They say good health is made up of 80% nutrition and 20% exercise, and this same rule applies to athletes who are aiming for optimal performance. Fuelling your body efficiently and correctly will directly affect your overall performance, energy levels, endurance, stamina and ultimately, your results. Two of the most important nutrients athletes should consume are protein and carbohydrates.
Sufficient protein consumption is often overlooked, but is so incredibly important as it supports immune function and recovery, as well as muscle synthesis. Ideally, we should be eating equal amounts of protein spread across a full day of eating, but definitely a good 20-30g of protein macronutrients 1,5 hours before and 1,5 hours after an exercise session. During longer runs or rides we can also additionally take in smaller protein portions in the form of shakes, gels and bars.
Carbohydrates provide the body with energy. Fat does too, but our bodies naturally prefer to ‘run’ on carbohydrates as these are broken down into energy more easily than fats. As necessary as carbohydrate consumption is, this macronutrient must be consumed in the right proportions and at the right times. Generally speaking, we want to eat most of our carbohydrates 1-3 hours before exercising, and during, if the training session or race exceeds 1 hour.
What do I eat before an intense training session or race? A hearty bowl of oats with banana, nut butter and a double serving of collagen. I then drink a protein shake within half an hour of completing my run or ride.
Vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Vitamin D and Magnesium are also vital for optimal performance and health. Sign up for a personalised mmacht.health program or meal plan to find out how much and when exactly you should be taking each of these supplements.
Lastly, don’t forget to hydrate! Your body requires at least 500ml of water per hour of exercise, more if you are exercising at higher intensity or in warmer weather. Supplementing with electrolytes for runs or rides longer than an hour will also be beneficial in all climates.
Get in touch with @mmachthealth on Instagram or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are an athlete and would like to fine tune your nutrition for optimal performance, endurance, muscle gain, etc.