by Fortitude Bali
July 11, 2019
One of the most common questions I get asked is “what food should I eat around training time”?
Although the amount of calories we eat has the greatest effect on our goals (whether it’s to lose fat, gain muscle, perform better in the gym), nutrient timing plays an important role, particularly if you’ve been in this game for a little while and looking to really dial in and do everything you can. We’ll go through a few key points here together and I’ll also give you some ideas on what to eat… But, there is a big caveat to all of this – by now you know that coming up with the right nutrition plan for you is a completely unique and personal process. There is no “cookie cutter” plan that can account for our individual nuances, our completely different genetics, lifestyles, training intensity and volume, food preferences, hormonal profiles and goals. So, the information I’m going to give you is in general terms, it will be a good starting point but you will need to listen to your body and adjust your approach as you go. More importantly, do not ever prioritize nutrient timing over your overall caloric balance and macro-nutrient requirements (how much protein, carbohydrates and fats are appropriate for you and your goals). In comparison, nutrient timing has a much smaller effect, so make sure you nail the other two first and foremost.
This covers two things:
- meal frequency; and
- how to partition different macro-nutrients around training.
Key points to note:
- protein to be spread evenly throughout the day (to supply the body with a steady source of amino acids for muscle growth and repair);
- carbohydrates around the training window (to fuel performance and replenish glycogen stores);
- fats away from the training window (fats slow down digestion, and we want to optimise our bodies’ ability to absorb protein and carbs before and after training).
Given the above, here are some good pre and post-training ideas:
- Smoothie with fruit and protein
- Banana or apple with peanut butter, protein shake
- Yoghurt with berries
- Protein oats
- Chicken and sweet potato
- Rice with tuna
- Cottage cheese with berries
- Eggs on toast
- Protein pancakes
- Turkey or tuna wraps
Questions to Ask Yourself
We stressed how important it is to modify this general approach to suit your individual requirements. I’ll be the first to admit from personal experience it’s not a straightforward process, but there are some questions you can ask yourself:
- How are your energy levels before, during and after training? Experiment with different types and different amounts of carbohydrates.
- When are you training in the course of your day? How many meals do you usually eat before training, and how long before training?
- If you have [insert food] before training, how does it make you feel during training? Can you push harder? Do you hit a wall?
I hope this has helped clear a few things up, but if not, reach out to me and let’s chat more! About Maggie Chang Maggie Chang is a strong believer in nutrition as a lifestyle, a synergistic balance between nutrient intake and enjoying the foods she loves. Her love of learning and passion for fitness led her to become the best version of herself; by learning how food can impact health, performance, and energy. Connect with this Bali based nutrition Coach at Fortitude gym or visit www.maggiechang.com.