Here’s a good meal plan to ensure adequate energy and hydration for a powerlifting meet. It assumes the lifter didn’t do anything drastic to make weight and isn’t dehydrated to begin with.

First thing when you wake up, have a decent sized breakfast of complex carbohydrates (oatmeal is great), protein (egg whites, protein powder, etc.), and some healthy fats (peanut butter or nuts, some fish oil or olive oil).

A good sample meal might be:

  • 1.5 cups (dry measure) oats made into oatmeal
  • 4 whole eggs and 8 egg whites made into an omelet
  • Small handful of almonds or cashews
  • 1 cup coffee
  • Multivitamin and mineral

Then mix up a couple gallons of 50/50 water and Gatorade. Start drinking this with breakfast and continue drinking throughout the day and during the meet. Some protein shakes with waxy maize and protein powder would also be a good idea and wouldn’t cause too much stomach distress.

A sample shake might be:

Use at least one liter of water for this shake.

In between lifts (not attempts but in between the squat, bench, and deadlift), have small, solid meals of complex carbs (yams, brown rice, oats), some solid protein (chicken breast, tuna, or steak), and a small amount of healthy fats (nuts or nut butter). A meal like this would also be ideal if you get hungry between breakfast and the meet.

A good sample meal might be:

  • 1 to 2 cups brown rice
  • 4 to 8 oz cooked chicken breast
  • Small handful of almonds or cashews

Also keep some Zone bars handy for quick snacks in between meals and during warm ups.

What to eat after the meet

While others are indulging in pizza and ice cream, those who want to optimize their nutrition and minimize their recovery time will be smart to follow these post-competition eating guidelines:

Immediately after the meet, have another waxy maize and whey protein shake with ample BCAAs.

  • An hour or two later have another meal similar to the chicken and rice meals you ate during the day.
  • Before bed, have a casein shake to provide a steady stream of aminos through the night.

A sound meet day meal plan such as this will ensure you’re able to maximize the weeks and months you’ve spent preparing for your competition and get back to training as soon as possible on your way to the next set of personal records.

For more information, check out my training log and nutritional and training consultation services.