Diet and Nutrition Plan for Better Results in Squash
As athletes we always try and push the boundaries of what our bodies are capable of. We train so that we are that much stronger, faster and every time we step on the court. Sadly, there is only so much our bodies can do!
To do anything our body needs energy. When we participate in a high intensity activity like squash it is a huge drain on your body’s resources. Squashhq.com – one of the assorted websites that offer information about Squash, is one area to locate all of the information that is necessary. This means to squeeze that little bit extra out of our bodies we need to make sure it’s fueled, and refuel it once it runs out of gas.
This requires a bit of a balancing act. We need to eat early enough before we exercise that our bodies are done digesting before we exercise. However, our bodies also need to have a source of energy. We haven’t even touched on replenishing your body afterwards…
Don’t worry! I know this sounds like an impossible task, but it really isn’t. I’m here to give you a simple guide on how to keep your body performing optimally.
Understanding what your body needs
Let’s start with glycogen. This is the storage of carbohydrates inside the body and your main source of energy during aerobic exercise. When you practice a high-intensity sport these levels get depleted.
Carbohydrates rich foods also have a GI (Glycemic index). Foods with a high glycemic index, spikes your energy levels quickly, but then also crashes soon after. Low GI foods release energy much slower as a more even and longer lasting source for your body.
We also need to keep our bodies hydrated. Hydration helps the transportation of nutrients around your body, and without it you are likely to suffer cramps, headaches and tiredness.
Another important supplement for your body is protein. Protein helps in the recovery of muscle mass after intense exercise. It can also be a secondary source of energy.
Now let’s see how we combine all three of these for optimal performance.
Here is what you should eat to keep your energy levels up, but also finish digesting before we play:
● Eat carbohydrate rich foods with a low GI 1-4 hours before the match. Some protein should also be included. For example:
○ Lean meats/fish
○ Bread with baked beans/cheese/meat
○ Yoghurt and fruits
○ Pasta with a low fat sauce
○ Sports bar, milk shake, cereal with milk (1-2 hours before).
● Drink around 500ml of water, you can have another cup or two right before the match
● Don’t start hungry! If you need to have a sports drink/bar before the game.
Bring some water no matter how long you play and take sips whenever you can catch your breath or when you feel thirsty/dizzy. If you are playing longer than an hour, use a sports drink to replenish the nutrients lost through sweat.
Now it’s all about recovery and replenishing all the nutrients, as well as glycogen levels we depleted during the game.
● Drink 1.5x the amount of weight lost in water. This means for 1 pound drink 500-750ml of water.
● Within 30 min of finishing you should eat around 25gm of protein and just over 1gm of carbs per 2 pounds of body weight. This will help your muscles recover.
● If you need to play again the same day, within 8 hours keep some protein and carbohydrates handy. You will need both to recover as well as store up energy for your next game! A peanutbutter sandwich or some grains will do.