by Monica Taliani
As I was navigating the aisles of the local grocery store this past weekend I had the job of restocking my “match snacks” for the beginning of my shooting season. While I piled protein bars, beef jerky, cases of bottled water and sports drinks into my shopping cart I started thinking about match day nutrition. I shoot a large variety of competitions that vary from about 4 hours at local clubs to matches that require shooting over multiple days that involve quite a bit of travel. Some of the matches I have attended in the past have been physically challenging even for the most seasoned athletes. Being exposed to elements such as extremely high and low temperatures, humidity, sleet, and long hours really can take its toll on the body. This can wreak havoc on a shooter’s performance especially when competing requires you to be focused both mentally and physically. Every shooters caloric and health needs are different so I asked shooters what their favorite tips are for avoiding hunger at the range. Here are some of the responses
- Payday candy bars, non-chocolate granola/power bars, fruit snacks, and energy blocks are great to carry in your range bag because they give you a quick boost of energy and they won’t melt.
- Freeze your drinks the night before the match so as the day heats up they begin to melt and not only does it mean you will have a cold drink all day it keeps other items in your cooler cold.
- Jerky, beef sticks, and trail mix/ nuts are good sources of protein that won’t go bad being out in the heat.
- Bananas are the perfect amount of sugar for quick energy without overdoing it. You can also eat them without getting lead from your hands on them.
- Keep hydrated on the way to the match if you are traveling. You may have to make a few extra stops along the way but this way you aren’t starting the match dehydrated before you even start shooting.
- Eat a little bit every hour to keep your energy up. Some shooters don’t eat the lunch available at the range on their lunch break to avoid the sudden urge to take a nap. Instead they use the time to check their equipment, sit down for a bit, and grab a snack and a drink.
- It is important to wash your hands thoroughly before eating after shooting and keep drinks closed or covered up to minimize lead exposure.
Until next time, be safe and shoot straight!