Game Day Nutrition
1)Nuun– The #1 most important thing for me is staying properly hydrated. I use Nuun tablets, which can be added to any bottle of water. This way I not only get the water intake my body needs, but I also get electrolytes that are lost when you are in the hot sun all day (and they make the water taste great!). I never trust a tournament to provide me with water, so you will always see me at a tournament with a cooler bag full of water, in case there isn’t adequate water provided.
-side note: you can buy nuun, here, and you will save 15% off your entire order if you use the promo code: archerslovenuun (many times they also offer free shipping in addition to this discount).
2)Jerky- A staple in my tournament bag is jerky. It is easy to bring with me (especially when traveling overseas), and it is easy to eat in small amounts at a time. I don’t like having to worry about trying to eat a huge meal while competing, and with the amount of protein found in jerky, I can keep from getting hungry (or worse the shakes from not eating), even when I am on the field all day.
3)Banana- Something that may be more mental than physical is I always try to eat a banana (where available) before competing, whether it be at breakfast that morning, or 30 minutes before I shoot (I did this for the potassium as a swimmer to avoid nasty charlie horse cramps when competing, but not sure necessary for archery).
4)Fruit/Nuts, Gels/Bars- Anything else I eat during a tournament tends to be what is convenient to pack, and I know my body has no negative reactions to. This means NOTHING NEW on tournament day. I have used a variety of sport chews, bars, etc that I used to use when cycling. Because it is designed for runners and cyclists, these types of products are easily digestible and again can be eaten in pieces between ends. In addition to these, any fruit (ex: apples, grapes) is great for the extra hydration benefits and nuts for the protein, while still being convenient to pack and eat.
5)Meal- If I’m going to be at a tournament all day and over an entire meal period, I try to make sure I have an actual meal with me (ex: sandwich). While all the above can tide me over and COULD be a meal if they had to, I prefer to have something more substantial since my body is used to eating at set times of the day. An example of this is the trials for Indoor World Champs this past December. The adults didn’t start shooting until around 2 or 3pm (finishing up LATE evening), but I am used to eating dinner around 5-5:30. I brought a Subway sandwich with me when I arrived (in my cooler), along with raw carrots (and a host of my normal snacks and drinks). I was able to keep my body on schedule, allowing me the best possible chance at success while shooting.
6)Cooler- Did I mention I ALWAYS bring a cooler with me to tournaments? Even though I fly to virtually every tournament I go to, I bring a cooler with me (soft sided collapsable is easily packable OR you can bring a slightly larger, semi hard cooler as your carry on for the plane). Unless you are overseas, most hotels have an ice machine that you can easily fill zip locks full of ice to place in the cooler each day to keep your food and drinks cold!
So what do you eat or drink at a tournament? I’d love to hear what works for you!