Health & Fitness - - Back to the Gym -

‘Most en­durance ses­sions are at a mod­er­ate in­ten­sity (around 65-75% of your max­i­mum oxy­gen up­take), so your sports nu­tri­tion goals will be to ‘avoid fa­tigue by “train­ing” your sys­tem to be as fu­el­ef­fi­cient as pos­si­ble,’ ex­plains Dr Su­san Kleiner, co-founder of In­ter­na­tional So­ci­ety of Sports Nu­tri­tion (drskleiner.com) and au­thor of Power Eat­ing (Hu­man Ki­net­ics, £14.99). ‘Dur­ing the first 20 min­utes of your run, your pri­mary fuel source will be car­bo­hy­drate, but af­ter that time, it will be evenly split be­tween car­bo­hy­drate and fat.’

Af­ter an hour or more of train­ing, it will be es­sen­tial to re­plen­ish your car­bo­hy­drate lev­els as they will have been ex­hausted. ‘Since your body can store far more fat than car­bo­hy­drate, you need to ad­just your fuel to meet your pacing de­mands, so you’ll need more carbs, says Kleiner. ‘As an over­all diet, I like a 40:30:30 carb, pro­tein, fat di­etary com­po­si­tion in food for en­durance, and then add in sports sup­ple­ments for ath­letes' train­ing ses­sions,’ she adds. ‘But I must em­pha­sise that every­one is dif­fer­ent. Elite ath­letes need more car­bo­hy­drates in their diet and dur­ing their train­ing; oth­ers can do quite well at 40 per cent or less on low-to-mod­er­ate in­ten­sity days.


PRE-WORK­OUT: ‘For train­ing at a mod­er­ate in­ten­sity at any time other than very early, as long you’ve been eat­ing bal­anced meals (as above), and your last meal/snack has been within two-and-a-half hours of a two-hour train­ing ses­sion, noth­ing re­ally spe­cial has to hap­pen pre-work­out,’ says Kleiner. If you need a snack, say be­cause your last meal was more than three hours pre­vi­ously, pro­tein and a small amount of fat works well if you’ve been fol­low­ing a high-fat diet, says Kleiner. ‘A lot of my clients like Greek yo­ghurt and peanut but­ter. If you’re still eat­ing at least 40 per cent car­bo­hy­drates, then choose pro­tein and car­bo­hy­drate – 20g pro­tein and 0.5 to 1g carbs per kg body­weight she ad­vises, such as Greek yo­ghurt with fruit or honey.’ You could also con­sider a liq­uid sports nu­tri­tion prod­uct.

‘My fa­vorite brand is USANA Health Sciences (usana.com), which of­fers whey- and plant-based op­tions. Or you can cre­ate your own recipe with pro­tein pow­der and fruit. Just make sure you’ve got enough di­ges­tion time pre-work­out.’

POST-WORK­OUT: Usu­ally a mod­er­ate work­out is fol­lowed by high-in­ten­sity train­ing, so Kleiner rec­om­mends a pro­tein-carb meal with 20-30g of pro­tein and 0.5 to 1g of car­bo­hy­drate per kg of body­weight, depend­ing on the in­ten­sity and du­ra­tion of your train­ing ses­sion.

DO I NEED A SUP­PLE­MENT? ‘I al­ways ad­vise tak­ing a daily vi­ta­min-min­eral sup­ple­ment, fish oil, vi­ta­min D (based on blood test re­sults), plus iron and cal­cium for many women,’ says Kleiner. ‘I usu­ally rec­om­mend a pro­tein and a carb sup­ple­ment, too, ac­cord­ing to need.’


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