How to Achieve Peak Athletic Performance with Diet and Food

Eating Before Exercise or Competition

Five Objectives:

1)   Satisfy Hunger (~2 Hrs before/Works both ways if too full or too hungry)

2)   Restock Carbohydrate Stores Depleted by Overnight Fast

3)   Re-establish Normal Body Fluid Levels Lost During Night

4)   Optimize Performance

5)   Prepare Body to Recover Quickly Post Exercise (Better going into race means better recovery)

Other Goals:

– Consume mainly Carbohydrates

– Decrease Glycemic Index (High Sugar Food) of food the more time you have before the exercise to prevent sugar crash later

– Keep meals low in Fiber to keep hydration up and not slow down digestion

– Include Protein / Mainly Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA), such as Valine, Leucine, Isoleucine to stimulate Protein synthesis after exercise and decreases Glycemic Index

– Hydrate well to decrease Protein breakdown during exercise

One-Hour Pre Exercise:

– Low Glycemic Index and low Fiber foods


– Fruits (Low Fiber such as Bananas, Peaches, Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Watermelon) and Eggs

– Apple Sauce (sugar free) and Whey Protein Powder

– Baby Food including animal products

– Liquid Meals including low Fiber Fruits and Protein (Avoid Dairy)

– Sports Bar with Protein with lots of water to prevent dehydration

– Fruit and Vegetable Juices

10 min or just Pre Exercise:

– High Glycemic Index foods or fluids may be consumed

– Does not spike Insulin resulting in sugar crash due to effects of exercise

– Food should only be in liquid form such as Sports Drinks or Sport Gels with water

Eating During Exercise or Competition

– Body’s tolerance for food and fluid change as conditions change

– Intensity of exercise has great deal to do with how well the stomach tolerates food and liquid

– High Intensity (85% max) exercise, GI tract stops functioning therefore nutrition during exercise not as important

– Low Intensity and long duration exercise, GI tract works, therefore nutrition more important during exercise

Important Factors to Consider During Exercise

Hydration: Most calories should come from liquid sources

Hyponatremia: Too much water, which decreases salt content. Occurs during very long events.

– 1 pint (473mL) sweat or 1 Lb body weight lost with exercise contains 500 mg sodium, therefore for every 473mL of water you take in, you need to take in up to 500mg of sodium


– Naturally salty foods and drinks, salt added to food and drink, sodium supplements and capsules

– Sport drinks do not have enough sodium to water ratio because their concentration is less than ½ that of sweat

– One teaspoon of table salt is 2400mg of sodium. Therefore, look at labels!

2 min to 90 min Events

– No solids, only liquids – goal is to prevent dehydration, therefore if pre-nutrition is good, then body will be prepared with glycogen stores

90 min to 4 hr Events

– No solids, only liquids – goal is to prevent dehydration and electrolyte loss

– Sport Drinks good as well as sport gels with water

– During high intensity exercise the body will turn to Protein for fuel source if Glycogen stores run out, therefore the Protein used will come from muscle and causes muscle wasting

– Good to add Protein Powder or BCAA to higher Glycemic Index Carbohydrate drink. Best to have 4:1 Carbohydrate to Protein Ratio

– Replenishing Electrolytes is only important for Sodium. Total replenishment for other Electrolytes such as Chloride, Calcium, Potassium and Magnesium is not necessary at this duration and can be replenished with normal healthy food

Eating After Exercise or Competition

– Very important for recovery

– Returns body to pre-exercise hydration, glycogen storage and promotes muscle synthesis

Eating within 30 min Post-Exercise

– Most critical because body prepared to receive and store nutrients more than any other time. 2-3 times more

– Muscle damage repair is most effective

Five Objectives:

1) Replace Expended Carbohydrate Stores (High Glycemic Load for quick replenishment with Low Glycemic Load for steady release)

Sources: Potatoes, Rice, Sweet Potatoes, Fruit, Fruit Juices, Commercial  Recovery Drinks

2) Rehydrate (Replenish 500mL water for every pound (lb) lost though out day)

3) Provide Amino Acids (Protein) for re-synthesis (rebuilding) of muscle protein that has been damaged (Carbohydrate to Protein Ratio should be 4:1)

Sources: Whey Protein, Egg

4) Begin Replacing Electrolytes (Found in normal healthy foods)

5) Reduce Acidity of Body Fluids (During exercise fluids shift towards lower pH/acidic, therefore increases Calcium and Nitrogen loss in pee to balance acidity)

Sources: Fruits and Vegetables only foods

Eating Short Term Post-Exercise (~2hrs)

– Similar to 30 min post exercise, but more solid foods with hight Glycemic Load and continue water intake

Sources: Potatoes, Yams, Sweet Potatoes, Dried Fruit (Raisins), Animal Protein (No Farm Fish or Grain fed animals), Vegetables (Antioxidants)

Eating Long Term Post-Exercise

– Athletes usually get sloppy and continue eating high Glycemic Load diet that is low in nutrients and high in starch and sugar

Best Foods: Vegetables (all different colours/Antioxidants), Lean Protein (animal sources), Fruits, Nuts and Seeds

Five Objectives:

1) Maintain Glycogen Stores (Eat low Glycemic Vegetables and Fruits) / Eating Carbohydrates all day is overkill to Glycogen stores and serves to displace muscle building lean Proteins and Alkalinity enhancing nutrient dense Vegetables and Fruits)

2) Rebuild Muscle Tissue (BCAA mainly/ 0.6-1g protein/1lb body weight)

Best Sources: Wild Fish, Turkey Breast, Free Range Animal

3) Maintain Healthy Ph (Decrease Acidity, therefore continue eating lots of Vegetables and fruits (Different colours) and not Acid yielding Grains, Cheeses and salty processed foods)

4) Prevent or Decrease Inflammation (Muscle Damage à Increase Inflammation à If unchecked causes Pain and Injury)

Best Sources: Healthy Diet (Decrease Pro-inflammatory foods), Omega 3 Polyunsaturated fats (Cold Water Fish, Leafy Vegetables, Walnuts, Macadamia Nuts, Eggs rich with Omega 3, Seaweed, Flaxseeds, Liver, Fish Supplements)

5) Optimize Body Weight (Depends on Sport)

– Simon Bialecki



This entry was posted in Training Pics. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s