As athletes, we often think we’re strong and invincible because of the long distances we’ve run or the number of medals we’ve earned from races. Truth is, because of the immense load we put on our bodies, we need to make sure that we get the right nutrition in to fuel all our athletic pursuits and also to recover quickly so that we can train hard again the next day.
Here are my top five tips to ensure proper nutrition for endurance athletes:
EAT YOUR CARBS. Sure, keto and low-carb are the trendy diets right now. But, as endurance athletes, we need carbs to fuel our endurance training. Bread and rice aren’t inherently bad. Just stick to red or brown rice or whole wheat bread. If you’re really iffy about taking carbs, take it during breakfast and/or lunch like me and skip it during dinner.
HYDRATE. Aim for 2 to 3 liters of water daily. Staying well hydrated is important to help maintain the balance of body fluids, energize your muscles, and help your kidneys rid your body of waste. Even better, it makes you look good and can help you lose weight.
CROWD OUT. Crowding out is all about filling your tummy with healthy wholesome food like vegetables and fruits so that you’re satiated and you don’t have much space left for junk. Sometimes, this is an easier strategy for healthy eating than stopping yourself from eating your favorite treats.
HAVE A GOOD PRE-WORKOUT MEAL. While intermittent fasting is all the rage now, I still would recommend a pre workout snack to provide you with fuel for your training. It could be as light as coffee and a banana with almond butter or pancakes with blueberries. Try what works for you depending on your training that day.
RECOVER WELL. What you eat after a workout is very important especially if you want to feel strong enough to train the next day. Make sure you have a good recovery meal composed of protein and carbs within 30 minutes of your workout.
I take milk after especially if I’m nowhere near a restaurant after training. One good option is Ensure, which is in vanilla or chocolate powder form. Just mix it with cold water and you’ve got yourself a great recover meal!
Ensure provides complete nutrition with all needed vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, and essential fatty acids. It has 230 calories only per serving. I love that it’s also heart-healthy since it’s low in saturated fat, low in cholesterol, free of trans fatty acids and contains essential unsaturated fatty acids. It enhances gut health and immune function and supports bone health, too. Try it after your next workout!