5.2 Eating before exercise
To prepare for exercise, high-carbohydrate meals and snacks are needed to maximise muscle glycogen (glucose units linked together) stores. Pre-exercise meals should consist of low to moderate GI carbohydrates with small amounts of protein and some vitamins and minerals, for example, a chicken salad sandwich made with wholemeal bread.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) (2016) recommends that for general fuelling up for exercise of less than 90 minutes an athlete should consume 7–12 g/kg bodyweight per 24 hours. In the four hour period before exercise an athlete should consume 1–4 g/kg bodyweight. If an athlete is preparing for greater than 90 minutes of sustained or intermittent exercise they should consume 10–12 g/kg bodyweight in the two day period leading up to the session.