Nutrition tips to get you ‘race ready’

imagesThe Epic Rides 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo Race is under a week away. TMC is the proud feature sponsor of the race and also has quite a few employees and brave cyclists participating in this exciting affair.

So the question is, are you ‘race ready’?

There are a number of things that can happen during an endurance activity such as a 24 hour race. Whether it is an environmental challenge, the mistake of a fellow participant or teammate, or an equipment malfunction, let’s face it, accidents happen.

However, there are things we can control like our physical and mental health when preparing for rigorous activity. In addition to one’s training regimen, making the appropriate nutritional choices leading up to recreational or competitive activity is one important way to be sharp and ready to take on unexpected challenges.

“Putting the right foods in your body is one of the many important nutritional choices you can make before a high performance activity,” says Mary Atkinson, Director of Wellness at Tucson Medical Center.

“The energy needs of people that participate in endurance activities are high. Every person’s nutritional needs will vary dependent upon age, gender, and daily activity. One should be sure they consume a sufficient amount of calories, and that these calories come from a variety of healthy sources.”

The following are tips to consider to get you ‘race ready’:

Carbohydrate Needs – Carbohydrates, the primary fuel during exercise, are easily digested and quickly used by the body. It is recommended to ingest 3 – 4 gram per pound of body weight daily for persons participating in heavy and high intensity endurance activities.

Fat – Moderate consumption from healthy fat sources such as fish, avocados, and nuts are a vital source of energy for lengthy exercise and sports training. However, avoid the intake of saturated and trans fats.

Protein – Protein is extremely important in the building and repair of muscles. Although it is not a primary source of energy during endurance exercise, it is recommended that athletes take .5 – 1 gram per pound of body weight daily for persons participating in heavy and high intensity endurance activities.

Atkinson suggests, “Maintain a balanced diet during the days before a race or competition, and make sure you’ve consumed adequate amounts of fluids, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein. This should ensure that your nutritional needs will be met for optimum performance on race day.”

The Epic Rides 14th annual 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo race is one of the largest 24-hour mountain bike events in the world. TMC partnered with Moots, the Official Bike Sponsor, to give away over $4000 in Moots titanium bike parts, raising awareness of the new Tucson Medical Center Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower scheduled to open in April.

To register for the giveaway and get more information about the Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower, click here. 

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