DIET SECRETS OF ENDURANCE ATHLETES
Performing at high levels of intensity for long periods of time requires a diet that helps one perform at maximum capacity. Elite endurance athletes are immensely focused on their diet to provide them with sustainable fuel for their endeavors. Here we spill the beans on some of the most intrinsic aspects to dietary success in endurance training. Check out these guidelines to help you eat like true endurance athletes.
Carbs, carbs, and more carbs.
As we’ve previously discovered, carbs are the athlete’s tool for fuel. Your body stores carbs as glycogen in the muscles. When you exercise, your body transforms the glycogen into energy, thereby fueling your body for high-intensity training and activities. Athletes who are long-distance competitors tend to require a higher intake of carbohydrates for recovery after a session as well. Therefore, pursuing a diet where the major part of your calorie intake comes from carbohydrate-rich foods such as pasta, bread, fruits, and vegetables, allows you to build up maximum carbohydrate storage.
Opt for quality foods.
As an endurance athlete, your diet basically allows you to eat everything. Everything of quality, that is. Steer clear of high sugar products and refined grains, and you will be just fine. This leaves you with everything in the vegetable and fruit class, nuts, seeds, healthy oils, unprocessed meat and seafood, whole grains, and dairy products. The occasional Oreos cookie every now and then is just fine, but big picture, you’ll do wisely to opt for high-quality foods. Dollhouse Fit has published a list of good (quality) and bad variations of different foods. Here you can have a look at A Beginners Shopping List – Quality Foods For The Best Results.
As per protein:
Proteins are and should be a vital part of your daily intake. For endurance athletes, you don’t need to exaggerate your intake of protein any more than anyone following a regular diet. Go for the usual 10% of your daily macronutrient ratio, (your daily percentage divide of carbs, fats, and, proteins) or 1.5 grams x your body weight in kgs. Be sure to get plenty of vegetables, whole grains, and fruits as well.
Not all diets work for everyone. Our bodies all work in different ways and as a serious endurance athlete, you should be aware of that. It may take you some trial and error to identify the meal plan that fits you just right. With these guidelines however, you will be sure to be on the right track. You might consider working with a registered dietician or nutritionist to be sure that you are as buttoned-up as can be. They can help you settle on the best diet for your endeavors.