If you're an athlete, you're always looking for a competitive edge -- more muscle, more energy, less fat. Lighter-weight clothing, higher-performance shoes.

And athletes worth their salt know one of the most critical ways to be at your best is by making sure you're getting proper nutrition.

By now, most people know that you don't load up on steaks or heaps of ham before an event. Nope, it's all about carbohydrates.

So what're the best ways to get those carbs?

According to Sports Fitness Advisor, pasta is one of the best ways build up your system and make sure it's operating at its peak before athletic competitions.

"The pre-match meal," the site says, "might consist of pasta in a low-fat tomato sauce, baked beans or scrambled eggs on toast and fresh fruit such as apples, pears or orange juice. Some grilled fish or chicken and vegetables could accompany the carbohydrates. Ideally this meal should be eaten at least three hours prior to the start -- especially if nerves are a factor, which can impair digestion."

One easy stop before you hit the track, the gym or the field could be a place like Yakima's Pasta Pronto in The Orchards Shopping Center, 420 S. 72nd Ave. And as luck would have it, they've got a limited Weekly Deal offer — $25 coupons for $12.50.

The deal's available starting Friday morning at 8:30. On your mark, get set ...