The World best Juniors are gathered next week in Zagreb for the World Junior Championships. It’s the highlight of the year for the age class U21 years. Young judoka, nice judo. We will see innovative, fast and brilliant judo, and will see mistakes that they will have to adjust towards their senior career. However before all of the event the weigh-in is the first opponent. Read about the 6 mistakes athletes make after losing weight. After the weigh-in things can go really wrong.
Congratulations you made weight! What’s next? A big celebration meal? Maybe not the best idea. Passing weigh-in is only the beginning, you still need to conquer that gold medal. So what’s next? How do you prepare your body for the competition? The theory is that you need to try to complete your deficiencies. If you had to cut weight before the weigh-in you probably are lacking some liquid, carbohydrates and maybe electrolytes (salts). Just like in weight cutting there are some common mistakes that are better avoided.
Mistake #1: Drink Coke after weigh-in.
Some foods are not recommended on a regular basis but can be helpful in specific times. Coke may seem like one – it contains carbohydrates and liquids and some athletes drink it as a recuperation drink after weigh-in. Unfortunately, these athletes are only harming themselves. The concentration of carbohydrates in coke is too high to be used as a rehydration source – the high concentration slows down the absorption of liquid in the body. Coke also contains caffeine, which might interfere with your sleep the night before the competition and unhealthy chemicals that are not recommended at any time.
Mistake #2: Start eating and drinking immediately after stepping of the scales.
It’s better to first drink and give your body some time to absorb this liquid before you start eating. Absorption speed depends on the speed that your drink leaves the stomach. When there are only liquids this happens relatively fast, but as soon as you also eat, the speed of gastric emptying slows down. Your stomach will first have to digest what you ate before it can push your food to the next stage in the digesting track.
Mistake #3: Drink water after weigh-in.
While pure water is perfect to hydrate the body, sports drink with some carbohydrates and some salts can do this faster. Water passes through the stomach quickly, but sports drink are absorbed faster in the body. Make sure the sport drink doesn’t contain too much carbohydrates (preferably less than 6%). Another benefit of sports drink compared to water is that it already brings some carbohydrate and salts to the table.
Mistake #4: Have one big carbohydrate meal and go to sleep.
While it’s good to eat a lot of carbohydrates after weigh-in to restore the energy in the muscles, it’s not a good idea to do this all at ones. Your body can’t process big amounts at once and will fail to store all these carbohydrates in the muscles. A better approach is to eat multiple small carbohydrate rich meals every two hours until bedtime.
Mistake #5: Have a well-deserved pizza or a burger after weigh-in
Pizza and hamburgers are delicious and contains a lot of energy, but it’s not the right energy for your fight. The energy fighters rely on during a fight comes mainly from carbohydrates, pizza and hamburgers contain carbohydrates, but also a lot of fat. Not only is fat not the right energy source for you at the moment, it also takes long time to digest. In case you lost a lot of glycogen it will interfere with your feeding - it will take a while before your stomach is ready to have another meal.
Mistake #6: Have a regular sized carbohydrate rich meal and add a big amount of vegetables.
Vegetables are undoubtedly healthy highly recommended, however after weigh-in recovery time is limited. You therefore need to make sure carbohydrates reach your muscles as fast as possible. Adding vegetables to your diner will make it slower to digest and will make you feel full for longer.
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