FUEL YOUR FITNESS
For lasting energy and good health, follow these guidelines from sports dietitian Kelly Pritchett
FOLLOW THE 90/10 RULE.
Aim to eat healthily 90 per cent of the time. Your usual diet should be a mix of complex carbs (from fruits, vegetables and whole grains), lean protein (from poultry, fish, dairy and legumes) and healthy fats (from foods such as nuts and avocado). The other 10 per cent of the time? Enjoy your favourite treats.
MAKE SURE YOU'RE GETTING ENOUGH CARBS
To be at your best, you need to consume between 1.5 and 3.5 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight each day that you work out for 30 or more minutes.
FUEL YOUR WORKOUTS AND RECOVERY
Have a carb-rich 200-300kcal snack about two hours before any workout that is going to last longer than an hour and/or will have you running at a harder-than-easy pace. Afterwards, take in a combination of carbs and protein within 30 minutes to help repair muscle damage and stimulate the development of new muscle tissue. Try low-fat chocolate milk, Greek yoghurt and berries, or wholegrain cereal with milk.
PAY ATTENTION TO HYDRATION
Drink when you’re thirsty and during workouts lasting longer than an hour. You don't need sports drink after short runs – or even necessarily after long runs. ‘The key thing after a long run is to replace glycogen stores and to rehydrate – the advantage of a sports drink is that it does both and is portable,’ says Pritchett.
ESTABLISH A ‘MAGIC MEAL’
This is the go-to food you can always eat two-to threehours before a long run or race without suffering ill effects. Experiment with timing and options. Try a meal that's higher in carbs, moderate in protein, and lower in fat and fibre to decrease the chance of GI issues, says Pritchett – think toast and peanut butter, porridge or a smoothie.
GET USED TO MIDRUN FUELLING
You’ll run best if you consume 30-60 grams of carbohydrate per hour of exercise. If you anticipate running a two-hour half, that means you should take in energy chews or a gel (washed down with water) at 45 minutes and again at 90. Practise on training runs to accustom your gut to midrun fuel.
STORAGE SYSTEM Your body stores glycogen in your muscles and liver. Keep it topped up.