Optimal Nutrition Series: 4 Days Before You Ride
Scenario: Your buddy just called you up and said he’s got about a six-hour ride planned for this weekend and asked if you’re in. There’s no way you’re going to pass on that opportunity. You’re in, but you need to get prepared. It’s going to be a strenuous ride, and you need to make sure you’re ready. Lucky for you, this four-day meal plan has you covered!
You’re lucky. You have four days to get prepared. While you may not have a full week to prepare, you have enough time to focus on loading your body with the nutrients and vitamins and minerals that will keep you energized, sharp, and focused during the event.
4 Day Meal Plan Nutritional Goals
- Maximize nutrient absorption in your body. Several factors affect nutrient absorption in your body. And the more nutrients you absorb, the more prepared your mind and body will be on event day.
- Increase your intake of essential vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and minerals like iron and potassium can help prevent arm pump, fight fatigue, and promote alertness. The more of these you can consume, the better.
- Get your body ready for the energy boost come event day. It’s time to start building up your body’s energy stores. If you’ve been following a higher protein diet, that means you need to increase your carb and fat intake for increased energy.
- Mentally prepare yourself for race day. Just as important as energy reserves are your mental acuity – your ability to react to events on the track. There’s one supplement that can help with this ten-fold. You’ll find out what it is below.
How to Meet the Above Goals
- Avoid drinking alcohol with meals. For the next four days limit your alcohol intake as much as possible. If you do partake, make sure you don’t do it with meals. Alcohol limits nutrient absorption, and you need as much as you can get.
- Take a multivitamin. Four days out gives you enough time to see actual results from taking a multivitamin. You can find them for cheap at a warehouse club (like Costco) or your local vitamin shop.
- Eat more carbs and healthy fats. If your diet currently consists of more protein than anything else, now is the time to switch up a bit and start consuming more carbs. For the first couple of days, 50% is a good daily percentage, ramped up to 60% when you’re a couple of days out. Make sure most of the carbs come from complex sources like whole grains, legumes, and vegetables.
- Take a fish oil supplement. The fatty acids in your brain’s cell membranes are made up of 40% DHA, one of the main omega-3s found in fish oil. Fish oil supplements have been proven to boost brain function and can keep your mind sharp and aware while you’re riding.
Sample Meal Plan (Days 4 and 3)
Breakfast – (8 A.M.):
- Two whole wheat pancakes w/syrup
- Fruit on the side
Snack – (10 A.M.):
- 2 Handfuls of Mixed Nuts
- Celery and carrot sticks
Lunch – (12 P.M.):
- 2-3 slices of cheese pizza w/whole wheat crust
Snack – (3 P.M.):
- Salad with balsamic vinegar dressing
Dinner – (5 P.M.):
- Pork chop
- Green beans
- ½ cup of brown rice
- Two pieces of whole wheat bread
Snack – (7 P.M.):
- Ham rolled over mozzarella cheese stick (not fried)
* For Days 2 and 1, follow the instructions in the 2 Days Before You Ride Meal Plan.
If you have any questions or anything to add, please leave them in the comments or on our FaceBook page!