Nutrition is a difficult topic to address because everyone’s body composition varies greatly and each person’s needs for calories, balance of carbs vs. protein vs. fat, sodium in-take, and hydration is so unique. Our culture is also full of “fad” (good and bad) diets that may or may not be correct for everyone. Any diet that claims to be right for everyone is just selling you something. The key for each athlete is to listen to all the science and then experiment to find the mix that is right for you. For example, a lot of running programs tell you to focus on carbs prior to a workout. While I have found that to be true for shorter runs, on longer runs I like to add some slower burning protein to the mix. Prior to a long run, my favorite food is a breakfast burrito that has eggs, cheese and a tortilla shell. It keeps me from feeling hungry during those longer runs. I still supplement with energy gels and chews while on those runs to help maintain energy and not bonk.
5 Quick Nutrition Tips
- Practice. Eat different types of food in different amounts before, during and after you exercise to see what agrees with your system.
- Your body needs sugar for energy. When exercising, certain sugars are good for you -particularly Glucose.
- Be proactive. Eat and drink plenty prior to exercise, don’t wait for “the bonk”!
- On hydration - Ok, this tip has four sub-points:
- Use electrolyte sports drinks (not from a convenience store).
- Get your hydration from fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Always have a water bottle with you and fill it up any chance you get.
- Drink ½ ounce of water/fluid for each pound of body weight per day, and more if exercising heavily.
- Get allergy tested. You might be allergic to something you like to eat. I recently found out I was allergic to apples. Weird, right? But, it explained some health issues I was experiencing all due to a common "good for you" food.