Airsoft games - rational nutrition during exercise
What we eat depends on the mission
Before we move on to specific solutions, it is worth addressing one issue. Namely, what kind of game are we going to play. This is of great importance in the selection of equipment, but also in what provisions we will need. Our needs will be different for short games in the arenas and different for all-day manoeuvres in the field.
I usually check myself two things before playing. The first is the estimated playing time. The second is access to shops and other places where I can replenish my supplies. If I have a couple of shops on my way to the event, I don't worry so much about the preparation. Unless the game is long. Then I focus on more meticulously selected food.
What to eat before and after workout
One technical point is also worth mentioning. Please note that I am not a certified dietitian. If you are looking for the best advice on your diet, start with a visit to your family doctor and then look for a proven specialist in dietetics. We have different preferences, intolerances and food allergies. It would be dishonest for me to give binding advice without knowing your individual situation. This article is a collection of experiences that can serve as inspiration, not ready-made recipes.
It is said that we are what we eat. Fortunately, this saying does not hold true literally. However, having experience in supplementing calories in various circumstances, I wanted to show in this article a few patents that work for me.
Probably most of the nutritional needs in the context of airsoft games will be satisfied with a simple visit to the grocery store. By buying products such as chocolate bars, sweets or ready-made snacks, we can safely stock up on even an all-day event. However, it is worth paying attention to what products we choose.
It is difficult to describe all the variables in a short article. I usually focus on two parameters. The first is caloric density. That is, how many calories the product offers in relation to its weight. By comparing different products, we can check how many calories they have per 100 grams and then we will find out which is more calorically dense. This is a good solution that I took from hiking trips. This saves some weight. And let's remember that we also carry equipment or ammunition on the skirmish. The second thing is the composition. It is true that in a snack for an airsoft game I do not care that much about the amount of carbohydrates, but it is worth avoiding unhealthy substances as much as possible. I myself use one of the applications on the phone to analyse the composition of food products. Just scan the barcode and it highlights ingredients that are considered harmful.
Exercise intensity and nutrition
So, what to buy for short games? Preferably nothing! During the games, I usually do not eat anything for up to 3 hours and only replenish my fluids by drinking water. The meal then comes after the game when I get home for lunch. Rather, the human body should be able to withstand such a load. Let us also remember that airsoft is usually not a very strenuous activity. Of course, it all depends on the type of game. We will discuss how to check this later in the article.
For longer games, from 3 to let's say 5 hours, I already use some kind of energy supplement. Thanks to this, not only energy returns to us, but also some micronutrients that, for example, we lose with sweat. I like the combination of sweet and salty snacks best. Sandwiches used to be popular, but they have lost their place for practical reasons. It is difficult to store them in a backpack for a long time so that they do not get damaged. I usually snack on my favourite bars or something like beef jerky. I also really like mixed nuts or chocolate. I also know people who willingly bet on jelly beans.
When the game requires presence in the field for more than 5 hours, it is worth thinking about a hot meal. This is where camping experience helps. I like to choose instant dishes myself. They are easy to prepare. What's more, when you look carefully, they don't even have a completely bad composition. Lyophilizates also work well, and some people rely on military food rations. Of course, everything we talked about in the context of shorter games will also work as a combination with a hot meal.
Drinks should also be considered. I usually rely on water myself and usually take more than I think I will need. Especially on hot days, we lose fluids quickly and their deficiency can negatively affect our health and efficiency in the game. If possible, especially for longer games, I also take a can of Coke or an isotonic drink. Where does cola come from, I will describe later. For now, it is worth mentioning that other types of liquids are mainly used for variety.
Airsoft nutrition - tips and tricks
At the end, I left some loose tips and mistakes that I went through myself, so you don't have to repeat them. The first trick is to find out how many calories we usually use in the game. Of course, skirmishes are different, but if we usually go to the same field, there are probably no big differences. If you have a smartwatch or other sports watch, you can probably track your steps and activity on it. At the beginning of the game, start a run or hike as an activity, and by the end you will know how many calories you lost on such a skirmish. You can also find phone applications that will measure this value even without a watch. Of course, these are just contractual values.
Staying on the subject of sports, I must say that I do not recommend energy gels in airsoft. Their big problem is that they are not tasty and because of their form, they make us not feel that we are eating them. They were created to replenish calories while running or cycling, not when we sit quietly at the respawn point. It's better to bet on something we can chew and feel better. Plus, it's easy to fall into the trap of buying a whole box of gels and then keeping them at home until they go bad and need to be thrown away. I know because I did it myself. If you like this form, it is better to bet on fruit mousse or another snack in a squeeze package.
I know from sports and hiking experiences that sometimes it is more important than the composition of food whether we feel like eating it. Especially for longer games or outdoor activities, I try to take what I like. It is also worth finding something that will improve our mood and not necessarily serve only to eat. For me, that's what the aforementioned cola is. Even a small can is able to improve my mood after exercise. How to find it? Ask yourself what is the first thing you want after a lot of effort. For me, the craving most often appears in the form of the well-known black carbonated drink.
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