Lifestyle and nutrition
1. Food and drink for fuel and hydration:
a. What we commonly understand as food, breakfast, lunch, dinner and even fast food is just really fuel for the trillions of cells that make up our body. Sounds pretty dull doesn’t it? Even for us athletes’, fuelling doesn’t have to be boring as there are so many good choices. Colorful vegetables, lean meats and fish, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Of course we are nothing without water! Eat more carbohydrates early in the day to fuel your work and training and then proteins later in the day to help with recovery and repair. Fruits and vegetables provide vitamins and other micronutrients to support general health. These are not optional for athletes!
2. Supplements to food: gels, bars and sports-drinks
a. Pre-run, during training and post training the body has differing needs. Sugars in an easy to process form are useful before training. A sports drink like Gatorade or a Gel like Carb Boom contains what you need and also is easily absorbed into the blood and your muscles. Adding protein to these supplements can help with absorption while increasing endurance, decreasing muscle damage and reducing post training soreness.
3. Post-training recovery (protein drinks, bars and real food)
a. Recovery bars like Power Bar Recovery can also help to reduce post training soreness and refuel the body rapidly. Recovery drinks like Gatorade Recovery can help with rehydration and also adding electrolytes rapidly back to your body to help rebalance salt levels. Having a carbohydrate/protein balanced meal within 2 hours of training will help to satisfy hunger and provide added nutrients and micronutrients for your recovery. Water again can help rehydrate you.
4. Timing for nutrition and hydration
a. On a training day, depending on how far you are running, you will have different needs. For a 30 minute run first thing in the morning, you can drink some water and get going. For longer runs like our Saturday runs, you should drink some sports drink an hour before running to provide your brain and body with fuel after the nighttime fast. While driving to the group, sip on the sports drink to drip feed your system. You can also carry drinks on the run in a bottle or a Fuel Belt. Drinking 6-8 oz every 30 minutes will help with energy and focus. Consider taking gels with you on longer runs as well. They contain about 100-120 Kcal of sugar and electrolytes and can help get you through the runs. Drink 6-8 oz of water with gels or they tend to be too thick. One god tip is to carry them in your gloves or pinned inside your shorts. They stay more-liquid that way!! Some sports drinks and gels contain caffeine that can aid in the use of fatty acids and also may provide that caffeine effect.