“Coach, is there anything special I should be taking before competing? What do you mean? Oh, like vitamins or supplements, Gatorade, things like that. I’ve been cutting weight like mad and it seems like it’s taking a toll on me. Now Bernard, didn’t we say that if you were going to try to cut weight you would have to take and read one of the handout sheets before doing so. You know there are some guidelines you should be following. Oh yeah, I forgot.
Does this sound like a conversation you may have had with your coach concerning weight-management issues? If it isn’t, it should have been. One of the least understood areas of training is that of nutrition and competition. That’s because most judo coaches are converted judo instructors trying to fill a void in their coaching staff. Judo instructors deal mainly with judo technique and character development. Judo coaches deal with competition and getting their competitors to win and that can include knowing how to best support nutritional requirements for their athletes in competition. Included in this chapter are a few guidelines that judo coaches can use for weight management.
- What special foods if any should or shouldn’t be eaten?
- What is BMI?
- What is meant by a balanced diet and what’s the food pyramid?
- How many calories do I need to consume?
- How about extra vitamins?
- Will ergogenic aids help performance?
- How long before competition should I eat?
- What precautions should I be aware of in cutting weight?
- How fast can I get the weight off without injuring myself?
- What about hydration and rehydration?
- What of heat stroke and hypothermia?
- What about age and gender?
- What of issues of anorexia and bulimia nervosa?
It is within the nature of athletes to try and maximize their chances of winning. Some wittingly some unwittingly taking banned substances in order to optimize the chances of winning. These substances may be illicit drugs, amphetamines, steroids, or even prescription drugs to over the counter drugs banned by the International Olympic Committee. Yes, over the counter substances banned by the IOC (International Olympic Committee). Not to many years ago an athlete unknowingly took a cold medication that showed up in a drug test and eliminated him from the Olympic Trials. In another instance an athlete went so far as to train at high altitude where his blood was able to gain a higher level of oxygen content, extracted it, and re-infused himself with that blood just prior to competing and won. This win at all cost mentality has also influenced athletes trying to do their best to work within the rules.
Hayward Nishioka, 8th Degree Black Belt
Judo, HEART and SOUL
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