What needs to occur within your body to improve results and performance?
Proper Consumption of Branched Chain Amino Acids – BCAA from proteins are potent stimulants for building and repairing muscle. Consume BCAA in lean meats, plants and fish to slow down the natural break down of muscle after a workout, reduce recovery time and train at greater intensity levels.
Balanced pH Levels – Those who workout often are prone to an acidic environment due to the by-products of exercise. The over-consumption of grains and starches can also increase acidity. Focus on consuming fruits and vegetables to neutralize acid and decrease the break down of muscle tissue.
Proper Nutrient Intake – By consuming nutrient dense fruits and vegetables and avoiding refined grains, sugars and processed foods you can ensure you are consuming the vitamins, anti-oxidants and minerals needed to decrease potential illness and fatigue and boost your immune system. Let your body work for you, not against you!
Glycogen Store Production – Glycogen is a body fuel absolutely essential for high level performance. Dietary starches and sugars are the body’s number one source for making glycogen. Fat and protein are not nearly as effective. (Do not be afraid of carbs!) Glycogen synthesis by muscles occurs most effectively in the immediate post exercise window. At this time muscles can build the glycogen needed in the future from starch and sugar supplied immediately after your workout. Think: bananas, sweet potatoes and yams!
MACRONUTRIENT GUIDELINE ‘CHEAT SHEET’
- Aim to consume 200-400 calories 2 hours prior to exercise
- You’d be looking to consume about three to six ounces of cooked meat, poultry, seafood or 2-3 eggs.
- Include proteins (especially BCAA) and carbohydrates at this time to increase endurance
- Keep the meal low in fiber
- Go-To’s: Eggs with fruit, unsweetened applesauce and 1 scoop of protein, almond energy balls (recipes on the blog) Protein Smoothie (Blend 2 low fiber fruits with plant based protein, water and ice) (I like Garden of Life and Vega! (when on the run you can add one scoop to ice water and go!)
- Best fruit: bananas, peaches, cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon
- Note: Try these out and find what works best for you!
- Over 60 minutes: Consume carbohydrates in the form of fluids
- Sports drinks and coconut water are great ‘on-the-go’ refueling resources
- Less than 60 minutes: Water is a sufficient source of rehydration
IMMEDIATELY AFTER EXERCISE:
- Aim to eat 45 minutes within completing your workout
- At no other time is your body as receptive to macronutrient intake as it is at this time to rebuild glycogen stores
- Replenish carbohydrates and proteins
- Recovery drinks are a good way to do this, especially if eating at this time is not appealing
- The best approach is 4:1 (Carbs to Proteins)
- Rehydrate: Consume 16 ounces of water for every pound lost during exercise
- Replace electrolytes (sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium and magnesium critical for muscle contraction and relaxation) by drinking fresh juice or fruit with a pinch of sea salt
- 1 hour after completing your workout the intake of carbohydrates remains important
- Shift towards consuming solid foods: Raisins, Potato, Sweet Potato, Bananas, Yams, Pineapples, Grapes, Kiwi, Carrots, Apples, Pears, Peaches, Strawberries
WHEN IN DOUBT: Eat Whole, Non-Processed, Fresh Foods and Let Your Body Do the Work!
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY: Experiment, Be Mindful, Draw the Connection!