1. Rev up your metabolism by eating within 30 minutes of waking up, even if its pre workout. If you have a hard time eating before a work out, start off with half a banana to get used to it, its easily digestible, high in carbs and low in fiber, which contribute to a more efficient work out.
2. Recover with a 3:1 carb to protein ratio combination as soon after your work out as possible. Some good examples of this ratio is a protein shake with 1 scoop of protein and at least 2 servings of fruit and some milk or yogurt blended together, or low fat chocolate milk, or a Mix OneT and a fruit. Do not forget to use protein as part of the recovery meal. It begins the rebuild and recovery of muscles as well as makes you feel more satisfied, decreasing the temptation to eat anything not tied down to the table, after many hours of intense activity.
3. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables throughout the day. These superfoods are high in antioxidants which combat off the build up of free radicals from exercise, as well as high in vitamins and minerals that keep your metabolic pathways working efficiently and effectively.
4. Keep a food log daily. Patterns of issues will be evident thus providing you with valuable data. A problem cannot be fixed unless you have the data to get to the root of it. Furthermore, logs make you self accountable to your goals and your current focus.
5. Always have a sports nutrition strategy, for both training and racing. Plan in segments eg. How many grams of carbs either mile by mile or in 15-20 minute blocks. Plan textures and products, eg. Liquids (GatoradeT, acceleradeT), solids (sports beans, shot bloks) or semi solids (gels).
6. Know your carbs. Fuel accordingly. Pre work out and post work out carbs can be higher in (GI) Glycemic Index compared to the rest of the meals in a day, where slower burning carbs would be more appropriate. If you are not sure of the different fuel burning rate of carbs, good examples of fast are sports drinks, gels, and shot bloks, also banana and potato. Slower burning would be whole grain products, whole grains themselves (like brown rice, barley, quinoa), legumes, oats (more fibrous carbs slow the fuel burn rate). See other articles in this regard the MY sports nutrition article library too (www.onforlife.com/blog/)
7. Stay constantly hydrated. Goal pre workout is to be hydrated, goal during workout is to keep replacing losses, goal after workout is to rehydrate and replenish electrolytes from sweat loss.
8. Experiment with nutrition during training. Never try new products during a race and do not regress from the sports nutrition strategy you had designed for a particular race.
9. Use safe and effective carbo loading strategies starting about a week before a race. Tapering exercise and switching carbs to a higher percentage at least 3 days before a race, leading up to the race is the most effective way of carbo loading. Do not over eat the night before or the early morning before a race.
10. Eat nutrient dense food (rich in color and fiber) versus calorie dense food with limited nutrients (such as sodas and candy). Body stores carbs in limited amounts therefore eating smaller meals more often throughout the day will aid in maintaining well fueled muscles constantly, rather than 2 or 3 big meals a day which just slows down the metabolism.
(Do not rely on the scale for Body Composition measurements Muscle is denser than fat, and therefore weighs more)