Eat to Perform

Recovering properly is the name of the game when it comes to maximizing physical outcomes. When your goals involve training for best fitness or a specific performance, how you feed your body is key. If you do not supply the right nutrients at the right times to your body it can not efficiently replace energy stores or repair muscle. Fatigue and compromised fitness can result. 

What, when and how much you eat all come together to properly fuel your body.

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Guidelines*:

Within 2-3 hours of game, race or training:

    • Easy to digest foods= low fiber, minimal fat and minimal animal flesh proteins. You want the energy and nutrients to absorb for use quickly. 
    • examples: boiled eggs and banana, peanut butter and toast with honey, cottage cheese and melon, oatmeal with milk and raisins, egg & potato scramble or burrito. 

Right before and during game, race or training:

Fluids:

  • Activity lasting <2 hours= water every 20-30 minutes. 
  • Activity lasting >2 hours = water alternating with fluid with electrolytes every 20-30 minutes (example electrolytes: Head, nuun, Fizz, etc.)
  • More fluid more often is necessary with vigorous activity, or activity in hot weather where sweating is increased. 

Food:

  • For most, food during activity is only necessary when >2 hours, or highly vigorous activity > 1 hour.
  • Easy to digest carbohydrate for activity between 1-3 hours. Examples= dried fruit, banana, granola bar, shock blocks, glucose gels.  
  • Include an easy to digest protein with your carbohydrate for activity > 3 hours. Examples= egg, whey protein, nuts/nut butter (pb&j), performance bar (Rx, Picky, Lara, EPIC, etc.). 

Within an hour after game, race or training:

2:1 serving ratio whole food carbohydrate to protein. Even if not feeling hungry it is good to get a little something in. 

    • Example proteins:
      • eggs
      • nuts and seeds
      • beans and legumes
      • whole grains
      • dairy (including whey powders)
      • limited meat, seafood or poultry (see note on protein below)
      • (avoid protein bars)
    • Example carbohydrates:
      • veggies
      • fruit
      • beans
      • whole grains
      • dairy
    • Example combos:
      • whey protein with milk 
      • smoothie with yogurt and berries
      • roasted chickpeas
      • PB&J
      • avocado toast 
      • egg and fruit 
      • trail mix 
      • hummus & crackers

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Two hours after game or training and next 1-2 meals after that:

2:1 serving ratio carbohydrate to protein

    • These are the best eating times for meat, fish, poultry
    • Note on protein: 5 grams to max 30 grams at one meal or snack can be used for use in muscle repair/ building. Excess amino acids will be broken down and used as energy or storage by the body.

Example protein servings and grams:

  • 3oz meat, fish or poultry= 20-30g (size of palm of hand)
  • 1/2 cup beans= 20g
  • 1 scoop whey protein= 10-30g
  • 1 egg= 6g
  • 1/4 c nuts= 5g
  • 1 cup dairy= 8-12g
  • 1 cup veggies= 2-5g       

Example meals:

  • beans & rice, salsa and avocado
  • fritatta with sausage and veggies
  • fajitas with veggies
  • quinoa, salmon and asparagus
  • stirfry with fried egg over rice  
  • steak salad 

*individual food preferences, needs, metabolism, goals and other specific circumstances warrant tweaks to diet and eating schedules; keep this in mind as you use these guidelines.     

Example Eating Days:

Example 1:

morning train, event, game

Example 2:

afternoon train, event, game

Example 3:

evening train, event, game

morning (7am)

boiled egg and a banana

oatmeal with berries and walnuts, milk

scrambled eggs with tomato and spinach, toast with jam

8a Race event for 2 hours= water & electrolyte drink

mid morning (10a)

whey powder mixed with milk

half peanut butter sandwich

almond butter & an apple

noon (12p)

chicken and veggie wrap, cucumber salad

Workout/training for 1 hour= water only

salad with boiled egg and blue cheese

1p= tuna, hummus & crackers, baby carrots and snap peas

3p=fig bar and a banana

afternoon (4p)

almonds and piece of fruit

yogurt

Game, 3 hours on & off work= water, electrolyte drink, Rx bar

evening (7p)

fish tacos, coleslaw, corn on the cob

flank steak, baked sweet potato and roasted cauliflower

bean & cheese burrito with avocado

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1 thought on “Eat to Perform

  1. Yeah!! I like this post… Boy this eating thing is complicated while training. morning afternoon evening…. hummmm takes some thought. Great pictures too I also read your F.A.S.T. post I never saw before. You sure know a lot of things about the body. I think mom knew more than me too. good seminar… Have a great day!! Hugs, MOM

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