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What Foods Should You Eat For Endurance And Performance?

When it comes to athletic performance, certain nutritional requirements to ensure optimal performance and endurance. If you’re exercising for over two hours a day, you need to fuel your body to promote performance and recovery. The timing of what you consume can make or break your performance, so make sure that you keep an eye on what you’re consuming and when.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways to determine your nutritional needs while exercising.

Sports Nutrition: The Basics

You need to understand the fundaments of nutrition in order to assist your body to maintain your endurance. How do different food groups keep our muscles energised and prevent fatigue?

The main source of fuel is carbohydrates, especially when it comes to high-intensity workouts. Our body’s fat stores can also fuel our exercise but have proven to be more beneficial when it comes to low-intensity workouts for extended periods of time, i.e., endurance training. Of course, we cannot forget the protein. Protein maintains and repairs muscles and bodily tissue, although it isn’t really known for helping muscles contract and expand during exercise.

Our glycogen stores can also fuel our exercise but are used up quickly during high-intensity workout sessions. It requires constant replenishment to maintain performance and prevent burnout and fatigue. You can also maintain your performance by consuming easily digestible carbohydrates.

What To Eat And How Much?

Your nutritional needs will depend on your training, exercise intensity and your overall body condition. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, athletes should consume 3060 grams of carbohydrates while training.

No two people will have the same refuelling preferences while training. You may find that you prefer nibbling throughout the session while someone else in your training group eats one big snack that’s able to fuel their session. It necessitates trial and error in order to figure out what best fits your needs.

From food combinations to timings, you need to figure out how best to maintain your performance.
Research the available drinks, bars, snacks and gels as well as the recommended dosages and timings that go with each option. This will assist you in planning and timing your refuelling style.

Recommended Refuelling Options

  • 470ml sports drink packed with carbohydrates
  • Fruit juice
  • Bananas and apples
  • Honey
  • Energy bars containing 30 grams of carbohydrates
  • ½ whole wheat bagel
  • Fruit yoghurt
  • 250ml chocolate milk

Optimal Hydration

An easy way to help you determine your hydration needs is to weigh yourself before and after you exercise. Take the difference in kilograms and times it by 450 millilitres to determine the amount of liquid needed to keep you hydrated. You could need to repeat this a couple of time to determine the average. Training conditions, as well as the weather, can also affect your hydration.

There is a simple way in order to verify your hydration after your workout and that is by the colour of your urine as the darker it is, the more dehydrated you are. Ideally, you want your urine to be diluted and as light as possible.

To stay on top of hydration, these guidelines provide a good starting point:

  • Two hours before your workout, try to drink a litre of water.
  • While exercising, try to drink 250 millilitres for every 15 minutes spent exercising.
  • After exercising, drink about a litre for every 450 grams lost.

Take the time to determine your nutritional needs, especially if you are taking part in endurance training sessions or races. The proper balance will maintain your performance, endurance and ensure that you are able to perform to the best of your ability.

Contact Trifocus Fitness Academy

If you want to know all that there is to know about sports nutrition, then you need to do our Sports Nutrition Diploma. For more information, please follow this link.

Trifocus Fitness Academy - nutrition

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