ReFuel WINTER 2018 - Page 5

MINIMISE GI UPSETS WHEN IT MATTERS THE MOST! Practical strategies worth practising prior to performing! re gastrointestinal symptoms wreaking havoc with your competing preventing you from doing that killer performance you have been training for? Well you are not alone! Gastrointestinal symptoms are common and estimated to occur in 30 – 70 % of athletes being particularly common in ultra-endurance sport. A So how can you prevent these nasty symptoms from occurring? Good question, which there is not necessarily a single and simple answer for. However, here are some nutrition tips for you to work on that may help prevent your risk of experiencing those dreaded symptoms. Consuming solid food too close to the start of exercise may increase your risk of upper gastrointestinal symptoms such as belching, regurgitation, heartburn and overall upper abdominal discomfort. Trialling easier to digest, liquid nutrition closer to exercise may be best advised. Test it out and see if it works for you. Here is an example: Low fat banana cornflake chocolate shake ¾ ¾ 1 x banana ¾ ¾ Low fat milk (lactose free if needed) ¾ ¾ Cornflakes or rice puffs ¾ ¾ Chocolate powder with some carbohydrates e.g. Sustagen Limiting your overall fibre, protein and fat intake in your pre-exercise meal may help reduce the risk of gut symptoms. For example, instead of choosing your regular heavy and dense grainy bread for breakfast, on competition day swapping this out for a lower fibre bread may just help keep those symptoms at bay. An example is low fibre sourdough toast with a spread such as vegemite or jam/maple syrup. Oh and don’t forget to actually give your belly some time to digest your pre-exercise meal - general guidance here is ~2-3 hours. The bigger the pre-event meal the more time you need to digest it, and the more nervous you are, the longer time you should allow. Many athletes avoid foods high in fermentable types of carbohydrates, which can be poorly absorbed in some and lead to irritable bowel like symptoms. These poorly absorbed carbohydrates are referred to as FODMAPs. There is a high rate of perceived symptom improvement in athletes undertaking this dietary strategy. It is best you speak to your qualified sports dietitian to guide you on this and whether it is advised for you or not. Consuming ca