Wednesday, June 4, 2014
5 Nutrition Tasks Before Traveling By Air to Races
Traveling across the country for that big race is exciting. However, traveling by air can wreak havoc on athletes' performance when not done right. To be ready to race when you arrive at your destination, here are 4 things you should do BEFORE you travel this summer.
1. Research food vendors at your destination
Nothing is worse than arriving at your destination and realizing there are no good food options in sight. Do a little research in advance. Know where you will eat the night before your race. Locate the closest grocery store to do some shopping for essentials when you arrive. Make a list of what you need to buy, and go shopping first before you do anything else.
2. Pack your favorite foods
If you have a favorite race morning breakfast or preferred snacks, don't take any chances - pack them! Don't forget race day fuel, as this is not something you want to be driving around looking for once you arrive. Remember that any liquid or semi-liquid foods need to go into a checked bag, so plan for this when packing. Call the hotel to see if there is a frig, microwave or even full kitchenette in the room. If not, pack a hot pot (cook pot) that you can easily use to make foods such as rice, oatmeal, pasta or quinoa right in your room. And don't forget plastic plates, bowls and utensils.
3. Check the time zone
Will you be changing time zones when you fly to the race site? A couple of hours may not make a difference, but much more can result in major jet lag. Start adjusting your body's internal clock before you leave by moving your bedtime accordingly. Another great tool is bright light therapy, which many Olympians use to keep themselves awake as they adjust their internal clock before leaving for an international trip. Good sleep makes a huge difference on race day.
Airplanes are a fantastic source of germs, due to the large number of people in a small, confined space in which the air is being constantly recirculated. To help your immune system prepare, take 1000mg Vitamin C daily for the 3-4 days leading up to the trip. In addition, close the air blower above you when you get in your seat; you are simply blowing germs directly into your face. Finally, bring sanitizing wipes to clean your seat before you sit down. While this may sound a little obsessive, no one wants to spend hours training and traveling only to be out sick on race day.
The air on airplanes is very dry, which can lead to dehydration. Take an empty water bottle or two through security and fill them once you are through. Be sure to sip water throughout the flight to keep your hydration levels optimal.
Picture source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tim-rt-photography/