Tournament season is in full swing, which means your body, mind and skills must be on their A-game. Archery can be physically and mentally demanding. Whether you’re competing indoors, outdoors, in the field, or in 3-D or para-archery, you must stay energized and hydrated to shoot bull’s-eyes consistently.
Not all tournaments offer food onsite, but if they do your options might be limited to hotdogs, popcorn, candy bars and soft drinks. But before pigging out at the concession stand, follow the lead of competitive archers. They know it’s important to think healthy, and pack nutritious snacks and drinks before heading to a tournament.
Kris Schaff, 2018 Nimes World Cup winner, Las Vegas silver medalist, Team USA Shanghai gold medalist, Antalya World Cup silver medalist, Team USA Salt Lake gold medalist
For on-the-go protein, Team USA’s Kris Schaff keeps jerky in his truck, backpack and shooting stool. This 2018 gold and silver medalist also said he never goes anywhere without a drink mix called DripDrop.
“It’s an electrolyte packet I’ve been told is the closest thing to getting an IV without getting one,” Schaff said. “It keeps you hydrated so you don’t get weak in your shots or (suffer) heat exhaustion.”
Electrolyte drink mixes help keep you hydrated and prevent exhaustion, thanks to potassium, sodium and, of course, water. Similar electrolyte mixes include Pedialyte, Emergen-C Electro mix, G Series 02 Gatorade and even coconut water.
“I also like to keep something sweet in there, such as M&M’s or a Snickers bar, just in case I get ‘hangry!’” Schaff said. After all, no one likes a “hangry” archer.
Sheila Tadlock, S3DA SC State Coordinator
Pro archer Sheila Tadlock is state coordinator of South Carolina’s Scholastic 3D Archery program, and leads a family full of archers. She said outlasting the elements during summer competitions requires stamina.
“Archers throughout their careers know that staying healthy, hydrated and calm at all times while shooting can be the edge that sends your scores to podium heights,” Tadlock said.
Tadlock’s three-generation archery family ranges in age from 7 to 60. “Our emergency kit contains peanuts, bananas, Gatorade and, of course, bacon jerky.”
Jacob Marlow, 2018 NFAA Indoor Nationals Champion, ASA Augusta Winner
When in doubt, be like pro archer Jacob Marlow and stick to fruits and veggies. “I usually have a variation of fruits, protein bars, raw vegetables and water with an electrolyte supplement,” he said.
Fruits and vegetables are rich in energy, and help maintain high energy levels throughout the competition. Apples, bananas, cherry tomatoes, and broccoli or cauliflower florets also make mess-free finger food.
For an easy protein source, stick a couple of protein bars into your backpack. As with jerky, protein bars help your body and muscles recover. After all, competitions that require 150 shots are no easy feat. The protein from nuts, legumes and whey-based bars can help build and repair muscles for the next event.
Most importantly, stay hydrated. Water is your best friend on tournament days. Refill your water bottle often at the coolers. Add electrolyte mixes to sustain the hydration needed to perform well during competitions. And if you’re really hungry and crave a hotdog, we don’t blame you. Just be sure to pair it with a healthy side like baby carrots with hummus.