Learn my favorite tips to fuel your body for increased performance. The goal of sports nutrition is to keep your body hydrated, increase muscle protein synthesis, and spare muscle and liver glycogen.
Individual needs will vary
We all have unique individual needs and engage in different workouts and levels. Nutrient ratios and portions will vary depending on your goals and workout intensity. I recommend that you experiment with different foods and timing to see what suits your individual needs. Below are some guidelines that will get you started with sports nutrition for energy and recovery.
Portion control is critical.
If you consume too many calories and macro-nutrients your muscles will focus on digesting food instead of fueling your workout. Have you ever had cramps from eating too much before your run or cardio? It is not enjoyable. I encourage eating three meals and two snacks per day. This will assist in under-eating and over-eating.
- A pre-workout meal should be consumed 3 hours before exercise.
Fat takes the longest to digest, then high fiber foods, followed by protein. Carbs break down the quickest. Eat a meal or snack that is relatively low in fat, moderate protein, and moderate in carbs such as veggies. I suggest a complex carb, healthy fat, and protein combination. An example is 4 ounces of chicken with 1 cup steamed asparagus, 1/2 sliced avocado, and 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes.
- Have a small pre-workout snack 30-60 minutes before exercise.
This should include protein as well. Hummus and veggies is a great example.
- Hydrate by consuming 20 oz. of water 1-2 hours prior to exercise.
You can fuel up with a natural electrolyte drink to provide energy for working muscles. Vega electrolyte replacement powder is a great option to help replenish your electrolytes as you workout.
It is important to refuel after you work out because your glycogen stores become depleted. Skipping your post-workout snack can cause prolonged soreness as well as premature muscle fatigue. This is caused by incomplete glycogen restoration.
- Consume your post-workout snack within 30-minutes.
30-minutes is the optimal time-frame for restoring glycogen stores. It promotes quicker recovery of your muscle tissues.
- Protein builds tissue that breaks down during exercise.
I recommend a plant-based protein powder with spinach and berries or an egg and veggie stir-fry to assist in protein recovery.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Water supports metabolic function, nutrient transfer, energy, and mental clarity. I suggest drinking 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of water every day.