Last month, we discussed how important balance, variety and moderation are in regards to your general habits. After you have learned to nail these nutrition basics, you should then shift your focus to your pre-workout, mid-workout and post-workout nutrition plan.
If you routinely skip eating before and/or after a workout, it will be harder to reach your fitness goals. Here is what I recommend when planning your pre-, mid- and post-workout meals.
Pick two or three pre- and post-workout meals that fit the recommended guidelines and actually eat them.
If you aren’t familiar with the guidelines, talk to a professional. Know that I suggest multiple meals for variety, and more importantly, for convenience. If you know what you will be eating, you can easily make sure that you have it, which increases the likelihood of actually eating the pre- and post-workout meals. Because when you have no plan, you are more likely to piecemeal it together and may not choose the best options.
My favorite in pre- and post-workout meals is eggs with toast and home fries. For this reason, I always have eggs, bread and potatoes on hand. I’ll just make extra when cooking my pre-workout meal so my post-workout meal is also ready to go.
The same goes for the hydration and a fueling plan during a workout.
Find foods or products that you like and follow the recommended guidelines, and then actually follow your plan. If you can, find out what products will be available on race day and start using them, but if they don’t work for you, make plans to bring your own. You don’t want to experiment with any nutritional changes on race day!
The key is consistency. If you do something different with your food and hydration every workout, how will you know what works and doesn’t work? Practicing nutrition will allow you to tailor your nutrition plan and know when to make changes if needed. And if you choose to work with a professional, they can help you with your goals and/or any issues you may have.
Remember, that these are only guidelines. The beauty of it all is that everyone's body is different and will have specific needs and preferences. Still, everyone should focus on quality nutrition to ensure you reach your goals. Happy training!
This is the second in a series of five nutrition related blog posts from P3R Event & Program Dietician Nick Fischer. He is a Registered Dietitian with a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Seton Hill University. Stop back each month for nutrition and planning tips if you're looking for nutritional and dietary guidance while training for the DICK'S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events.