Why Pasta is NOT what You Should Eat to Prepare for a Sporting Event


Question: When I am preparing to run a race, the night before I eat a pasta meal. In one of your articles you disagree with pasta as a carbohydrate loading tool. Why is that and what should you eat?

Answer: For our athletes who run or who are preparing for a sporting event, there are foods more nutritious than pasta. Most of the pasta on the store shelves today is highly processed and stripped of most of its natural nutritional value and only supplies carbohydrates. We recommend more natural foods that contain nutrients as well as supplying carbohydrates.

We also like foods that are more alkaline which can help lower the ph within the body. High intensity training and competition can raise the ph level within the body by slightly increasing the acid level.

A typical pre-competition meal the night before would be salmon, broccoli, sweet potatoes and perhaps yogurt. A

lso the idea that an athlete needs to have pancakes or glucose dominant foods for breakfast is also not a plan we recommend. A typical breakfast for some of our athletes would be eggs scrambled with a mix of quinoa and chopped onions with a side of whole oats mixed with honey and blueberries with almond milk to drink.

Being properly prepared for a completion means that it’s not necessary to load glucose based carbs at the final meals because the proper foods have been eaten for days. Just as being fully hydrated requires at least three days of proper hydration prior to the competition, being carbohydrate loaded requires at least the same.

For those athletes who are most successful and enjoy long careers, food selection becomes part of their lifestyle. Repeatedly there are articles and interviews of athletes who have been competing successfully at a high level for several years about the importance these athletes place on the foods that they eat compared to how they ate early in their careers. Tom Brady is a good example of one successful athlete who pays close attention to his foods. The entire team of the Oklahoma Thunder cleaned up its training table this past season according to an article in ESPN magazine.

What young athletes need to realize is that pizza, fries, burgers and especially soft drinks are not helpful in athletic performance. Food is fuel so eat to excel.

God bless and keep training,