Eating 9-5 for Athletes

For Nutrition Month 2015, Dietitians of Canada is encouraging Canadians to eat well at work as this falls by the way side for many in the midst of a busy day. For many athletes, it’s no different! Most run through a grueling training schedule where they are travelling to multiple sites for therapy and/or training, while balancing school/work in between- sometimes both!

Why is it important to be eating regularly during the day, especially in the 9-5 period? Ask yourself – how often have you worked a full day and before you know it, you’re returning home realizing you’ve barely eaten anything at all and now you’re starving! Next thing you know, you’re plowing down dinner and then some snacks, and only a few hours later, you’re crawling into bed stuffed. Overtime, this pattern of destructive eating cause cravings to go off the charts, increases the waistline, forces the body to break down lean muscle, and hence, reduces the body’s metabolic rate.

For athletes, skipping key meals between 9-5 means:
• Compromised muscle refueling resulting in injury and cramping
• Compromised hydration status resulting in fatigue
• Increased muscle breakdown and the slowing of an athlete’s metabolism – we analyze this with the InBody 230 Body Composition machine with our athletes!
• Poor training adaptations
• Overall compromise in micro-nutrient intake which will impact overall athletic performance


A few tips to help you to stay fueled over the 9-5 period:
• Set an alarm on your phone to go off every 3-4 hours to remind yourself to have a meal or snack
• Have small snacks ready especially on a busy day. Some examples include:
o ¼ cup Mixed Nuts + Apple
o Snack pack Greek Yogurt + 1-2 TBSP Bran Buds + ½ cup Berries
o Cracker Barrel Cheese Snacks or Baby Bel Cheese + 2 Ryvita Crackers
o Smoothie: see our liquid meals blog.
o 1 Hard Boiled Egg + Orange
o 1 cup Fresh Veggies + Sabra Snack Pack Hummus
o 1 Elevate-Me Bar OR ¼ cup Roasted Broad or Black Beans – stop by the office if you want a sample of these or to stock up on some! Great for on-the go snacking.

Try it: Pick one of the snacks above and incorporate it into your work or training day! See if you notice a difference in your energy levels and cravings when the evening approaches. These simple strategies will help to optimize your body composition in the long run!