Eating is always on people’s brains. I mean literally, you have to eat to live.
Never before has there been so much nutrition information available. Sorry but I cannot do a condensed version of sports nutrition 101. What I can do is offer some suggestions into helping you be a little more efficient at eating for your workouts, after your workouts, and around your workouts
Workouts: This is where specificity of your sport determines how much you need. Triathletes who train twice a day may need to eat throughout a workout where as a once a day individual interested in weight-loss may be fine with just water. Ask yourself this: Do you get hungry during your workout? Is your workout very hard? Do you have another workout in close proximity to this one? Is your workout really long? If you answered yes, have something with added carbohydrates. If no, stick to water. Another mini rule is the higher the intensity, the less your body can absorb. So on recovery days, you may handle a 400 calorie/hour drink, so more absorbtion from the blood stream, better than in a game or race.
The rule of 60 minutes: If you are exercising or have just exercised, you have a one hour window where you can eat high glycemic foods (think sugary foods). After a workout, the body wants or craves carbohydrates. The easier these foods are to break down, the faster they can be absorbed. Liquid energy, so gatorade for example, is easier to absorb then solid foods. Currently, a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein seems to be the best combination to give the body maximum recovery.
Outside the window: If you are outside the hour, focus on eating whole foods (low glycemic foods), high quality proteins (eggs, white meat, and fish) and lots of veggies. This kind of diet will supply long term energy to your body. As well, eating these foods will have an enriched vitamin content to help replenish damaged muscles.
A couple bonus items: You don’t need supplements. I mean people have trained for most of the 20th century without using them. However, one’s that I do find work are:
- A isolate why protein powder
- Omega 3 oil
- BCAA or Infinit recovery (take during recovery days)
If you want more information, please feel free to contact me.