During training, athletes who are working out more than an hour a day can expend a lot of energy through high intensity workouts and deplete their energy stores. By fueling up before, athletes will find that they are more energized and will have sustained energy throughout workouts. Here are a few ideas as to what you should eat to get the best results.
Eat a small snack mainly composed of easily digested (low fiber) carbohydrates and very little fat (fat digests slowly), about 30 minutes before your workout. If this doesn’t work for you, try a carbohydrate rich meal 1-2 hours prior to the workout. Examples of pre-workout snacks include:
- Fruit Juice
- Energy Bars
- Sports Drinks
- Sports Gels
- Toast and Peanut Butter
For optimal recovery athletes should have a liquid snack immediately after the workout and then a recovery meal 60-90 minutes later. The recommended composition of this snack is a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein (60g carbohydrate and 20g of protein). Examples would be chocolate milk or a sports drink with protein. Athletes should also focus on low fiber carbohydrates (simple sugars) and easily digested proteins.
About an hour or so later, athletes should have their recovery meal. This should have a 2:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio (100g carbohydrate and 50 g protein). Focus on carbohydrates with more fiber (whole grains). This meal should also include fruits and vegetables.