I begin dialing in my nutrition a few weeks out from a show, hey I enjoy pizza, ice cream and other assorted goodies as much as the next guy, but if the food I eat matters and it does I opt for cleaning burning fuels.
Getting Serious For A Contest
If you are serious about performance you are probably already eating 5-7 meals daily. When eating to enhance performance you should concentrate on low fat protein, clean (starchy, fiborous and fruit) carbohydrates, and limiting fat intake.
When selecting protein foods, drop the heavier meats such as: sausage, bacon, hamburger, (unless it is 92% lean). These meats are very slow to digest because of the massive amounts a fat are naturally occurring in the meats. Choose meats such as lean steak, lean pork, chicken, turkey, fish, egg whites, lowfat milk products and high quality supplemental protein.
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I personally cut out my steak at least 3 days from a show. Protein should make up 20-30% of total calories.
Carbohydrates (carbs) are the bodies preferred fuel source. Most guys I know run out of gas quickly because they just don't eat enough carbs. I eat a plethora of different carb sources-breads, pasta, rice, oatmeal, cream of wheat, yams, any fruit or vegetable. You should eat 3-5 fruits and veggies a day just for health reasons-the phytochemicals in them help prevent certain cacers! Carbs should make up 50-60% of total calories.
A certain amount of fat (10-20% of total calories) is needed in the diet just for basic health concerns such as; fat (cholesterol) donates the back bone for all steroid-hormones, fat is needed for joint health, and brain function just to name a few. To explain the needs for proper fat would require a whole article so I will tell you what you need. Most Americans do not get enough good fat so I suggest getting some flax seed oil or an "efa"(essentila fatty acid) oil to make sure you are getting enough of the right fats. I take 1-2 tablespoons of Total Efa (Health From The Sun). I add this to my foods. Some may ask about the other fat-well by choosing leaner meats you will limit the other fat, but also grilling, baking, broiling or boiling your meats will also limit the unneeded fats.
Water is the most over looked nutrient. Remember both protein and fat metabolism are dependant upon water. Without adequate water carbs can't be stored properly. Most doctors recommend 8-10 eight ounces glasses of water a day-this is too little for a hard training athlete. I would suggest at least 1 gallon a day.
For extra help staying hydrated during the contest I use a baby formula for electrolytes (I prefer Gerber's apple-it tastes the best). I will drink anywhere from 32-64 ounces of this formula before during and after the contest. (This helps with cramping). I would like to eat all of my food, but that would be impossible for me!
I am forced to use supplements in order to get the number of meals in a day that I need. I use many different supplements, but I will only tell you about the ones I use to make up for food. I use Pro blend-55, Pro blend bar, Mrp-44 (all 3 are made by human development technologies), and from time to time a carb supplement like Carbo Force (American bodybuilding) or Carboplex (Unipro), here is an example of my normal day:
My Normal Day Eating Routine
7 a.m. - 12 egg whites, 3 servings oatmeal, 1 piece fruit, 24 oz water (10 grams
multi vitamin, 5 grams
glutamine, 1 spoonful of
Mrp-44 + Problend bar.
2 chicken breast (grilled), 2 cups rice, I cup vegetables (supplements same as meal 1).
Pretrain - Mrp-44 + fruit (5 grams ribose, 5 grams glutamine, 3 grams bcaa+, and 2 caps of thermic blast caps.
Post Train - 16 oz grape juice, 5 grams ribose, 5 grams glutamine, 10 grams creatine, and 4 scoops of 5+1 whey protein.
2 cups pasta, 1 large salad, 12 oz turkey - bed at 11:00 p.m. (sometimes I will have a Problend-55 shake).
I sometimes eat out for lunch and dinner, but when I do I try to still eat clean. The majority of supplements that I take are from HDT because I know they are high quality.
During the day of the competition I eat pretty much the same breakfast, but during the competition I just use shakes and maybe a bar (this depends on the amount of time between each event). I also drink as much fluid as possible-dehydration is a major culprit in muscle pulls and tears.
I hope this sheds a little light upon how to eat for a strongman competition. If you have any specific questions I can be contacted at email@example.com.