Nutrition and Fueling April 02, 2019 02:13 Not a Member yet? $25/month Get Purple Patch Education Membership, A complete performance education program for coaches and athletes. SUBSCRIBE You need to sign in to view this page. What's the Difference? To maximize performance gains from your training it is essential you understand and implement this simple approach to your nutrition and fueling. If you have any questions on this topic after you read the guide please reach out to plan support for follow up and advice. Nutrition vs. Fueling Most endurance athletes dramatically under fuel relative to energy output in each training session. Fueling is the most critical part of both performance gains and body composition improvements. Get this right and you will recover better, balance your energy and be on the road to optimal body composition. Before putting this packet down, ensure that you understand the major differences between fueling and nutrition. Nutrition These are the calories taken in during daily living (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks). The goal for proper nutrition is to provide the calories and nutrients to keep us healthy and performing in daily life. Nutrient-rich foods such as vegetables and lean proteins are critical during this part of caloric consumption. Your nutrition is your daily platform for healthy living. We do not consider calories taken in during and immediately following exercise as part of your nutrition. Fueling The calories consumed during exercise and up until 90120 minutes after are part of your "fueling window and have a completely different role than the calories which make up your overall nutrition. Proper fueling will provide the proper energy for the workout. Maximize recovery, enable smart choices of nutrition in the rest of your day and offset some of the metabolic stress associated with training. Most of our calories here are less nutrient rich but are taken to supply and replenish our primary fuel source for endurance sportsglycogen. You may know this word which means 'stored carbohydrate' and is our primary energy source in training and racing. Get Fueling Right Most people think the calories they consume during training are simply to get them through just that workout session. This is a massive mistake as fueling during and after training is also critical to: Allow optimal recovery from the current session and prepare for the upcoming sessions. Replenish depleted fuel stores and avoid often poor quality food cravings later in the day. Stop the 'stress' of exercise on the body by lowering the cortisol response. Support metabolic health by avoiding the physiological stress associated with athletic starvation. The Busy Triathlete TipIt is worth noting that fueling during and immediately following your workouts will have a huge impact on your energy balance during the workday. Dial this in and workouts will have a positive impact on your ability to lead, concentrate and perform in the workplace. Remember, your workout is not over until you have refueled! Before Training In the 15 to 60 minute window prior to a session, it is prudent to have a snack to ensure you begin on the right track. This must consist of a balance of some carbohydrate combined with some protein and a little fat. Examples might be: A handful of trail mix Greek yogurt with some nuts Half of a protein-based energy bar (Picky Bar, Clif Mojo Bar, etc.) Banana with almond butter During Training If you are training less than 60 minutes at higher intensity, or 90 minutes at lower intensity, your requirements for fueling during training are radically reduced. If you have recently eaten, you may go through the session with little to no fuel. With this said, post workout fueling remains critical every single time. For sessions extending these windows, it is recommended to aim to reduce caloric deficit with consistent and frequent feedings of 3-4 kcal/kg/hour (see the table below). Example: If you weigh 150 pounds you would need to average 210270 calories per hour during training. So, where do you get it? Weight (lbs) Weight (kgs) 3 Cal/Hr 4 Cal/Hr 120 54.4 163 216 140 63.5 191 254 160 72.5 218 290 180 81.7 245 327 200 90.7 272 363 Low Intensity If you are operating at a training intensity of low Z3 or under (about 75% of maximal exertion) you can and should get your calories from a mixture of carbohydrate, protein and a little fat. Examples would be: Trail Mix Bars: Picky Bars, Clif Mojo, higher protein-based bars Mini-sandwiches with nut butter Bites of potatoes with salt and oil High Intensity If you are operating at a higher intensity (such as track-based run sessions, tougher pool sessions or hill repeats on the bike) or in the later stages of extended endurance, you should shift to a pure carbohydrate fuel source. This includes: Cliff Bloks / Chews Jelly beans or gummy bears Coke Caffeine added to all products is perfectly fine and a positive addition. The Busy Triathlete TipThe 0 to 30 minute window Is critical for busy professionals, The goal is to minimize the consequences of training stress in order to maximize training benefit while minimizing negative effects on other factors in life. Helping you, from a physiology point of view, better balance training and work. Following Training Whether you have fueled during the training session or not, you always want to ensure you refuel following. Immediately following each training session we require protein to lower cortisol and begin the recovery process, as well as some easily accessible carbohydrates to replenish energy stores 030 Minutes Following Training Your massive focus is to give the body protein at this stage. We must turn-off the cortisol response and begin repair. Example food might be: Fruit with almond butter High protein shake High protein bar (if nothing else). 30120 Minutes Following Training You now shift to a restocking of the glycogen stores so carbohydrate becomes the focus. Combined with a little protein, aim for: High quality carbohydrates: sweet potato, fruits, vegetables, amaranth, quinoa, etc. Lean proteins (chicken, fish) Cottage cheese, yogurt Vegetables and fruits Make it a Habit Once you fan into a positive habit of fueling your workouts, you will notice your energy balance is enhanced, training and racing performance improves, it is easier to manage body composition and you experience fewer cravings and urges for foods you try to avoid in daily life. To succeed it has to become just that: a habit. This is one of the keystone habits I aim to make a priority for all of my athletes! Maximizing Sleep and Recovery While we have you, one more tip! If you are in heavy loads of training, struggle to sleep, or simply want to maximize recovery and minimize stress, then 'collar' your days with protein. 20 grams of protein before bed 20 grams of protein when you first wake up This approach suppresses the negative effect of your stress hormones (such as cortisol). Look for more information in the coming weeks on nutrition, as well as the consequences of poor fueling. Related articles Nutrition Overview: Nutrition, Fueling, and Hydration Understanding Nutrition & Fueling Thirsty Work: IRONMAN Racing and Hydration Quick Start Guide to the Purple Patch Squad Is Depriving Yourself Of Calories In Training A Good Idea?