Problem: Eating Before A Meet

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My kid is like, totally, not a morning person. Right off the bat, that's a problem with meets that require him to be at the gym at 7am. Last weekend he had to get up at 5am to get to the meet gym by 7:15. (Kinda sucked for Dad, too. :p)

Add to that the fact that he really has no appetite in the morning. More than that, if he does eat, it makes him sick. We've tried a number of foods recommended by his coaches and other parents, but the result is always nausea, and sometimes actual vomiting. We'll be asking his pediatrician about it real soon, but the fact is, I was the same way at his age. :rolleyes:

Our latest stop-gap measure is a product called "Gu", one of those energy gels used by ultra runners and such. It's certainly no substitute for food, especially since one packet is about one ounce of gel, but taken about 15 minutes before an event, it truly does give him a little boost. He'll suck down 2 or 3 during the course of his 6 events, which is about the recommended consumption rate for those things. No nausea so far.

Obviously this extends beyond gymnastics meets -- same problem every school morning, too. He claims he has no desire for food until around noon. Naturally we've been concerned, but he's nearly a straight "A" student and is starting to prove himself quite the little athlete, so I guess it's not having any apparent effects on his general health.

So I'm wondering how many of you parents, coaches or gymnasts have run into this problem. How common is it, and how are you dealing with it?

- Harv


I actually don't have that problem with my gymnast (she eats like a horse before a meet!) but I never eat until the meet is over because it's just easier to be hungry than to worry about being sick during a meet . If your child's meet is early, then I wouldn'y even worry about feeding him before the meet if that's not his normal routine to eat in the am, feed him after the meet. If the meet is at 8 am, it should be done by 11 am and he could eat then.
Jan 31, 2009
Try Slim-Fast.
It sounds odd, but I use it before running races because I can't Gu on an empty stomach. I also can't handle any solid food - nervous stomach. These do the trick - especially the extra protein ones.
My dd will drink one before early morning meets for the same reasons. I make sure she has some snacks for when the hunger does kick in during the meet.
Good luck:)

Deleted member 1703

There is quite a lot of caffeine in the Gu's and if he is having 4 in a morning - that is about 80mg of caffeine - about 2 strong cups of coffee. If I were you, I would look for something without it.

We also had this problem as on top of the "not feeling like breakfast", my dd also gets car sick so if she had an early breakfast, she would always be sick on the way to the competition (and practices). We found that plain oat biscuits with a bit of cheese would help. I would arrive at the venue at least half an hour early and then stay in the car with her so that she could this snack and a book or a dvd to watch to get the nerves down, too.


Gym mum -

Actually, the caffeine content of Gu varies according to flavor, and is clearly marked right at the tear-off tab. Strawberry Banana, for example is labeled "No Caffeine", as is Lemon Sublime, while Orange, Vanilla, Chocolate, Triberry and Plain all have some caffeine and are labeled "w/Caffeine". Then, of course, there's Espresso Love with double caffeine. :eek: We'll stick with the low octane flavors. ;)

Thank you for the caution.

- Harv
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