Since water can be very cold, you need energy and a balanced intake of specific nutrients to maintain your body temperature during the swimming and running fractions and to prevent lacks of energy.
A proper breakfast can help you to better resist in the cold and provide the necessary energy, not only for your muscles, but also to regulate your body temperature. Thermoregulation, in fact, is a complex mechanism, which requires energy and an optimum hydration condition, and some nutrients can be more efficient than others.
Planning your meal before the race is extremely essential.
It’s normal to have doubts regarding what to eat, as swimming in the cold water could cause gastrointestinal issues, but, having a good strategy will help you a lot.
Simply follow these tips and you will see the difference!
Have breakfast three hours before the race. This timing guarantees that all food will leave your stomach and first stages of digestion will be finished before the start.
Be sure your breakfast is:
- Rich in protein: proteins, compared to carbohydrates or fats, contribute more to the production of body heat; a protein-rich breakfast will allow you to resist more in the cold, as well as maintain a good sense of satiety and a good energy level up to the race.
- Energy boost: your breakfast should be a real meal to fill you with energy for your muscles, but also to keep an optimal body temperature for longer
- Digestible and poor in fats: fats are the least digestible nutrients and for this reason it is better to limit them before the race. Enjoy complex carbohydrates like cereals, bread and jam, that are poor of protein, and limit fatty foods and seasonings that slow down digestive processes
- Familiar to you: eat what you are used to eat and don’t experiment new foods on race day. If possible, test your pre-race breakfast few times before, for your long workouts or race tests.
Last but not least, don’t forget to drink: when hydrated, your body is able to better use energy and help you to resist fatigue and to adapt to temperature changes.
Start as you wake-up, drinking small sips of water regularly.
Here are two of our favourite examples of breakfast rich in protein and carbohydrates:
1. Porridge prepared with raw oat flakes and plant-based milk (soy contains more protein) PLUS soy yogurt with seeds and banana. And hot tea.
2. For those who struggle to have breakfast so early, before a race, or in case you don’t feel like eat anything that day: A superfood shake provides you with energy and protein and makes you feel satiated till your stop at the first energy station. A great example could be a shake with Restore Powder and soy milk and fruit.
RIGHT BEFORE RACE:
After breakfast, right before the competition, you can have a snack like ENERGY bar, or a gel like ENERGY MIND GEL, to give you immediate energy at start.
Written by NutriCoach Doctor Francesca Deriu
PC Pierre Mangez