maximize muscle recovery. During this “magic window” select foods from the High glycemic column. After thirty minutes, you can add foods containing fat and protein which will continue to facilitate muscle repair and growth.
LOW (60 or less)
Bread-white & whole-wheat
Instant Mashed Potato
Pre-race meals: Should be 60-70% carbs (even for a ski race) to totally saturate muscles. This should begin 3 days prior to competitions.
Post Race meals: High glycemic foods within ½ hour after competition.
Add protein and fats after 30 minutes.
Hydration: Your urine should be a pale yellow. If it is dark yellow you are not properly hydrated. Carry your water bottle throughout the day and drink!
Thank you Great Harvest Bread Co. of Linden Hills providers of delicious whole wheat rolls for every Southwest Nordic Team race.