Sports Nutrition is an almost boundless subject and the only thing that everyone seems to agree on is that its not a ‘one size fits all’ topic because different sports and different people have different needs.

In dynamic shooting we need sufficient energy and hydration to stay alert throughout a long match day where we will need to produce bursts of energy as required, usually after the beep! This is going to be a work in progress where we encourage you to share your strategy for match day fuelling. The first to go is Ben Love, please use the contact link if you would like to add your ideas, we will need a pic (ideally shooting but definitely clothed…), a short bio and your diet plan!

While we’re talking about hydration here’s a handy gadgetfor very little money that keeps a drink cold (or hot) all day, we got one to try out of curiosity and still had ice cubes in the drink after 6 hours sitting in a warm kitchen so it would keep a drink cool all day on the range.

Ben Love is an IPSC Modified shooter from Essex who shoots a Benelli M2 with support from ROE Firearms.

He’s a regular on the Level 3 match circuit in the UK and not averse to trips into the rest of Europe for matches including CESO and the 2015 Shotgun World Shoot.

Ben’s Match Day Performance Fuelling:

About 18 months ago I changed my ideas towards physical training and correct “Performance Fuelling”, losing over 3st and increasing my fitness levels 10 fold, whilst physical fitness is not the be all and end all in Practical shooting, it does help – I use a combination of HIIT, Core and Strength training to benefit my overall fitness and now match day performance (a fully loaded IPSC Modified Shotgun weighs a bit). What I have found that has really helped my fitness, recovery and performance has been sports nutrition, with a little biohacking on the side. My Sports Fuelling strategy has bled nicely across to my practical shooting competitions and practise range time. I would like to offer up my fuelling strategy for an average Level 3 Shotgun match lasting the whole day, which unless the Match is at HTRPC Dartford, which on my door step, the day will start early and be a long day. I would say the key is to not get fatigued during the day, through a combination of Hydration, food intake and importantly recovery (which unfortunately is not through the intake of Beer, sorry). I personally use SiS (Science in Sport) products; they are quite expensive but are very good (and used by many pro sports teams).

Breakfast: This is important, a good breakfast will setup the day and if possible should NOT be taken just before the match starts, let it go down. I will have either Porridge (With Whole Milk of course) or a Cooked Breakfast if available – preferably eggs and bacon etc. cooked with “good fats” such as coconut Oil, to maintain energy levels and Also Caffeine – I have recently started “using” Bullet Proof Coffee to start my day and wake up the grey matter, so called bio-hacking – Look it up its a little odd but is amazing. During a match, Breakfast will be the largest meal of the day, the rest will all be taken on the hoof and will not be too large and not all in one go.. so just before the first shot is fired I will turn to Caffeine again in the form of a Gel, plus a Protein Energy Bar. During the rest of the day I will turn to Energy Bars and Isotonic Gels when needed, I also keep a Chicken sandwich for lunch and Snickers Bar in the range bag if I need that hit of Chocolate. Throughout the whole day, to maintain hydration I will use “Hydro” tablets dissolved in 400ml of Water, normally 2 -3 of these will be fine, or if it’s a hot day I will also use a light electrolyte water mix in addition too or instead of the Hydro Tabs. When the match is over I will normally use a Recovery Protein drink, which really does help when you have been on your feet all day, especially the next day and also more Caffeine normally in the form of Coffee on the way home (with a nice bit of cake of course).

Before I started using this strategy the next day would generally mean a migraine headache and stiff / sore leg muscles. People have sometimes laughed at the “fuelling” I use, however it works for me, everyone is different but it’s really worth thinking about giving it a go, see if it helps.

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  • Thanks, very good advices! I use Isotonic drinks during summer matches and trainings, too. But energy bars melt down and I prefer to have dried fruits and nuts mix. Never tried Recovery Protein drink after the match, so I am going to try it.

  • When you get to the higher levels of any sport, physical fitness and nutrition definitely give an athlete the edge. Even golf players have personal fitness trainers.

    I’m the world’s worst, after following a very strict regime during the week of eating and training, but then letting the diet go to pot on training/comp days. Start the day with a meet up in the cafe, end up full of junk food you never normally eat, thirsty from the sudden influx of salt, and then you make it last the day till coffee and cake on the way home.

    Daily, I drink 4litres of water, but on a Saturday, I just keep making the coffee and dehydrating myself even more.

    Having read this, I’m going to step it up a bit and be more attentive to keeping my eating and drinking on track, even though the Saturday training/comp days throws out my normal routine.

    Only thing I would say is watch the refined sugars, whilst they give you a short energy burst, the spike in insulin levels is not desirable. Unfortunately, whilst it would be easy to recommend some of the flapjacks and oat based alternatives, these things are stuffed with refined sugar as well.

    I’m always on the look out for every possible advantage to give me an edge to get better.

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