The demands of training and the requirements of our sport means that we need to be more conscious of what we are eating, and perhaps more importantly, how much we are eating. Nutrition plays a key role in maximizing the training benefits and recovery of athletes at any level.
Exercise & Nutrition
Exercise intensity and duration are dependent on the levels of glucose your body has readily available. The intensity and duration also influence muscle glycogen use; the higher intensity and the longer the session the faster glycogen and glucose are depleted. A good nutritional plan for any athlete should include amounts of carbohydrates and protein. Carbs during the day’s prior to exercise has shown to maintain muscle glycogen and improve performance. Carbohydrate and protein combination was found to be the most beneficial for those with limited recovery time or those on a ketogenic diet.
Important Thing to Keep in Mind for Your Exercise Nutrition Plan
- Stay hydrated- Dehydration while working out will inhibit success and gains.
- An effective plan can have serious benefits including improved cardiovascular health, increased strength, improvements in blood pressure, and improved overall body composition.
- The best pre and post nutrition plans work when they boost energy for exercise and in your life overall, as well as results.
- Nutritional needs vary by individual and by workout plan. There are pre and post workout plans that cater towards the “average” individual or athlete to achieve general gains and improvements.
- Pre-Workout Meal Plan: Three to four hours before a HIIT workout, plan on a moderate-to-high carbohydrate intake, and a moderately high intake of protein. Examples would be dried fruit, trail mix, and nuts, a Greek-yogurt smoothie with fruit in it, cottage cheese with trail mix or nuts, a peanut butter with banana, or whole-wheat/grain toast with peanut butter.
- Post-workout Meal Plan: Within an hour of your HIIT workout, consume a snack that is high in carbohydrates. Your post-workout meal plan is not dissimilar to your pre-workout meal plan. Make sure your intake is moderate to high in carbohydrates and moderate to high in protein. Avocados or guacamole with pita, pita and hummus, whole grain toast with peanut butter and banana, fruit, cheese, and crackers, or cereal that is high in carbohydrates with fruit and soy milk.