Mikki Williden (MSc, BPhEd) is a lecturer in nutrition at Auckland University of Technology and a nutritionist with some first hand knowledge of endurance sports. A former Rotorua Marathon winner, Mikki advises individual athletes and teams about how to prepare for peak performance. For more advice contact Mikki at [email protected], or visit her website at www.eatenjoy.co.nz Many people believe that it doesn’t matter what you eat if you’re training for an event such as The Legend, given you’re burning up so much energy. Conversely, it is even more important. You need to ensure you’re getting in the right food at the right time to make the most of your training sessions. More importantly, eating correctly and ensuring you are doing everything you can to recover properly leaves you with plenty of energy in every day life, too. Balance Endurance and Recovery ranges are designed with you in mind; they take the hard work out of your nutrition plan with products specifically created for fuelling throughout your training and racing events and replenishing post-sessions. Further, they’ve also got all the additional required supplements to support a healthy diet for the sports person like yourself who is placing their body under additional stress through intense activity. Designed and backed by the latest scientific research you can be assured that with Balance you’re doing everything you need to do to get to the start line in top condition and make the most of the day as well. Below are some key points to consider when thinking about your daily and training nutrition: Every day diet
o Most athletes who train 60-120min per day require around 7-8g carbohydrate
(CHO) / kg body weight – for an athlete weighing in at 75 kg that equates to 525g – 600g a day; on days where the training load is heavier (say a 3 hour training run) more is necessary to ensure muscle glycogen stores (the body’s stored CHO) are replenished after training.
o Good sources of CHO include grainy bread, cereals low in sugar, pasta, rice, fruit
and vegetables (kumara, potatoes and corn in particular).
o Athletes participating in endurance events need to ensure a protein intake of 1.2 –
1.4g / kg body weight – the same 75 kg athlete will therefore need to reach an intake of 90-105g low fat, high quality protein to help muscles repair and adapt to the stresses of endurance training.
o Quality sources of protein include lean red meat (high in iron), lean poultry,
seafood, low fat dairy products, eggs and legumes (such as red kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils). For convenience, Balance 100% Whey powder made up into a smoothie with low fat milk and fruit can help meet protein requirements and be a good snack throughout the day.
o Good sources of fat are essential to maintaining good health, and should be
o Good sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats include olive oil,
canola oil, flaxseeds, unsalted nuts, avocadoes and fatty fish varieties (such as salmon and mackerel).
o Intake of both CHO and protein should be spread between all meals and snacks to
ensure energy levels are maintained throughout the day.
o An adequate fluid intake is essential to energy levels and 6-8 glasses of water or
other non-caffeinated fluid is the baseline amount to aim for without taking into consideration training requirements
As endurance training increases the amount of stress and muscle breakdown in the body, athletes may also benefit from taking additional supplements to help support their training load: Training The golden rule is to never try anything new on race day; practice with Balance products during training so you can be sure everything goes according to plan nutritionally on the day Pre-exercise
o Athletes should have a high CHO meal 1-3 hours prior to training to ensure
glycogen levels are topped up – for example a sandwich with lean meat + salad with fruit and yoghurt; natural muesli with fruit and yoghurt or a Balance protein shake
o If exercising early in the morning before breakfast try to eat something small that
will be digested quickly, such as a banana. If you can’t stomach food too early, a glass of Elite Fuel Supply (EFS) Restore or an Elite Fuel Supply gel is a good option.
o Start each session well hydrated – 2 glasses of water or EFS Restore drink 15
o Athletes need 30-60g CHO per hour of activity for more intense sessions of
around 60 minutes, or for moderate intensity activity over 90 minutes. Start consuming earlier rather than later; do not wait for fatigue to set in
o Athletes require 250ml fluid every 15 min of activity to help offset the effects of
dehydration during exercise; to find out how much you need to consume per run or bike session, weigh yourself before and after to estimate sweat losses – one kilogram of weight loss (taking into consideration any fluid replacement and toilet stops) equates to around one litre of fluid loss. Get into the habit of drinking frequently.
o Electrolytes are important to help maintain hydration levels during exercise,
enhancing the uptake of fluid and glucose from the gut into working muscles, helps retain fluids in the body and maintains fluid balance.
o Restore Energy powder is the only formula that delivers 29g CHO per 400ml and
five different electrolytes to ensure CHO, fluid and electrolyte needs are taken care of
o Elite Fuel Supply Squeeze gels taken with water contain 25g of fast-absorbing
CHO as a simple way to ingest the required amount. For an additional boost, try the Caffeine version to improve focus and concentration.
o Practise using both gels and fluids during training, and supplement with high
CHO foods such as bananas, jam sandwiches and, to prevent ‘sweet fatigue’, marmite white bread sandwiches and low fat crackers (such as rice crackers)
o Recovery is one of the most important aspects of any training programme, and in
nutrition it is no different; we need to provide the optimal environment for glycogen replenishment and muscle repair to ensure maximal benefits are obtained through the training period
o Athletes require 1g CHO per kg body weight within 30 minutes post-training, as
this is when our muscles are most receptive to taking on board nutrients. This should be repeated every hour until the next meal.
o A protein source containing 6-12g essential amino acids is also important to
promote muscle repair and ensure CHO consumed is able to be used towards glycogen replenishment.
o Athletes require 1 ½ times the amount of fluid lost during training to adequately
rehydrate, and this should occur within the first two hours post-training.
o Two serves of Recovery and Refuel Carb-Pro Powder 4:1: Balance’s unique
recovery formula containing the essential 4:1 ratio of carbohydrate and protein for optimal recovery, and Promilin®, a special fenugreek extract scientifically proven to enhance CHO uptake into muscle cells
o 400ml Restore Energy drink + 150g tub fruit yoghurt o 60g breakfast cereal with 1 cup trim milk o Nutra Life protein bar + 400ml Restore Energy drink o 500ml low fat flavoured milk
Athletes undertaking regular intense sessions, or training more than once a day may also consider supplementing their everyday and training nutrition with:
o BCAA 500: Intake of branch chain amino acids prior to and after training may
reduce muscle breakdown and reduce recovery period
o Glutamine 1000: supplement taken daily to help delay muscle catabolism and
promote synthesis, and support immune function
o Joint food for athletes: a formula taken prior to or post training containing
glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM to assist cartilage repair and support maintenance of healthy joint tissue
o Sports Multi + Antioxidant: help boost antioxidant levels in the body to combat
free radical damage caused by strenuous activity
By taking care of your nutritional requirements throughout your training programme you’ll be far more likely to enjoy training. That will equate to a great day out on the run course!
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