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Elennare

Eating for Athletic Performance?

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Help?  Anyone know of any good (preferably free) resources on how to eat for athletic performance?  Everything I already have is geared for weight loss.  I know of one or two places that have info on eating for body building, but that's not right either.  I need strength, endurance, and power.  In a very HIIT fashion (roughly 1 minute on, 1 minute off, for an hour, with longer breaks every 15 minutes).  I've been trying to lose weight (fat, preferably), but after my scrimmage last night I realized that's not working for me right now.  We've got the hardest game of our season coming up in about a month, followed by champs in February, and suddenly looking good has taken a back seat to playing good.  I just have no idea what I need to do to fuel that.

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22 hours ago, Elennare said:

I just have no idea what I need to do to fuel that.

 

You're over thinking it.  You need calories for the fuel, from either fat or carbs (which are the energy macros, as opposed to protein being a building block macro).  The question is what works best for you.  Before a game I'd say a good chunk of carbs.  Or if you want, you can use fats, just plan on consuming them a good bit before so they can get to work.  Chocolate covered almonds an hour or so before my aikido classes (semi-similar to HIIT I suppose - lots of on/off there) were an amazing source of energy for me, I found.  I just stopped buying them because I had a habit of eating them all the time. >.> <.<

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Carbs. Carbs. Carbs. Carbs. Carbs. Carbs. Carbs. Carbs. Carbs. Carbs. Carbs. Carbs. Carbs. 

That's your short answer.

You can lose weight on a caloric deficit while still consuming carbs, and you should feel better about your athletic performance and/or recovery times with the right fuel.

If you aren't tracking your food intake, start.  Learn where you're at before you do anything else (especially reading the next paragraph).

Also start reading up on IIFYM approach to eating..if you want to fix how you fuel your body then learning the basics of macro tracking can get you set in the right direction.  Obviously don't eat just carbs, I should probably stress that since I kinda over emphasized them.  You'll need plenty of protein (ideally 0.8-1.0 grams/lb bodyweight), healthy fats (35-45% of calories from fat if you're still trying to lose weight), and the rest of your calories from carbs.  This is an oversimplified version of things..I really do want to stress researching and learning.. IIFYM has great articles so does Precision Nutrition.  Google both.

Beyond diet, make sure you're getting restful sleep at night and limiting caffeine intake in the afternoons (and overall).  Sluggishness isn't always diet related.

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I figured I should probably add, if you want to try those numbers out I gave, first use a tdee calculator (IIFYM.com has the best one) to figure out your TDEE.  Total Daily Energy Expenditure.  This is your BMR plus work/activity (how active you are during your day, how often you exercise, how intense that exercise is, etc).  This is the total number of calories you should be eating to maintain your weight.  Base your calorie deficit off of this (no more than 1000 below).

On MyFitnessPal, from a PC (I'm not sure the app can do this) go to the Goals section (under the My Home tab), click "Edit" on the Daily Nutrition Goals and input your Calorie goal based on TDEE.  Then for the Carbs/Fat/Protein bits, change the percentage of Protein until the total grams is equal to your bodyweight in pounds or 0.8xbodyweight (bodyweight is the ideal for cutting weight).  Change the fat percentage to anywhere between 35-45%, this is just a starting point to find what works for you..there is no right answer.  Change the Carbs percentage until your total is 100%.  Save.

You're all set.  You may have to fine tune the fat/carb numbers over time to find what works, I recommend 6-8 weeks between changes.

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