Jun 10, 2013

How to increase your performance and recovery with nutrient timing

Second in the series on natural food fueling, alternatives to Gu's, energy drinks and junk food.

Follow these three essential steps to extend your performance and optimise your recovery from both training and racing:
banana nutrient timing1. Fuel correctly pre-exercise when your sessions are greater than 60 minutes
Training on an empty stomach is essential to turn you into a fat burning machine, but when your duration extends beyond 60 minutes, such a strategy is likely to negate your performance. Body stores alone are insufficient to supply the energy needs during longer sessions or events.
The solution? Eat a small amount of carbohydrate prior to your session. This is the perfect time to eat fruit, as the sugars will be broken down, utilised as fuel and not shuttled off to the liver for fat storage. Which, we know, is what happens when we consume fructose in excess, or at the wrong time.
 * Race Day
On race day, our requirements differ slightly, due to the timing of the event and the increased energy requirements of the day. A pre-race meal is simply designed to top up liver glycogen, which has depleted overnight during your sleep. General guidelines are 200 to 400 calories of complex carbohydrates, consumed two to three hours prior to the start. Be flexible however, as sleep is more important than waking up at the crack of dawn for breakfast.
Here are some simple, natural, pre-race meal ideas, all of which can also be used pre-training when your duration extends towards 90 minutes and beyond.
-       Two pieces of gluten free toast with banana
-       A smoothie with one banana and a small handful of berries
-       Quinoa Porridge with rice malt syrup, chopped banana and cinnamon
-       Homemade granola with Greek yogurt and a small handful of raspberries
Your pre-race meal should always be something you practice in training. Nothing new happens on race day.
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