Here at Your Personal Best, we’re often asked about proper sports nutrition and pre and post workout foods. With Conquer The Coast happening tomorrow, we felt it was a great time to address some of these questions. Proper nutrition, like anything else, takes a bit of training before you’re ready go for the “long haul”.
Often times, we are concerned with event-day fueling and can neglect our day-to-day training diets. You’ll find that you can compete at your best only if you train at your best!
Your intestinal tract needs to be trained as well as your heart, lungs and muscles. Each person has a different tolerance with pre-exercise food. You need to practice not only what you eat but also when and how much to eat before your exercise. From the beginning, train your intestinal tract by nibbling on a pretzel, cracker or other fuel that will enhance stamina, endurance, and enjoyment of exercise.
You don’t need to wait around for pre-exercise snack to digest. You can grab a small snack just five minutes pre-exercise and the food will get put to good use–as long as you are exercising at a pace that you can maintain for more than half an hour. That is, you might not want to eat much more than five minutes before a hard track workout, but you could enjoy a banana before you put on your jogging shoes. Research suggests you can eat an energy bar either 15 or 60 minutes before moderate exercise and gain a similar energy boost.
All athletes also need protein after vigorous exercise. Protein helps repair and rebuild muscle tissue that is broken down during hard exercise. Because protein is the basic building material for muscle tissue, if you strength train, or want to increase muscle size, you need to consume more protein than sedentary individuals or non-athletes. However, most strength athletes may overestimate their protein needs.
In general, most active people prefer to wait two to four hours after eating a full meal before they head to the gym or prepare for a team practice. The meal will have plenty of time to digest and empty from the stomach, particularly if they don’t stuff themselves with high fat foods (cheeseburgers and fries) that take longer to digest than a carb-based pasta-type meal. The rule of thumb is to consume:
Time pre-exercise Grams carb/lb Calories/150-lb athlete
5-60 minutes 0.5 g/lb 300 calories
2 hours 1.0 g/lb 600 calories
4 hours 2.0 g/lb 1,200 calories
Here are some great recommendations we offer at Your Personal Best Training Studio:
Hydration is equally as important as fueling. Be sure that you are keeping yourself well hydrated for your exercise or event. In addition to the regular eight glasses of water every day, you need to drink to replace fluids that are lost during exercise. To be confident that you are well hydrated before workouts, drink 2 cups of fluid 2 hours before exercise. During your workout, drink 4 to 8 ounces every 15 to 20 minutes. After exercise, replace any further fluid losses with 16 ounces of water. If you want to be precise, you can weigh yourself before and after workouts. For each pound lost during exercise, you should be drink 16 ounces of fluid. Sports drinks can be helpful to athletes who are exercising at a high intensity for 60 minutes or more. Fluids supplying 60 to 100 calories per 8 ounces helps to supply the needed calories required for continuous performance. It’s really not necessary to replace losses of sodium, potassium and other electrolytes during exercise since you’re unlikely to deplete your body’s stores of these minerals during normal training. If, however, you find yourself exercising in extreme conditions over 3 or 5 hours (a marathon, Ironman or ultra marathon, for example) you may likely want to add a complex sports drink with electrolytes.
For more information about fueling your workout visit the Active website.
“Explore” Your Personal Best Training Studio Services
or sign up for our monthly e-newsletter by clicking here.
“Like” us on Facebook and receive a 1/2 OFF Coupon for a Body Composition and Fitness Analysis!