Fuelling your activity is really important for good energy levels, performance and to push yourself further. The harder you work and the more you can improve in training the better you will become. It’s a balance of having the right fuel to match your training available in the system to get the body working, but without being overloaded and too full. Here are the basic rules to follow.
Carbohydrates are the primary fuel source for the body and the brain. A light meal mostly dominant in carbohydrates and lower in fat and fibre prior to training will make the right fuel available for the muscles to use. Have this between 90min to 30 min before activity. If training in the afternoon include carbs at your morning tea and lunch times. If training first thing in the morning include carbs at your afternoon tea and dinner the day before to space intake out.
The body needs carbohydrates again to replace what has just been used and to assist with muscle repair and recovery. After heavy or long training sessions, the body also needs protein for muscle growth and to repair damaged muscle so you aren’t as sore the next day and can back up with your next session. Have a protein and carbohydrate at the meal or snack following training as soon as possible. If you have adequately prepared and had energy to burn it can take some of the pressure of the carb load needed at this meal time.
Some examples of suitable food and beverage options
Before – around 30min before:
- Piece of fruit – banana or diced fruit tub
- Regular or raisin toast with jam or honey
- 150ml fruit juice or 200ml low fat milk
- Small bowl lower fibre cereal
- Rice cakes, corn thins or cruskits plain or with jam
- Muesli/cereal bar
After – as soon as possible to start the recovery process:
- Flavoured milk popper
- 200g yoghurt or yoghurt tube
- Musashi protein shake – consult your sport dietitian before purchase
- Whole meal/grain toast with 140g tin baked beans + slice cheese
- Whole meal/grain toast with 1-2 eggs – boiled / scrambled /poached
- Toasted sandwich with ham/low fat cheese/tomato
- 1 cup high fibre cereal and light milk
- Fruit smoothie made with 200ml skim milk, 1 piece fruit, ice, 50g low fat yoghurt
- 1 cup cooked pasta with a tomato and chicken or mince pasta sauce
- 1-2 slices toast with 3Tb low fat cottage cheese & tomato
- 2 slices regular raisin toast with low fat ricotta