Adam O’Meara, a Victoria-based professional triathlete, is a member of our team of PURICA Ambassadors who are committed to providing you with healthy eating and training tips. Here are some valuable suggestions from Adam on nutrition tips for endurance athletes.
You don’t need to be running a half marathon or cycling a Gran Fondo in order to be classified as an endurance athlete. If you are training for a 5k running event or doing group fitness classes such as jazzercise that are pretty much continuous movement done with an elevated heart rate then you are doing endurance athletics.
I will offer some nutrition related suggestions for people engaging in endurance sport training. These suggestions are based off my experience and self education over the past decade. In the near future, upon completion of a program through the Cory Holy Institute, I will be able to provide advice as a Certified Sports Nutrition Advisor (CSNA).
Below I offer solutions for three common nutrition mistakes that people make when they engage in regular endurance training.
Mistake: People don’t consume enough calories in the 60-90 minutes after their exercise session.
Problem: The body is starving for nutrition and in particular protein and carbohydrates post exercise as it is trying to replenish muscle glycogen and repair damaged muscles.
Solution: This is the time in the day that your body is best able to process and utilize all three macronutrients and if not enough food is consumed then your body will struggle on various levels including hormonal health.
Mistake: People consume too many sugary carbohydrates during exercise.
Problem: Sports science has proven time and time again that when carbohydrates are taken during prolonged endurance exercise they increase performance. But our body’s don’t need to be stuffed full of them each and every session, especially not sessions lasting shorter than ~75 minutes.
Solution: Find a brand that uses high quality ingredients for their products and then consume 20-60g / hour depending on session intensity and duration as well as personal needs. Whole foods may be used if the intensity is low to moderate and your GI tract can handle the more complex carbohydrates and / or fibrous options.
Mistake: People often eat too many refined foods because they feel that regular exercise warrants it.
Problem: Refined foods do not have the same nutrient density as whole foods, and in particular vegetables (and fruits). When people start to eat fewer vegetables they are compromising their long-term health.
Solution: Eat a plethora of vegetables! Remember the calorie content is much lower in a cup of steamed broccoli than a cup of cookie dough, and therefore active people need to make sure they eat LOTS of vegetables!
Final Note: Remember your long-term health should be a priority and nutrition is paramount to your health. One reason I want to stay healthy is so I can be running up the mountain with my son when I’m 75 years old!
For more information, check out www.adamomeara.com or email PURICA Ambassador Adam O’Meara at email@example.com. And for regular healthy eating and training tips, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/puricawellness and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/puricawellness
*A note on vegan and vegetarian options: At PURICA, we’re committed to empowering you with the best in whole foods, supplements and positive lifestyle solutions. We support all athletes and active living people whatever your dietary preferences, although we will always do our part to raise awareness about the benefits of vegetarian or vegan options.