Fuel Your Game
Increased training loads can quickly wear down your body. However, prepping yourself for a speedy recovery with nutrition can help you get more quality workouts. And…more quality workouts = better performance!
Replenish suboptimal glycogen stores that were lost overnight by consuming 35-65 grams of carbohydrates 2-4 hours before the event.
Drink to thirst to replenish fluid losses and to prevent protein breakdown during your workout.
Make sure to eat! Prep your body for fueling your workout and a speedier recovery.
Guidelines 1-3 Hours Prior
You need to eat prior to exercise in order to prevent the breakdown of muscle, top off glycogen stores for quick energy, and obtain vital nutrients which will help with recovery.
Remember to drink to thirst before exercise to ensure hydration is up to par. Do not over drink. Do not feel the need to get in a liter or whatever the latest challenge is recommending. Drink to thirst! We have that mechanism for a reason.
What should your pre-race meal look like? 200-300 calories per hour prior:
-> 1-4 g carbohydrates per kg body weight 1-4 hr prior to exercise, respectively.
-> Low fiber foods to prevent bloating and fluid retention. Examples of low fiber fruits to include are bananas, peaches, cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon.
-> Protein, especially Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) 4.5-6.5 g: shown to improve time to exhaustion, maximum power output and even stimulate protein synthesis after exercise.
-> Consuming a liquid meal with the appropriate balance of macronutrients will be easily digested and absorbed without delaying gastric emptying. However, both liquid and solid meals are equally effective in increasing blood glucose and improving performance.
Ideas of meals to consume ONE HOUR prior to training:
-> Eggs with Fruit
-> Unsweetened Applesauce with 2-3 tbsp Protein Powder
-> Baby Food – fruit, vegetables, turkey, fish, or chicken
-> Cottage Cheese with Fruit
-> Homegrown Smoothie: low fiber fruit, fruit juice, 2-3 tbsp whey protein
-> Sports Bar (least favorite because it’s processed food)
10 Minutes Pre-Training
To prevent potential exercise induced hypoglycemia, including carbohydrates within the final 10 minutes pre-game is a game changer. Consume about 100-200 calories aka 25-50 g carbohydrates from a liquid source (i.e. sports drink, gel, or sweet potato powder formula) along with 6-8 oz of water. This “topping off” will ensure your glycogen stores will be good to go and that you have adequate hydration levels!
Supplement Guide Pre-Game (Adults only)
Athletes spend billions of dollars on dietary supplements each year to improve performance. However, not all supplements are created equally. While the FDA regulates all dietary supplements in the US, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act does not ensure safety, effectiveness, or quality of dietary supplements.
Thus, using certified supplements, is imperative and could make that slim performance difference which could land you with the win.
->BCAA: about 2.2 g in 1 tbsp of protein powder. Consume 4.5-6.5 g 1 hour prior to workout.
-> Caffeine: Drinking about 2 cups (or 5-6 mg/kg body weight) of coffee can improve endurance, enhance nerve conduction velocity, and delay fatigue
-> Carnitine: 2-4 g/day for decreased soreness, increased endurance, cardiovascular function, and strength.
-> Creatine Monohydrate: 20 g/day for the first 5 days, then 5-10 g/day thereafter to increase lean body mass, strength, enhanced recovery, and increased endurance.
-> HMB: 3 g/day to enhance lean body mass and increase strength gains.