Nutrition tips for the traveling athelete

By: Angela Bentley

Date: April 2016

FUTURELIFE® Fun Facts:

  • Nutrition during traveling can be tough, it is advisable to pack your own meals and snacks that can be easily transported without spoiling to prevent poor eating or going hungry. Great options include FUTURELIFE® Smart Bread sandwiches, FUTURELIFE® Smart Bars™, nuts, dried fruit, biltong and popcorn 1,2,3,4.
  • When eating out during traveling, find out about their menu beforehand. Preference should be given to restaurants offering carbohydrate rich meals to help you fuel up for your event. Restaurants offering buffets can also be useful as they offer the opportunity to choose foods according to your liking
  • If you have never visited your destination before you can never be 100% sure of what foods will be at your disposal. If there are any products or ingredients which play an important role in your nutrition or recovery it may be best to bring these from home. Examples that may be applicable to you may be your during exercise fuels, bars, concentrated drinks or your favourite FUTURELIFE® powdered product

 

Once you’ve got the hang of it, nutrition at home becomes easy. Then you decide to compete out of town or even abroad where everything is new and unknown and things become a lot more complicated…  Follow these golden rules to make sure that your nutrition doesn’t take a step back when you decide to step out of your comfort zone.

 

  • BE PREPARED FOR THE TRIP

Plan ahead for your time either on the road or in the air and airports. Both situations make finding healthy food options extremely difficult. It is advisable to pack your own meals and snacks that can be easily transported without spoiling to prevent poor eating or going hungry. Great options include FUTURELIFE® Smart Bread sandwiches, FUTURELIFE ® Smartbars™, nuts, dried fruit, biltong and air-popped popcorn 1,2,3,4.

 

  • CHAT TO YOUR ACCOMMODATION

Call your accommodation provider before leaving home to find out which meals (if any) they will be providing and what foods will be available. Often they will be open to your suggestions and go out of their way to provide you with preferred foods, but if you don’t ask you won’t receive. Make sure that you have a plan for any meals that are not provided or compliant with your pre-existing eating habits1,3.

  • RESEARCH RESTAURANTS

Most meals not provided by your accommodation will most likely be eaten in a restaurant. Again, it is recommended that you call ahead of time and make an informed reservation so that you aren’t left settling for the first open restaurant that you find. Find out about their menu where preference should be given to restaurants offering carbohydrate rich meals to help you fuel up for your event. Restaurants offering buffets can also be useful as they offer the opportunity to choose foods according to your liking1,3.

 

  • EAT IN WHERE YOU CAN.

Although you may not have a full kitchen at your disposal, there are many sports nutrition-friendly meals that can be prepared with only the basics. Preparing your own food gives you the peace-of-mind that comes from knowing exactly what you are putting into your body and how it has been prepared. Not to mention eating in can be a big money saver during longer trips1. FUTURELIFE® products offer preparation convenience while still providing optimal nutritional benefits.

 

  • PACK NECESSITIES

If you have never visited your destination before you can never be 100% sure of what foods will be at your disposal. If there are any products or ingredients which play an important role in your nutrition or recovery it may be best to bring these from home. Examples that may be applicable to you may be during-exercise fuels, bars, concentrated drinks, your favourite FUTURELIFE® powdered product, etc.

 

  • KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HUNGER AND BOREDOM OR CURIOSITY.

Being in a new place brings with it so many food novelties and if you aren’t careful too much experimenting or eating out of boredom (while traveling) can lead to unwanted weight gain. If you really want to try a new food, share it with friends and try to find non-food related ways to entertain yourself.

 

  • FOOD HYGIENE IS ESSENTIAL.

Last thing you want is to have travelled a long way and done all the necessary preparation only to get food poisoning and be unable to compete. Some tips to avoid such a situation2,3:

  • Eat only from reputable suppliers, avoid stalls and markets where hygiene may not be good or where food is kept luke warm for hours.
  • Choose well-cooked foods that are served steaming hot, but not foods that have been reheated.
  • If tap water is unsafe, drink only bottled water, don’t have ice unless you know it has been made with clean water, brush teeth with bottled water and eat only fruit and salads that have been rinsed with clean water.
  • Avoid seafood unless there is guarantee that it is completely fresh and uncontaminated.
  • Avoid spicy foods and foods that you don’t usually eat.
  • Avoid foods that have not been pasteurised.

 

 

  • HAVE A PLAN FOR BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER EVENT DAY IN ADVANCE

This should be quite obvious, but it is often neglected. Know exactly what you will need on the day of the event and stock up on what you will need ahead of time. If there is a big event, local shops often get sold out due to high demand. It is not a good idea to try out something new on competition day.

 

  • FLUIDS, FLUIDS, FUIDS!

Traveling, lack of routine, lack of fresh water and change in climate can all lead to dehydration if special attention is not given to fluids. It is important to prioritise fluid intake daily and adapt you intake in warmer climates where you may sweat more1,2,5.

 

REFERENCES

  • http://www.lisamiddleton.com.au/thoughts-entries/2015/5/11/top-10-nutrition-tips-for-travelling-athletes
  • http://www.ecosep.eu/en/7DC4E363/!Track/
  • http://www.ausport.gov.au/ais/nutrition/factsheets/travel/nutrition_for_travelling_athletes
  • UFS second year sports nutrition notes
  • http://www.humankinetics.com/acucustom/sitename/Documents/DocumentItem/17340.pdf

 

PRODUCTS MENTIONED

FUTURELIFE® SMART BREAD™

FUTURELIFE® SMART BARS™

FUTURELIFE® Brand generally