Posted on 20 April 2017
What you are putting into your body is ultimately powering your workout so you want to provide yourself with the best fuel to ensure you are performing to your full potential. Here are 5 top nutritional tips to maximize your training…
Time it right
Timing is everything when it comes to fueling your workout. Pre-run you will want to eat something that will give you an energy boost, so focus on carbs such as a banana or peanut butter on oat cakes which are good options. Generally, the bigger the meal you have, the more time it will take to digest so plan your meals accordingly around your workout. Most people will want to eat at least 30 minutes prior to running and it’s a good idea to eat a protein rich snack post workout to help repair muscle tissue and some carbohydrates to replenish your energy stores. Great examples are a protein shake and fruit, greek yogurt or tuna pasta for a main meal.
Little and often
If you eat more regularly throughout the day, it helps to avoid your blood sugar levels dropping and tiredness. Of course, you must be eating the right things. Be prepared and take your snacks with you so you aren’t left short. Ditch the high fat snacks such as chocolate which have no nutritional value for a balance of protein and carbohydrates. Fruit such as Bananas with nut butters, a handful of nuts or greek yogurt are good choices.
The importance of main meals
Healthy snacking is really important; however nutritious main meals are key. Pasta is a runner’s favourite – I would recommend adding some chicken or tuna to ensure you get some protein in there. There are also plenty of high carb choices such as sweet potato, brown rice, pulses and beans. Avoid high carbohydrate food which is also rich in fat for example pizza and croissants as this will lead to a crash and are not the best option to sustain your energy levels on your runs.
Eat for recovery
Straight after a hard run it is important to refuel your body with protein and carbohydrates to repair the muscles and restore your glycogen levels. Have a snack or a meal (time dependent) rich in these macro nutrients to help your body repair and prepare for your next run, for example greek yogurt and a banana or granola, peanut butter on an apple, eggs on toast or chicken rice and vegetables if it’s a main meal.
Water is the body’s most important nutrient and hydration is extremely important throughout the day – not just when you are exercising. Water keeps us hydrated, helps to regulate body temperature, helps to flush out the damaged cells that can lead to inflammation and removes waste from your body.
It’s also easy to mistake thirst for hunger, so by keeping up your water intake you won’t be eating unnecessary calories. 2 litres a day is a good start point and even more on training days!