The game of squash by definition, regardless of level, is a high intensity intermittent activity. Heart rates of competitive elite players can reach levels exceeding 90 % of their maximal values and VO2 scores in excess 0f 85 %. Matches at any level can last from 40-90 minutes with recovery between points (10-20 secs) and games (90secs) relatively short.
Fuel substrates utilised during matches tend to lean toward carbohydrate metabolsm see image below for fuels used at different exercise intensities:
|Intensity % HRmax||% Carbohydrate||% Fat|
|65 to 70||40||60|
|70 to 75||50||50|
|75 to 80||65||35|
|80 to 85||80||20|
|85 to 90||90||10|
|90 to 95||95||5|
Carbohydrate stores, muscle and liver glycogen ect, will directly effect performance during matches so there are definite strategies we can employ to maximise our performance on court.
There are also so some extra little nutritional tricks we can take advantage of to delay the onset of fatigue or speed up our recovery from matches and training.
I will outline 3 key areas and what to consume during each
1. pre match
2. during match
3. post match
Leading up to a competition, you should be tapering your training (doing less training) and continuing to eat foods rich in carbohydrate with moderate protein intake. On the day of competition, if you’ve followed the above instructions, all the work will be done and your food intake won’t need to be particularly tailored. The most important rule is to keep fat intake low on the day of competition and only to use high GI carbohydrates during exercise.
Breakfast should be wide-ranging in carbohydrate, so breakfast cereal is a good choice, or something like beans on toast without butter on the bread. If you have to eat something in the hour approaching competition, make sure that it’s an energy bar and not a gel or energy drink, because the latter products will lift blood sugar levels and drop them low just before you compete. High GI products are for use during competition/training only.
60-90grams of carbohydrate per hour using any combination of gel, bar or energy drink.
Frequent consumption of Exceed energy will provide some fuel, but just as importantly it will provide hydration, because every 1% of bodyweight lost through dehydration will result in a 5% decrease in performance.
Exceed is pretty good choice for an energy drink during see it here
These gels have been well used and reviewed highly see them here
Ingest an appropriate measure of Hurricane recovery within 15 minutes of finishing exercise read more about it here at Myprotein
This will ensure that you are fully restocked with carbohydrate and provide enough protein for muscle damage repair.
But also adding these
Additional 2 products to really drive home your recovery
D-ribose see it here
D Ribose occurs naturally in all living cells. It is a simple sugar that begins the metabolic process for ATP production. D Ribose works synergistically with creatine and may improve the benefits of this.
D Ribose has been proven to help increase muscular energy, boost stamina, and help recovery. D Ribose is also a very efficient way to improve your energy when working out. It is involved in the synthesis of ATP in the muscle cell giving you greater energy production for longer.
Beta Alanine see it here
Beta Alanine is a non-essential amino acid and is the only naturally occurring beta-amino acid. Beta Alanine works with L-Histidine to increase Carnosine concentration in the skeletal muscle and reduce lactic acid formation.Ideal for anyone participating in sports that require explosive actions such as sprinting, weight training or boxing and those involved in prolonged endurance exercise
If you fuel yourself properly during training, you’ll be able to train harder and stimulate greater physical adaptation.
Additional products can enable you to fuel yourself whilst you’re exercising, thus preserving your valuable carbohydrate stores and a well-timed recovery drink after exercise will re-stock those stores and re-build damaged muscle tissue significantly more effectively than ‘normal’ food. This will mean that you can finish a hard session still feeling fresh and then go out the following day and do it again.
Poor nutrition would result in a degradation of the quality of your training sessions and accumulating tiredness.
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