We’re assuming that this is for a weigh-in the day before your event, with a 24 hour recovery period. We’ll cover the changes you should make for a “same day” weigh-in in a future blog.
If you’re very dehydrated at the weigh in, definitely consider following the advice in the previous blog, especially when it comes to the timing of your first meal after the weigh in. When you’ve starved yourself for a week to make weight, it takes certain amount of discipline not to immediately start trying to eat your own bodyweight in cake and ice cream. Unless you’re very confident that this approach works for you, we wouldn’t recommend it though.
Eating too much, too soon is a common mistake, and it can leave you feeling bloated, sick and unable to refuel properly. Faced with a short timescale to recover, this scenario can be a disaster for your performance.
The important principle is to eat little and often, especially at first. After an hour or two sipping fluids, you are ready to move onto solid food.
Baby food can be a surprisingly good option at this stage. Designed to be easily digestible, it can be good to start on especially if your digestive system is a bit sensitive after the cut. Stock up on jars of rice pudding, or chocolate and banana desert before the weigh in.
To replenish your glycogen (carbohydrate) stores, you’ll want foods that are low in fat and high in carbohydrate. A moderate amount of protein will help your body to absorb this faster – a ratio of around 4:1 (carbs to protein) is ideal for “carb loading”.
Try to eat frequent small meals through the day, with low fat, high carbohydrate snacks in between. Make sure you continue to drink plenty of fluid (once you’re onto solid foods, you can switch to water rather than sports drink).
As always, preparation is key. Have post-weigh in snacks ready so you’re not scrabbling around trying to find your favourite brand of pretzels while you should be recovering. And if you’re travelling to the venue it’s often worth scouting restaurants in advance, so you know where you can get the food you want without any hassle.