What should I eat before a climbing comp?
May 13, 2010 10:58 PM   Subscribe

Help me eat like an athlete for a week.

For the past few months, I've been training for a climbing competition that takes place a week from Saturday. It's a bouldering comp, so it looks a lot like this. Short, strong moves; lots of flailing and screaming and general shirtless anger. I ain't nearly as strong as the pros, and I use the word "compete" very loosely. Because I'm not an athlete, I have no idea what I should be eating.

With a week left, I'm turning down the workouts to give the muscles time to recover. What I'm wondering about is what I should eat in the week leading up to the comp.

Protein? Carbs? From what source? How much? (I'm 5'9, 150ish).
Also, what should I eat the night before and the morning of the comp?

I only ask that whatever you recommend, it not be a pill, capsule, bizarre blue powder or something with three Xs in the name and a picture of a musclebound guy in a Speedo on the label.
posted by Fireland to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Lots of good proteins to help your muscles recover in the days leading up - try things like milk, fish, steak, chicken, turkey, etc.

You'll also want plenty of carbs. In particular, you'll want to get lots of carbs the day before to make sure your muscles are fully "fueled up". A good hearty pasta dinner the night before is a common choice.

The morning before, get more carbs. Oatmeal is a good choice. Combine that with some fruits. Nothing too heavy.

Other than that, standard nutrition applies. Fruits, vegetables, lots of water, etc.
posted by Diplodocus at 11:35 PM on May 13, 2010

Best answer: Sorry, I see you also wanted to know how much to eat. For protein, leading up to the competition, I'd aim for 1 gram per pound of body weight. This is a decent rule of thumb to go by if you've been working out and want to gain muscle.

I don't have any rules of thumb for carbs in this case, just eat a comfortable amount for you, and make sure to eat lots of carbs the night before. Obviously with only a week left, you won't be making any big body weight changes at this point so I wouldn't worry too too much about the amount.
posted by Diplodocus at 11:38 PM on May 13, 2010

Best answer: A lot of this depends on what you're currently eating. If your diet is currently carb based (you're eating more than 9g of carbs for every 1.5g of fat, most people do eat this way), I'd go with diplodocus' recommendations. If you're set up for fueling yourself with fat, I'd recommend staying away from pasta or heavy carb loads anytime outside of the hour after a workout.

The latter method is, arguably, better for performance and health, but changing from method A to method B involves 2-4 weeks of feeling like crap as your body kicks the carb habit and you bring your insulin sensitivity up.
posted by bfranklin at 6:36 AM on May 14, 2010

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