It is normal for many to have three regular meals throughout the day, but for those training hard it might be advisable to look at trying to increase the number of smaller meals and/or ensure sufficient snacks are consumed. To keep muscle recovery fuelled with amino acids from protein and to keep energy levels up with carbohydrates, you should aim to eat a smaller than normal meal every 2 to 3 hours throughout the day. In essence, you’re dividing the traditional three meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner into 6 or 7 smaller meals, some of which could include protein bars and shakes.
Keeping the eating part of this programme relatively simple is a good way to stay on track and make progress day after day. Imagine that every plate you eat from is divided into 3 sections: one for proteins, 2 for carbs. Each of these servings will amount to a portion roughly the size of a closed fist. If you’re choosing wisely, avoid packaged processed foods and cook meals with healthy leans meats and vegetables as close to their natural state as possible. Follow this and the fats will pretty much take care of themselves. To maximise your efforts in the gym, add to your meal plan a protein and carbohydrate shake like Gold Standard 100% Whey or 2:1:1 Recovery™ within 30 to 45 minutes of completing your workout.
Cutting back on carbohydrates has become a popular strategy to lose fat, but taken to the extreme, can leave you lacking energy to workout. Carbs are your body’s preferred power source and are essential for fuelling both physical and mental effort. The trick is to choose complex carbohydrates packed with nutrients and dietary fibre. Low glycaemic index carbs digest slowly to provide sustained energy. Examples include sweet potatoes, asparagus, oatmeal, nuts and whole grain bread.
Hydration is another area that requires focus. The amount that any individual will sweat is highly individual and dependent on several factors. Dehydration is known to reduce training intensity, so maintaining a regular fluid intake throughout the day is essential. Urine colour is the simplest way to monitor hydration status, with urine that is yellow/colourful suggesting a dehydrated state.
Read More >