Pre-training/event fueling is such a critical component to performance but when those training sessions/events are super early in the morning... eating may be the last thing you feel like doing. Am I right??
When it comes to early morning trainings/events, the pre-fueling process actually starts before we go to bed. Whaaatttt?!?
Consider this: eating a bedtime snack that's mixed with carbohydrates and lean proteins (about 1-2hrs prior to bedtime) will help top-off your energy fuel stores within the muscle while supporting recovery from the previous exercise session. Upon early rising the next morning, your muscles will be better fueled and rested for the upcoming training session.
Before beginning your training session, just a small source of carbohydrates is recommended to further top-off muscle fuel stores - helping you to train longer and faster! . Here are a few examples of small carbohydrate sources that can be consumed within minutes of/or just at the start of early AM training:
-Chewy granola bar
-Small handful of dry cereal
-8-12fl oz sports drink (regular)
-100% fruit snack pack
-1/2 cup applesauce (or squeeze apple sauce, e.g. Go-Go Squeeze)
Other examples of bedtime snacks not listed include:
-Low-fat cottage cheese w/ peaches (or fruit of choice)
-Lean jerky w/ apple slices
-Fruit & yogurt smoothie
-Low-fat cheese & crackers
-Graham crackers w/ peanut butter & 1Tbsp dark chocolate chips
What's your favorite bedtime snack?
*Note: do not experiment with foods the days of heavy training sessions, prolonged trainings and event days. Contact your health professional or sports dietitian for more specific individual recommendations.
Struggle with sleep? You may benefit from a simple change in night time behavior(s). Sleep deprivation and persistent lack of sleep can negatively impact performance gains/outcomes and overall health.
If unable to get a full nights sleep (7-9hrs worth), a brief nap can be of benefit. A mid-day nap has been shown to support learning skills, strategy and tactics.
There are foods shown to improve sleep quality and quantity: carbohydrates and proteins - while limiting/avoiding spicy, fatty and caffeinated foods/drinks 6hrs prior to bedtime. Carbs and proteins within 1-2hrs prior to bedtime can improve the production of melatonin (a neurotransmitter that makes us feel sleepy in preparation for bed) while improving sleep onset and quality of sleep.
Developing a bedtime routine 30min prior to sleep can help to wind down the body and prepare it to turn off for the night. The left column lists some winding down ideas. How do you wind down for bed?
Tired of the same old breakfast? Need a little inspiration? Staple pantry ingredients can be made into a variety of dishes. Check out the below graphic for some simple yet creative was to jazz up your fueling routine.
Other ideas not listed in graphic:
-PB Banana Honey Sandwich with Milk
-PB Cinnamon Toast w/ Yogurt
-Eggs, Toast w/ Fruit & Nut Yogurt
-Eggs in the Hole w/ Milk and Fruit
Spring can be dreary and with many more hours spent in our houses comfort foods really does the trick. And when you don't have to prepare your own dinner, who doesn't love that!?!
Dinner credit to my mom who made a warm & hearty beef stew and oven baked biscuits the other evening.
The beef stew was broth-based (beef broth) with fresh celery, carrots, mini potatoes and green beans... paired with an herby biscuit. YUMMMMMYYY.
Let's see how this dinner stands up to fueling guidelines: Fuel: potatoes, biscuit; Build: stewed beef; Protect: green beans, celery, carrots; Hydrating Fluids: beef broth.
Nutrient Timing: pre-workout ~3hrs before; post-workout friendly