Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Proper Nutrition for the Beast

      Proper nutrition is essential to any training program. You will need to adequately prepare with food before you work out, during your workout, and after your workout for recovery. By breaking your sessions down into durations, you can plan your pre-workout meals more easily and effectively.  Your nutrition plan should be measured by the amount of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) you consume. Along with macronutrients, are micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), electrolytes (sodium and potassium), and water. We’ll start with carbs and work our way to hydration.
     Carbs are the primary source of energy for endurance activities and should be the focus of your diet when your workouts are at least an hour in duration.  Carbs are broken down into glucose during digestion and then stored in the form of glycogen in your muscles and liver. It is the broken down form of carbs that is most important for your training session and should be consumed the day prior. Here’s a list of healthy carbohydrate sources:
Whole Grain/Wheat Breads
Quinoa
Sweet Potatoes
Brown Rice
Oats
Beans
Fruits (bananas, blueberries)
Vegetables
Whole Wheat or Gluten-Free Pasta (quinoa, brown rice)

     The following table can be used as a guide for determining grams of carbs you should consume the day before a training session. If you’re running more than 8 miles, you should consume a simple sugar (gel, GU chomp, gummi bears) during your run every 45-60 minutes. Water intake should be before you feel thirsty (8 ounces) and taken regularly (10-30 minutes) throughout the session.

              




     Healthy fats are next on the list of importance for endurance activities. Fats can be divided into groups of saturated (animal fat, and tropical oils like coconut), monounsaturated (olive oil, and peanuts), and polyunsaturated (soy, corn, sunflower, and safflower oils). Fats should constitute between 20% and 35% of the total calories consumed per day, with less than 10% coming from saturated fat sources. If your daily fat consumption is below 15%, you may experience a decrease in metabolic rate and muscle development. Here’s a list of foods consisting of healthy fats:

Peanut Butter
Avocado
Almonds
Coconut Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Safflower Oil
Sunflower Seeds
Tofu
Almond Butter

     Protein is imperative for muscle development and preservation. Daily recommended intake for protein ranges from 0.8 g/kg – 2.0 g/kg of body weight, depending on activity level of the individual. The key is to start at the low range of the spectrum, see how your body responds for a couple weeks and then increase gradually. Here’s a list of healthy protein sources:

Sirloin Steak
Chicken
Ground Turkey 94%-99% Lean
Eggs
Tofu or Tempeh
Beans
Protein Powders (Whey, Casein,
Split-Pea, Brown Rice)
Fish (Salmon, Tilapia, White Fish)
Shellfish (Shrimp, Crab, Scallops)


     Water intake for men should be at least 3.7 L/day and 2.7/day for women. I recommend drinking up to a quart of water before you go to sleep and up to a quart as soon as you wake up. Electrolyte consumption should be 2 – 4 g/day for sodium, and 2 – 4 g/day for potassium. Coconut water has 18% of your daily potassium requirements and bananas have 14%. Drink 1 pint of water for every pound of weight lost during your session for fluid replacement. Every body is different, so it’s important to transition gradually into any nutrition program.  

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