Focus on high-quality protein, and overall food quality.

Week of 2 of our Open Prep Series means we’re officially one week closer to the release of the 2022 Open.

Remember, even if you’re not planning to participate in this year’s 2022 Open, the topics and discussion we cover in this series can be applied to any big competition, event, or race you may have planned for the future.

Let’s dive into this week’s topic: Nutrition and fueling for performance leading up to a big test.


Fuel Up, Not Slim Down!

You gotta look good to feel good right? 

Sure, but right now might not be the best time to “clean up your diet” if performance is a priority for you heading into the Open and any up coming event.

Now, should you clean up your diet in terms of food quality? Of course—that’s always the case. But, unfortunately for a lot of athletes, “cleaning up” your diet sometimes turns into restricting calories in an effort to see body composition changes.

If your abs are a bit more visible come game time when the shirt comes off, that naturally means you’ll perform better, right? Nope. In fact, the opposite might be true.

A lot of athletes make this mistake, and the weeks leading up to the Open—or any other demanding physical test—isn’t the time to be in any sort of caloric deficit.

Over the next three weeks, making sure you’re fueling your body appropriately! This is crucial. 

That doesn’t mean you should eat everything in sight either, but it’s important to realise that body composition and performance goals don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand, especially when we’re this close to game time.

Losing excess body weight can absolutely be helpful to boost performance if you have some weight to lose. Weeks away from game day just isn’t the best time to do that.

One Thing To Try This Week

If your training has been going well, don’t change much when it comes to your nutrition. The months leading up to the Open—or any other event where performance is a priority—is the best time to tinker with nutrition and macronutrient quantities to find what works best for you. 

At just weeks away, however, the less change, the better.

On the other hand, if training sessions have felt off, it might be time to add some additional calories to what you’re already eating. Focus on high-quality protein. It should be 10-35% of your total body weight. 

If you were previously falling way short of that number, the increase in protein alone may significantly help with recovery and make you feel better almost instantly. Bump up slowly to give yourself time to adapt.

Another thing to try if you aren’t feeling your best is adding some extra carbs to your nighttime routine. Studies have shown that prioritising your carb intake in the hours before bedtime could help with sleep quality, which would be a huge boost leading up to a big physical test.

Finally, if there are foods that you know don’t make you feel good, cut those out, but make sure to replace those calories with higher-quality foods so you don’t put yourself in a caloric deficit.

Next week, we will look deeper into recovery!

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