7 Rules for Refueling after a Tournament or Competition
1. Eat Immediately After
games or training sessions within one day, repletion of carbohydrate stores in
the muscles immediately following exercise is imperative. Repletion is greatest
when carbohydrates are consumed 30 to 60 minutes immediately after exercise,
followed by a meal within two to four hours.
2. Eat Carbs
following the game, aim for 0.45 to
0.7 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight. Low-fat and low-fiber
foods and drinks are preferred. Liquids and solids may work equally well, but
many athletes prefer liquids immediately following exercise.
3. Eat Again One to Two Hours After the Game
One to two
hours after the game, aim for an additional 0.45 to 0.7 grams of carbohydrates
per pound of body weight. This may typically be solid foods, though sports
drinks containing carbohydrates may be included as well.
4. Eat Small Amounts of Protein:
amounts of protein immediately following exercise can improve muscle tissue
repair and enhance recovery. Ten to 20 grams of protein is adequate for
recovery; more than 25 grams is not necessary and will likely be converted to
fat or glucose.
5. Avoid Fiber and Fat
avoid high-fiber and high-fat foods throughout the game day as they will only
Thirst is not a
good indicator of fluid losses. By the time thirst sets in, you are already
behind! Drink on schedule rather than thirst. Monitor post-exercise weight loss
and to give yourself an idea of how much fluid loss is occurring. Best practice
is to consume 20 to 24 ounces of fluid for every pound lost.
7. Monitor Urination
Urine should be
clear or pale lemonade color. Darker urine is a sign of dehydration. Between
games, continue to hydrate until urine is the appropriate color.
A 155-pound male will likely need between 70
and 100 grams of carbohydrate post-match and may consume between 10 and 20
grams of protein.
Milk (or other flavored milks): 16 ounces plus 1 cup of fruit =
approximately 71 grams of carbs and 16 grams of protein. 12 ounces plus 1
cup of fruit or a large banana = approximately 72 grams of carbs, 12
grams of protein.
Recover: 1 carton plus 1 cup or a large piece of fruit = approximately 75
grams of carbs, 20 grams of protein.
Light and Fit Strawberry Yogurt: 1 cup + 16 ounces of orange juice =
approximately 73 grams of carbs, 7 grams of protein.
Bagel with 2 Tbsp. Jelly = approximately 80 grams of carbs, 10 grams of
One to Two Hours
Post-game, Two Hours Prior to Next Match
For the same 155-pound male, an
additional 70 to 100 grams of carbs plus 10 to 20 grams of protein is
Subway Sandwich with 3 ounces of meat, no cheese (such as 6-inch Oven
Roasted Chicken Breast + 1 cup of fruit or 20 ounces of Gatorade =
approximately 75 grams of carbs, 25 grams of protein.
cup of rice with 3 ounces of chicken + one large banana = approximately
75 grams of carbs, 20 grams of protein.
Note: One cup dairy,1/2 cup fruit
or 1/2 cup grains usually = approximately 15 grams of carbs. One cup of dairy,
or 1 ounce of meat usually = approximately 7 to 8 grams of protein.
For more information on how to fuel before or after a tournament or competition, contact the specialists at IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute.