April 03, 2019 - We all know that nutrition plays a huge roll in athletic performance. It is always an athletic dilemma to find the balance of staying lean while staying healthy. The key is to match and time your nutrition with exactly what you need on that day.
A basic formula would be the following:
[base metabolic rate] + [energy expenditure/hour x #hours] = [total caloric intake]
Our three basic macronutrient groups are: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We also know that athletes cannot fully eliminate any food group. The key is spreading out the intake of each macronutrient group. An even split being 33.33% of each, which is not ideal for an endurance athlete. However, we can skew the intake to match the level of intensity of the workout. A general guideline would be as follows:
· High intensity: (>70% VO2max): This burns the most glycogen and requires higher carb intake and higher protein intake to account for muscular damage and promote muscle protein synthesis. On these days we would increase or maximize our carbohydrate intake and intermittent protein intake, while decreasing our fat intake.
· Aerobic intensity: (steady state): This is our fat burning zone done at a low and steady heart rate. On these days we can cut back our carb intake by supplementing when needed. Protein is still an important factor here as well as our good healthy fats.
· Intermittent fasting: Many athletes use the protocol of not eating past 7pm and waking up to a fasted workout. This strategy although effective for losing weight, may serve as a detriment to your overall performance. It is recommended to at least supplement with a casein-based protein before sleep to avoid muscular breakdown.
There is no perfect plan to stay healthy and lean but by utilizing the strategies above, it will maximize your training and your weight. For some recipes visit the, .
Christopher J Lee
AJ Baucco Triathlon Coach
Former Head Coach CU Boulder Swimming
NSCA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist
FMS Functional Movement Systems Lvl 1
NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist
Stages Cycling Certified
Kerksick CM, Arent S, Schoenfeld BJ, et al. International society of sports nutrition position stand: nutrient timing. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2017;14:33. doi:10.1186/s12970-017-0189-4.