Health & Fitness, Fitness & diet

Our recipes for when you’re preparing for a competition

Diet plays an essential role in the preparation for a competition: Balancing your nutritional intake at least one week before D-day ensures you optimise your sporting performance. With these ideas for pre-competition recipes, prepare yourself to be in the best possible shape before, during and after an important sporting event.

Sports nutrition: How to eat well before a competition

Handsome man drinking protein shake milk and many kind of fruits for nourishing body daily. People lifestyles and Nutrition food concept. Nutrition of sport man theme.

Before a competition, the best strategy consists of optimising one’s energy reserves in order to be able to make a prolonged effort and to maximise one’s performance.

Your sports nutrition programme 1 week before a competition

The diet adopted during the week preceding the competition is crucial:

  • Consume 2 rations of starchy food per day to build up a sufficient stock of glycogen for training and the competition.
  • Balance your meals by preparing them in advance with high-quality products.
  • Adapt your portions to your training rhythm: It is likely that you will have increased nutritional needs a few days before the competition.
  • Avoid saturated fats and sweets as much as possible.

Our advice for optimising your sports performance

During the preparation phase, eat a balanced meal 3 to 4 hours before doing any physical activity. You will then only need to consume carbohydrate-rich foods 30 minutes to 1 hour before exercise. By doing this, you will not be training during digestion and you will have enough energy to perform well during your sports sessions.

In addition to a balanced diet, it is more important than ever to make sure you stay well-hydrated: It is recommended that you drink at least 2 litres of water per day for women and up to 3 litres for men.

A week’s worth of recipes to prepare yourself well for a competition

Strong muscular man with healthy food

The days preceding a competition are often busy with preparation. Between the excitement of the approaching D-day and a sometimes hectic schedule with extra training hours, it is not always easy to find the time to  compose healthy and balanced menus. To help you out, here are some simple menu ideas with easy to make recipes. Planning your meals will allow you to do your shopping a few days beforehand so that you will always have enough food to cook gourmet dishes adapted to your needs.

Lunch before a competition

For lunch, prepare a starter of seasonal raw vegetables, a main with a portion of fish or white meat with starchy foods and vegetables, then a dessert based on dairy products or fresh fruit and oilseeds. Here are 3 ideas for lunch before a competition:

  • Vegetables + cod with herbs + rice + cottage cheese + 1 banana + coconut.
  • 1 avocado + grilled chicken with cumin + green vegetables + pasta + yoghurt with agave syrup + slivered almonds.
  • 1 portion of green salad + 1 chicken breast + 2 potatoes + 1 citrus fruit salad with mint leaves.

Evening meals: Pre-competition recipe ideas

The evening meal will be lighter in order to favour a good sleep, allowing you to be well-rested before the competition. Opt for a soup or a starter, a dish made of starchy foods and vegetables, then a dessert based on fruit and/or dairy products:

  • 1 cup of gazpacho soup + porcini mushroom pasta + 1 apple and cinnamon compote.
  • 1 bowl of soup + couscous + courgette + 1 muesli yoghurt.
  • Grated carrots with lemon juice + rice + 1 tomato stuffed with vegetables + 1 small portion of soup.
  • A cold sweet (melon, strawberry and basil, mint or coriander, peach and pistachio, etc.)

How to eat on the day of the competition

After a week of intense training and a little rest, you are finally ready for the competition. On the  day of the race, match or sporting event, the composition of your meals should be put together with care: Your objective is to have enough energy to give your best by strategically managing your  meal times  so that you are not in full digestion during the competition. 

Your breakfast before a morning competition

On the morning of the competition, at least 2 hours before the start, prepare yourself an energising breakfast:

  • 1 portion of fresh fruit.
  • 1 product rich in carbohydrates: Wholemeal bread, oat flakes, semolina cake, etc.
  • 1 dairy product: Cottage cheese, yoghurt, etc.
  • 1 handful of oily seeds: Walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pine nuts, or suchlike.

Adapt your diet for a competition in the afternoon

If the competition takes place in the afternoon, eat your lunch 2 and a half or 3 hours before the competition. It should be light and low in fat in order to facilitate digestion. Here is a meal idea that you can adapt according to your tastes and the season:

  • Tabbouleh
  • White fish with turmeric
  • Rice
  • Cottage cheese
  • A smoothie

If you will be exerting yourself over a long period of time, take something to hydrate you, if necessary in the form of an energy drink to avoid hypoglycaemia. By following all this  nutritional advice in parallel with an adapted training programme, you will be in shape and ready to surpass yourself on the day of your competition.

Check out our Health & Fitness page for more advice.