Are you eating enough to fuel your workouts?

To optimize your energy during the day, it is critical that you work towards consistently making sure you meet your energy and nutrient needs. It is not uncommon for athletes to underestimate their energy demands during training.  This is probably one of the number one faults I see or both our recreational and professional athletes. So many people are so focused on being “lean” or “cut” that they drastically cut their calories too low.

Unfortunately, with inadequate fuel in your tank, you will never reap the full benefits of training. In fact, you actually increase your risk for injury, illness, and mental fatigue. Eating too few calories regardless of the reason can create a “starvation reaction” in the body. This slows the body’s metabolic rate due to muscle breakdown. Creating too large of a calorie deficit is counterproductive in the long term as you will not be able to effectively build and maintain muscle mass.

Whether you are a recreational or competitive athlete it is important to refuel after your exercise. Before your workout your glycogen levels should be at 100%. As you exercise you start to use your energy store that you have built up over that past few days. When you are done your stores are now between 0 and 50%. If you don’t adequately replace your energy stores, then your starting point for your next workout will not be back at 100%… Continuing this pattern of eating can be detrimental to your performance.

For the average person, these post-exercise snack ideas on will benefit you. If you’re a high performance athlete, you may need more personalized recommendations as well as a glycogen replenishment and hydration schedule.