COMMUNITY FORUM: Questions on Fueling and Energy Management During the Build Phase
Coaches Brad and Jacob to help navigate the world of nutrition and hydration through build faze this next few months. We would love to hear your questions about what is needed for daily energy management to sustain training. This is mainly focused on the weekday workouts as we'll be covering the longer weekend sessions another day.
Thanks, can't wait to hear from you!
Jacob and Brad.
Great question Jeff,
Every athlete is going to have a different capacity for what their stomach can handle. Some can eat a full English breakfast before a workout while others are limited to something small and simple like oatmeal, toast etc. There isn't anything wrong with an easy fasted morning workout at or under an hour as long as but anything beyond or more intense than that, its recommended you find a way to take on some simple carbs before or during your workout. This is also dependent on how long you are awake before your workout. if you have a half hour or so to get to the pool, your run etc. you may want to experiment with a bit of food to fuel you through your workout. A good place to start is the B.R.A.T diet. Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast are all great options for foods that are easy on the stomach. If you know a lot of food is going to make a second appearance later in a workout start with smaller amounts of these or other foods that are mild with lots of simple carbs. The other macronutrients, proteins, fats, and complex carbs can be consumed after a workout to aid in recovery.
-Jacob, Resident PurplePatch Physiologist
Some “food” for thought to add here. Don’t be afraid to experiment again with some of the simple carb option Jacob mentioned, especially if you haven’t tested your stomach in a while. It’s easy to get set in a habit based on an experience that may have happened quite a while ago, and entirely possible that the body will respond differently at this point. Pick a supporting session in the week that you’re going to go early AM on and test it out with the food option that seems easiest. And for the bigger Key sessions where fueling becomes more important, remember you can always bring some of those carbs on board after you get through the warm up and have been moving a little bit. Yes, it probably will look funny sitting on the side of the pool eating a banana, but if it translates into feeling stronger in the Main Set, likely worth it.
-Brad, Purple Patch Coach
That is an interesting question Jill. While there may be small changes to the fluid and sodium requirements of men and women, the strategy for determining recommended hydration strategies will stay the same. Test your sweat volume by weighing yourself before and after a workout, the salt content of your sweat with a precision hydration test and use those numbers to determine your hydration strategy. That being said, if a female athlete is experiencing menses, pregnancy or lactation those numbers can increase slightly. With menses, the increase should be no more than about 5, maybe 10%. With lactation and pregnancy, it would be best to consult your doctor."
- Jacob, Resident Purple Patch Physiologist
I have a more general question: Is there a baseline calculation for daily calories required?
Maybe a calculator that considers length, weight, gender, build, age, workout duration, etc. etc. that is trusted OR another method trusted in the PPF community.
Need to know if under or over fueling but most of all need a starting point.
Coaches Brad and Jacob,
I think, based on prior podcasts and videos, Purple Patch leans toward separating out calories and hydration for fueling during long training and racing. In other words, it doesn't appear as if you guys are big fans of drinking your calories. Is that correct? I've had decent success mixing my bottles with a calorie/hydration combo product previously. That said, I'm not married to that plan and totally open to experimenting, especially this time of year when I'm far out from my races, perhaps with something like the Precision Hydration products. But, the Precision Hydration products (I think?) are really just hydration, so what, exactly, are we supposed to take in for calories, especially on the bike, . . . solid foods, like bars, blocks, gels, etc? Thanks.
That's a great question, a good place to start is to find your BMR or the number of calories you need in a day if you are doing no exercise. This is where you should start calculating your calorie intake. With that, plus the estimate your devices like a Garmin or Fitbit etc. give you for calories burned you can find a good starting place for required calories will give you can find a good place to start finding your calorie requirements. If you don't have a device you can use an online calculator like the one found here to find your calories burned. It is important to bear in mind that every person and every calculator is going to be slightly different so this is a starting point to test and work out from.
Hi Norm,To your first question, you’re correct that we prefer to separate calories and hydration on race day, but the old adage of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” can certainly apply here. Every athlete has individual response and if you’ve found something that works well for you across the distance of your race, fantastic.One of the primary reasons to separate hydration and calories is to give you more control over the different variables on race day (should something go amiss), to give you more control over the trial and error process of fine tuning your fueling recipe, and give you options as conditions vary from race to race. What works perfectly for you in a race in colder climates likely will not be the best recipe for racing in hotter conditions, for example.To your second point, you should commit to experimenting with some different solid food options as well as bars right now (no need to be consuming gels and blocks during this build phase of training) and start to narrow down some of the options that work well for your stomach. Bananas, trail mix, PB&J, even the classic baked potato are all solid food options you can consider for longer training this time of year. Different athletes find all kinds of food options that seem to work well, don’t be afraid to follow your instinct here and see where it takes you!Hope that helps,Brad
My small brain keeps playing back all the podcast reminders about post workout fueling, I'm a work in process. Since many of the M-F workouts are 60 minutes or less, with a few between 60-90, how critical is it to refuel/hydrate within 30 minutes? Does it make a significant difference if my calorie intake is an hour later? Also, I've been a PH user for about a year but my primary consumption happens from May-Oct and not so much (if at all) during the winter/spring months. Thoughts?
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