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What to Eat Before a Gymnastics Competition

For a young gymnast who aspires to be the best in her chosen field, she thinks of every single competition she participates to as another step into her personal goal. Her dream could be to be an Olympian or a coach, but every single competition is important. If our young gymnast is just beginning her life in gymnastics, she might not have any idea at all about the strict discipline it requires on how to train and take care of her body, or what food she should eat or avoid. This is why we, as their parents, are here. We must equip ourselves with the right knowledge to help our kids succeed in gymnastics.

Most of the time, we already know the proper nutrition our children needs and we’re just unaware of it. For a normal everyday meal, read this article: Nutritional Needs of Young Athletes. A competition day, however, requires a different food group. It is more strict than a normal training day because too much or too less of it could affect our child’s performance or cause an injury, and a failure in a competition could discourage them to reach their goals.

Gymnastics Competition

Our young gymnast may wake up on edge the morning of her gymnastics competition, but no matter how queasy her stomach is, she has to eat. A good and healthy breakfast is important for a gymnast because energy, balance, endurance and concentration are essential on that day more than any other day. Healthy breakfasts aren’t just one-size-fits-all, though. Our children’s breakfasts adjust depending on what time their competition is, the intensity or length of their routine, and their age.

Here is how it all differs:

If our young gymnast has two to three hours before competition

If the competition is in the morning and our child only has a few hours to spare, she should eat a light breakfast. Although light, it needs to include some lean protein and be high in complex carbs like whole-grains. It could also include whole-wheat toast, low-fat yogurt and a banana. However, foods high in fat, fiber and lactose should be avoided to prevent digestive discomfort.

Gymnastics Breakfast

If our young gymnast has four or more hours before competition

For competitions held at around afternoon or evening where our child could have four or more hours to digest their meal, they can eat a bigger breakfast. Like the earlier scenario, this breakfast must include carbs and lean protein. It could also include a bowl of whole-grain ready-to-eat cereal with low-fat milk, an orange, two hard-boiled eggs and a toasted whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter.

After their competition, it is important to eat again to promote muscle healing and replenish lost energy. However, it should be light and should be eaten within 30 minutes after the competition. It should include a mix of carbs, protein and fat, also chilled fluids such as water or sports drink.

These are just some of the food our children can eat before and after competitions. Read more fitness and gymnastics-related articles by visiting our educational blogs. Experience a fun and imaginative gymnastics training, come and enroll today at Bianka Panova Sport and Art Academy :)

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