Tip: Fruit like bananas should be consumed mainly after waking up or post-workout. They immediately stop the catabolic (muscle-breakdown) effects of your weight training and help restore glycogen quickly. However, the liver stores excess fructose as fat, especially when there are already starches in your system, so don’t rely on fruit as a major carb source.
5. Load Up Your Carbs
After your last training session (Wednesday, in this example, two full days before Saturday’s event), eat two to three grams of carbs per pound of body weight for the rest of the day. If you train at night and it’s hard to eat enough carbs before bed, you can split up the total and eat the rest of the carbs on Thursday night. Insulin sensitivity remains high for 48 hours post- workout, so glycogen will still go to your muscles. Otherwise, on Thursday, go back on the diet prescribed in Step 2. Once your muscle glycogen stores are full, they’ll remain this way for days, as long as no other strength training is performed (because muscle glycogen is burned only during high- intensity exercise). Carbing up on Wednesday also gives you time to make adjustments. If you feel you look flat and small on Thursday or Friday, increase your carbs a bit. Bloated and soft? Cut them back a bit. Make adjustments by 25–50 grams at a time.
6. Keep Drinking Water
In an effort to look even dryer on game day, some guys will drastically cut their water intake. This only causes the body to react the opposite way, causing you to retain more water to avoid dehydration. Drink your normal amount of water up until the night before the target day, at which point you should cut it back. The day of your event, halve your water intake until you’re ready to party. This will help you appear a little tighter without giving the body time to react negatively to water restriction.