- Carbohydrates should make up about 45 - 65% of your total calorie intake.
- Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy.
- Carbohydrates are found in starchy foods like breads, rice, pastas and potatoes. They are also found in fruits, milk and yogurts, and sweets.
- For longer-lasting energy, choose more complex carbohydrates. These will have higher amounts of fiber, usually found in whole grain breads and cereals, whole fruits and vegetables and beans/lentils. Shoot for 25+ grams per day of fiber. May want to limit this on race day, however.
- Limit the amount of simple carbohydrates such as sweets, soda and other sweetened beverages.
- Protein should make up about 15% - 25% of your total daily calorie intake.
- Protein is used for some energy and to repair tissue damaged during training.
- Concentrate on protein sources that are low in fat and cholesterol such as lean meats, fish, low-fat dairy products, poultry, whole grains, and beans.
- Fat should make up 20 - 30% of your total daily calorie intake.
- Stick to foods low in saturated fats and cholesterol. Foods such as nuts, oils, and cold-water fish provide essential fats called omega-3s. Avoid trans-fatty acids.
- The amount of fluid you need is affected by weight, body fat %, amount of exercise, amount that you sweat, age, and weather.
- You will definitely need more fluid during days of increased training.
- A good rule of thumb to know if you are drinking enough water: you urinate about once per hour and your urine is clear. Waiting until you are thirsty is not a good method of managing your fluid intake.
- Example: 2000 calories calorie intake would be 250g Carb (50%), 125g Protein (25%), 56g Fat (25%)
Before an event
- Eat a calorie dense meal or several smaller meals 2-4 hours before the race or long training run. Include at least 200g Carb, 20g Protein, and 16oz Water.
- Eat a combination of carbohydrates, protein, fat and water. You may want to try a sports drink to get fluid while ingesting carbohydrates.
During the event
- Eat 60 grams of carbohydrate per hour of exercise. This is the equivalent of 2 power-gels or 2 servings of powdered Gatorade/Powerade or 32oz Gatorade/Powerade.
- Consume two liters water for each 60 minutes.
- You could dilute two servings of powdered Gatorade/Powerade in two liters of water to meet carbohydrate and fluid needs.
- Don’t try something new on the day of the event!
After the event
- It is important to begin repletion of glycogen stores and fluids, and repair muscle damage.
- This is a great time to consume easily digestible carbohydrate and protein. Chocolate milk is the perfect recovery drink with the right amount of carbs and protein.
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