Tip #4 of Rowdy and Krissy's Top Ten Tips.....
You are WHEN you eat!
As an athlete nutrient timing is an important aspect of performance. When you eat certain types of foods is often just as important as paying attention to what you are putting in your body.
Working your muscles breaks them down and consuming protein pre-workout helps prevent muscle breakdown during and support muscle synthesis after your workouts. This being said, going into a workout with a full stomach is not the solution! When you have a full stomach your body actually sends blood flow to support in digesting food. That means less blood flow to carry oxygen to your muscle for your workout. Proteins to go for pre-practice are whey and casein proteins combined with a soy protein. The reason why is that each has a different absorption rate so you get immediate fuel and longer-burning fuel.
Eating something super carb-y right before practice can sometimes result in a spike and crash in blood sugar which results in your energy dropping half way through practice. This is why powering down a cliff bar right before you skate isn't always the best option **its called a CLIF bar cuz its for the cliffs and long hikes where your body requires more carbs...its not called a track bar for a reason :-) ** Carbs to go for about an hour before practice are whole grains, fruits and veggies. These have fiber which slows the absorption process and should be paired up with a lean protein.
15-20 grams of protein to support in rebuilding muscle is key! Liquid nutrients are best because they are most readily absorbed into the system. Again, varying the types of proteins means different absorption rates which allows the protein to be used more efficiently.
Post workout carbs help replenish glycogen stores so you have energy for practice the next day and actually also helps your body to get the protein to your muscles more quickly.
MY NUTRIENT TIMING SCHEDULE:
PreWorkout (1 hour before practice)
2 scoops Formula 1 sport (varied proteins, carbs, and glutamine) mixed with protein drink mix and 8-10 oz water, plus a piece of fruit or veggie.
Directly before practice at the track
2 scoops Prepare in 4oz water (stand by for a blog about the importance of NitericOxide for athletes!)
Prolong (fast and slow carbs plus a little protein)
Directly following practice (within 15 minutes)
Rebuild Strength (varied proteins, carbs, glutamine, and BCAAs)
While I am sure there are other whole food ways of meeting these same needs, I like to sandwich my workouts with shakes because its a simple way for me to get what I need without running around like a crazy person between running my own business and trying to get to practice. Plus, the research and development at UCLA that went into this nutrition program is second to none.
Here is the basics on the whole program I use.... John Heiss says it way better than I do :-) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJ7ME_mDW0w
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