Blog Author: Jacob McCrae, ANSc Student
When it comes to sports nutrition the types of foods we eat and when we eat them are very important to how we perform. Below are the recommended foods and macronutrients to focus on eating and the timing of their consumption for optimal performance.
Carbohydrates: Carbs are essential for sports performance. It’s the body’s main fuel source for contracting muscles and it also optimizes recovery.
Proteins: Protein requirements increase with strength and endurance training. It is necessary to support muscle repair.
Fats: There is no need to increase fats in an athlete’s diet however they are still required for many functions. They are needed for fat soluble vitamin absorption, essential fatty acids and to replenish intramuscular fat stores.
Nutrient Timing Suggestions:
Before exercise: Within 1 hour of activity, have a small snack that is high in carbs but low in fat, fibre and protein for quick digestion. Examples are fruit, oats, rice cakes or bread. This will help fuel the muscles.
During exercise: If exercise lasts longer than 60 minutes consume simple sugars in liquid or gel form. Examples of this are Gatorade or glucose gel packs. This will help maintain blood sugar levels.
After exercise: Within 30 minutes after activity, eat protein combined with carbs. Quality complete proteins such as milk, egg, soy or meat and fast absorbing carbs such as rice, pasta, bread or potatoes are recommended. This is ideal for recovery.