“I workout so hard, why am I not seeing results??” Sound familiar? This sentiment is extremely frustrating and very common.
Your diet could be the missing link. In order to maximize results in the gym, we must carefully select what we eat and WHEN we eat it. The science of sports and food, also known as Sports Nutrition, is designed to enable the body to train longer and harder, delay fatigue, enhance performance, and promote recovery.
To fully understand sports nutrition I’ve broken it down into 3 categories: Hydration, Pre Workout Fuel, and Post Workout Recovery.
- Hydration (before, during, and after workout)- Did you know water comprises about 70% of an athletes body? Only 3% loss of water weight results in 10% loss in strength. We need ample amounts of water to get the best workout possible. Notice I said water! Put down the neon yellow colored sports drink. Most commercial sports drinks are high in artificial ingredients.
- o Fluid Recommendations:
- 2-3 hours pre-workout- 16-24 oz.
- 15 minutes pre workout- 8-16 oz.
- During workout- 8 oz. every 15 minutes
- Immediately post workout- 16-24 oz.
- Pre Workout Fuel- For an athlete, the pre-competition meal should be low in fat and fiber. Protein and complex carbs are a good way to fuel 3-4 hours pre workout. *Be wary of what type of protein you consume. Many animal proteins are high in fat.
- Post Workout Fuel- The main nutrition goals for the recovery phase is to replace fluids, carbohydrates and protein for muscle and tissue repair. You have a 30-minute – 1 hour recovery window to maximize benefits and optimal recovery. Don’t waste your workout!! Make sure to rehydrate and have a snack with carbs and protein within that 30-minute – 1 hour window.
- Myth Busters: People think when it comes to fitness, the more protein the better. There are several issues with this theory.
- Protein helps repair muscles but does not FUEL muscles. Carbohydrates fuel your muscles, and therefore you workout.
- Excessive protein intake can increase risk of dehydration. This is not say cut out the protein, but make sure to compensate with increased amounts of water