A Good Diet For a Race
When practicing or competing in any sport, nutrition is key. Karting is no exception. Whilst you should take care to eat a healthy, balanced diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrains and lean protein all year round, it is important to pay particular attention to what you eat on race day.
After all, your food is your fuel. When it comes to impressing the crowds and getting ahead of your competitors on the track, physical stamina and mental focus are everything. When competing, avoid sugary, fatty foods that are likely to send your insulin levels soaring, only to plunge back down again moments later. Instead, opt for slow release foods such as sweet potatoes, porridge oats, beans and pulses. Contrary to popular belief, porridge can be truly tasty. It’s also the perfect race day breakfast or snack.
Porridge is an unrivalled source of slow release energy and has a higher protein content than other breakfast cereals. As if that wasn’t enough, porridge oats also help the body to produce serotonin – a great feel-good chemical that you also get from chocolate, laughing and exercise. In fact, studies have shown that porridge can help to beat anxiety, so eat porridge for breakfast if you want to feel upbeat, relaxed and motivated when you hit the track. Cook your porridge with water on the stove or in the microwave, then pour a gulg of semi-skimmed milk on top. Get creative with toppings. Go for nuts and seeds for even more slow release energy.
Rather than opting for honey, sugar or syrups that are likely to cause your blood sugar to spike, sweeten your porridge by adding fresh fruits like strawberries, blueberries and bananas. Most fruits are slowly absorbed too, so they shouldn’t disrupt your blood sugar and insulin levels. A spoonful of peanut butter also makes a great topping. Beans and pulses such as lentils, chickpeas and butter beans have a low glycemic index (GI) – a measurement that shows how different foods effect your blood sugar and insulin levels. This makes them an ideal option when it comes to race day nutrition. As an added bonus, they’re also bursting with fibre and protein and are low in fat too.