Nutrition around the training has three important pillars:
- Timing: Timing is important to prevent stomach and intestinal complaints.
- Hydration: The failure to stay hydrated will have a negative effect on performance.
- Energy: To train one must have sufficient amounts energy. If you tank a car to drive 100km and you need to drive 200km you have a problem.
The goal of nutrition before training is to be sufficiently hydrated and to have enough energy. A good hydration status can be achieved by drinking adequate amounts of water. It is better to drink too much than too little. Make sure to finish hydrating well in advanced (1-2hours) so there is plenty of time to excrete the excessive amounts of liquid before training. When you have a strong training coming up it’s advisable to eat an extra carbohydrate rich snack. Make sure it’s easy to digest and low in fat and fibers.
- White bread with jam, honey or syrup.
- Gingerbread or any biscuit with <10% fat
- Energy bar
- Dried fruit or banana
- Pasta bolognaise
During training you lose a lot of fluid by sweating. It is important to minimize dehydration and if its a though training, replenish energy reserves. This can be easily done by drinking water and/or isotonic sports drinks.
- Sports drink
- Sport gel
- Energy gummies
After training the fluid balance must be restored as well as the energy supply. A quick recovery is especially important when there is a second workout in less than 24h. To know how much you should drink it is interesting to check your weigh before and after training. If you drank enough during training this weight should be the same. In case you weigh less after you need to complete the weight loss preferably by 150% water in order to optimize the hydration status.
To replenish the energy reserves you should eat something after training. During the first 30min after exercise recovery occurs faster. Eat something that is rich in carbohydrates and contains protein. The carbohydrates will replenish your energy stores and the protein will repair your muscles.
- Sandwich with lean meat or cheese spread
- Gingerbread or any biscuit <10% fat with chocolate milk
- Banana milkshake
- Dried fruit with yogurt
More about how to improve performance with nutrition in my book “Making Weight & Everything Else”