What to eat during a long event recently came up here, on Armour Archive.
Having just finished a semester of nutrition for performance, here's what I replied:
While fighting the primary thing your body is losing is water and electrolytes.
about the time you spend on the field. In your armour you're pretty
much always sweating (heck I sweat through my gambeson at a frostbite
tourney). But most of the time is spent standing around or maybe
walking. Interspersed are brief bits of max intensity action. While
those are physically demanding, they don't actually burn that many
calories. And your muscles also highly active, but you shouldn't be sore
like you are after a session of strength training.
The needs are to replace electrolytes and water. You don't actually have a high need for either carbs or protein at this time.
are plenty of ways to replenish electrolytes: gatorade, jerky, pickles
etc. So you need to find what appeals to you and what has worked in the
You need to eat enough that you don't feel hungry or tired.
Obviously those will impede performance and these will vary from person
to person and how that day is going (or how last night went). And to
meet this need you should eat whatever you like to eat and has worked
for you in the past. Eating lean meats is going to be preferable to
fatty meats, for most people, because the fattier meals tend to be
harder on the digestion.
The question asked was about event
foods. And not recovery from training. Training should be much more
demanding than fighting and so the needs are different and increased.
Of course, the topic of protein came up in the discussion:
You don't burn protein for energy under normal circumstance. Protein
metabolism has noxious by-products (due to the nitrogen), so the body
always keeps it to a minimum. Except in starvation. Using your muscles a
bunch doesn't lead to protein metabolism.
If your muscles are
sore, and in need of repair, then protein is needed. But the repair
process takes time. If you're sore on Saturday then the repair process
won't be complete until Monday or Tuesday. Protein consumption does not
meaningfully affect this process. Protein consumption simply isn't gonna
make a difference for Sunday.
Of course, that's no reason not to eat food you enjoy! One of the things I liked about my nutrition class was the repeated emphasis on Enjoying Food.
the only thing that doesn't recover in a day or less is muscle soreness
of the kind that would be fixed by protein consumption. There are
different ways for a muscle to be sore (including Delayed Onset, where I
don't hurt until after I get home from the event ).
of those other kinds of sore can be fixed faster. For instance cramps
may be fixed by stretching, massage and/or electrolytes depending on