Nutrition for Performance

By Jim on Monday, May 3, 2010

Planning for the best quality on-water training sessions doesn't start when you sit in your boat. There are a number of simple things you can do to increase the benefits you gain from your training.

These include:

Ensuring that the last meal before the training session is higher in carbohydrates.
As the intensity of training increases your muscles switch more and more towards burning carbs to produce the energy to do the work. Run out of carbs and the intensity of training drops

Making sure you are hydrated heading into the session.
This can be done by drinking 10 ml/kg of fruit juice or sports drink in the 120-90 minutes prior to the training sessions. For morning sessions drink around 5 ml/kg with dinner and the same before going to bed and top up on the way to training.

Eating and drinking straight after the session is over.
Rehydrating and replenishing the energy stores straight after training not only helps you improve your response to the session you have just done, it also gets your body ready for the next session. The use of a liquid meal replacement can be carried in the coach's boat or in an insulated container in your boat and drunk as you finish the hard part of your session and paddle to get out.

Simple things to be sure but they can contribute to improved training capacity and performance gains.

Post Workout:

Kyle Brown wrote a recent article in NSCA's performance journal.  I include this article with permission.

Post Workout Recovery Nutrition: It’s Not What You Digest But What You Absorb That Counts
Many athletes and weekend warriors alike give it their all in the gym with dreams of building muscle and burning fat—yet, their naivete? leads to self-sabotage by neglect- ing the most vital component. Muscle is not built and fat is not lost in the gym; these changes are made when you leave the gym by applying proper nutritional choices. Many athletes ruin their program by poorly refueling. They either rationalize that exercise will allow them to eat whatever they want or they neglect one of the most important meals of the day—the post-workout recovery.

Within the first 30 minutes to an hour of working out, your body has an anabolic (muscle building) and anti-catabolic (muscle sparing) window where you can capitalize on op- timal gains. In order to achieve the highest yield on your workout investment, your body requires many different nutrients but there are six that are especially important: quality protein, quality carbohydrates and dietary oils, quality water, electrolytes, and enzymes.

Top 6 concerns in a post workout recovery drink:

1. Quality Protein
Biological Value (BV) refers to how well and how quickly your body can actually use the protein you consume.
It is becoming common knowledge that whey is superior to other proteins for post-workout recovery drinks. Yet not all whey protein is the same. The adage, “you are what you eat” needs to be modified to “you are what you eat, eats.” In the case of whey protein, grass-fed whey protein trumps commercial whey protein isolates and concen- trates. Nearly all whey protein products are a processed, isolated or concentrated byproduct from grain and soy- fed cows that are pumped full of hormones and antibiot- ics. Instead, chose a native whey protein from a grass-fed cow, as it will be more beneficial for rapid tissue repair, muscle building, and immune support. It is glutamine rich and high in Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) and fat- burning CLA (2).

2. Quality Carbohydrates
Your muscles are the most susceptible to storing glyco- gen during post-exercise. Yet still, any carbohydrates you ingest that are not burned as fuel or stored in the muscle cells will be stored as body fat. Small amounts of carbo- hydrates from fruit are the best choice and will also add more fiber to your shakes. On the other hand, standard recommendations like maltodextrin (grain-based starch) or 75 grams of dextrose are poor choices if you are trying to lose body fat while gaining muscle.

3. Quality Oils
Healthy dietary oils work better than carbohydrates for fuel and the cholesterol is needed as a precursor to all your natural anabolic hormones. Without cholesterol, we can’t make many hormones including testosterone, es- trogen, pregnenolone, or DHEA in our bodies. You need to have high enough levels of cholesterol in your body to manufacture optimal quantities of these fat and muscle- building hormones.

4. Quality Water
Proper hydration is essential for post-exercise recovery. The beauty of a post-workout recovery drink is that you are able to ingest quality nu- trients and properly rehydrate simultaneously. You should drink roughly 1 quart for every 50 pounds of bodyweight and ideally that water should be alkaline.

5. Electrolytes
Vital minerals like potassium and sodium are essential for post-workout recovery as they are lost while sweating during prolonged workouts. Many sea salts are rich in minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and more.

6. Enzymes
It is not what you digest but what you absorb that counts. Digestive enzymes will break down the ingredients into nutrients that your body can readily digest and more efficiently absorb.

1. Droge W, and Breitkreutz R. Glutathione and immune function. Proceedings of the Nutritional Society. 59(4): 595 – 600. 2000.

About the AUTHOR
Kyle Brown is a health and fitness expert whose portfolio includes everything from leading workshops for Fortune 500 companies and publishing nutrition articles in top-ranked fitness journals, to training celebrity clientele—from pro athletes to CEOs
to multiplatinum recording artists. Kyle’s unique approach to health and fitness emphasizes nutrition and supplementation as the foundation for optimal wellness. After playing water polo for Indiana University, as well as in London, Kyle became involved in bodybuilding and fitness for sport- specific training. Kyle is the creator and Chief Operating Officer for FIT 365—Complete Nutritional Shake (