The Fit Life – 2019.9 – Fuelling for Performance
“Food is Fuel. You wouldn’t put cheap, dirty fuel in a Ferrari would you?”
These two cars have the same basic parts, have the fundamentals of daily needs and will both get you from A to B. BUT they are so very different in their performance. The bigger and better the engine, the faster and more efficient you will get there.
Our bodies are like cars – we need a good engine and we need efficient fuel to perform at our best. When we are pushing our bodies outside of regular day to day fundamentals, we need the big engine and we need the right fuel. If not, our performance will suffer…
When going for a workout, are you fuelling your engine properly? Are you giving your body a chance to perform? We need to make sure we have energy to do what we want and to keep that muscle from deteriorating.
The two biggest factors when it comes to performance fuel are:
- Type of Fuel
- Timing of Fuel
Type of Fuel
Getting the right type of fuel is important to your results. And Alcohol is a serious no-no. It impairs muscle growth, fat loss, performance and recovery… So, the less, the better!
|Best Protein Sources|
|1. Egg Whites||5. Fish|
|2. 90% or Leaner Beef /|
Pork / Steak
|3. 90% or Leaner Turkey||7. Cottage Cheese / |
|4. Chicken Breast||8. Vegetarian Options|
Protein is the most important type of fuel. It builds muscle and saves it. We shoot for around .8 – 1g per pound of body weight per day. More protein than that, is not better., so don’t go overboard. Animal sources are technically the best source for results but vegetarian options can do the trick!
|Healthy Carbs||Workout Carbs|
|Brown Rice||Coconut Water|
|Whole Wheat Pasta|
|Whole Grain Bread|
The second most important, is carbohydrates. Carbs fuel and replenish hard workouts and help to signal your cells to use your protein intake to grow muscle. Our intake for this food varies depending on our workout intensity and time of workout and can range from .5g – 2g per pound of body weight.
Intake is based off of workout intensity (Light, Moderate, Hard):
- Non Training less than .5g per lb
- Light Workouts 1g per lb
- Moderate-Hard Workouts 1.-2g per lb
|Natural Nut Butters|
Fats are needed for our basic survival. They are essential for proper hormone function and essential body functions. But above the minimum intake (10% of diet), they don’t offer much more benefit to any body composition goal or performance.
Fat intake should be mostly monounsaturated (in the form of healthy sources like nuts, nut butters and healthy oils like olive oil) and stay away from the others. If you are needing extra calories, these types of fats are an easy and usually tasty way to get them. Yum!
Timing of Fuel
Timing of your fuel is not quite as important as type of fuel, but still worth doing for optimal performance. Nutrient Timing can be split into a question about how many meals per day should be consumed, and also if those meals should be timed in any special way around your training, activity, and rest?
Our muscles are always growing and expanding ALL day so therefore we need a constant supply of amino acids. If no amino acids are available to use, our body will take from our current muscle and deplete them…
What meal frequency allows for continual supply of amino acids?
|Protein Timing for Best Results|
| Separated relatively even throughout the day (3-4 hours apart)|
|Eat upon waking|
|Split amongst several meals throughout the day (4-7 meals)|
|Consume some one hour prior to bedtime (slower digesting protein)|
- Protein Type
- Meal Size
- Fat and Fibre Content
For example, consuming a whey protein shake of 25g can mean total digestion within the hour. Consuming that same shake with 1000 calories of ice cream can allow that whey protein to contribute amino acids to the blood for hours to come. Even more protein itself (an 8oz steak vs. a 4oz steak) can delay absorption times.
Both fat and fiber can delay and prolong the digestion of proteins to a considerable extent. For example, a large, fatty steak can take as long to digest as a casein source (longer than 7 hours).
Carbohydrates fuel and replenish tough workouts. There are five distinct windows to consider when determining when to eat your carbs
- Post-Post Training
- All other times
Eating most daily carbs pre, during, and post workout will give you an advantage and will give your body what it needs to perform. Take a peek at the table above and only consume “Workout Carbs” in your During Training timeframe.
Slow Digestion… This means we should stay away from consuming them in the meal before training, during training and post training.
So there are your two nutrition basics for fuelling performance. Don’t make it too complicated. 🙂 Make sure you are eating enough and time your meals around your workouts. Follow this guideline and improve your performance.