Are you wondering how to eat to increase your ahtletic performance? I wanted to take a few moments to discuss nutrition & performance. I am gearing these tips towards athletes who perform long periods of working out that last anywhere from 60-90 minutes. This could be a tennis game, soccer game, bike ride, lifting weights, etc. This post will focus on pre exercise nutrition as I don’t want to overwhelm you. I will then add the “during exercise” and “after exercise” portions later this week.
Have a meal 3 hours prior workout that will include the following:
1. Complex Carbohydrates – these will fuel your body and this is going to be the primary form of fuel your body will be using during your intense workout. These include whole grains, potatoes, pasta, bread, etc.
2. Protein – chicken breast, turkey, beef, pork, fish, beans, lentils, tofu, egg whites, etc
3. Fat – make the meal balanced by adding some sort of fat. If you’re cooking then cooking with olive oil will be great. If you’re making a salad then adding oil to your dressing will do or simply adding avocado. If you’re eating beef or pork, you will automatically have fat included in your meal.
So what is special about this meal? Nothing other than you are eating a balanced meal 3 hours before your workout and you’re including a generous amount of complex carbohydrates. You combine the three components and you have a pre workout meal. This could be a stir fry, a sandwich, a salad, etc. Always check if you have everything in the meal that is listed above and pay attention to portion control. This is not a time to pig out at a Chinese Buffet!
Note: the closer you get to your workout the smaller the meal should be. If you happen to have time to eat 1 hour before your workout then your portion will be a lot smaller thn if you’re eating 3 hours prior. Do not eat right before your game or a bike ride as the blood will leave your stomach and travel to your limbs which will leave you with stomach cramps!
What about fluids? 2-3 hours before your intense workout you might want to consider hydrating with water or a fitness water to prevent dehydration during your workout. In the next article I will talk about sweat rate and hydration during your workout so stay tuned!
Pretty simple, isn’t it? This shall help you with your performance whether you are doing weights, running, playing tennis or any other sport game.
Stay tuned for “During Exercise” eating tips coming later this week!