CARB INTAKE FOR ATHLETES
First off my blog is written for the common person, those looking to get healthy, fit and beach ready at any age. I spoke in my last post about a suitable approach for the everyday person and what their carb intake should look like, but what about an athlete? How should their carbs look? How is this person different?
Well let's look at a typical athlete and what makes them different,
1. They're sub 12% body fat
2. They train 2-3 hours per day
3. Most are under the age of 40
4. Their job is to train and show up on game day ready to perform
5. They prioritise sleep
6. They get paid to recover well
Now that we know the difference between you and an athlete we can make separate dietary recommendations, ps. don't get offended when I call you an everyday person, it simply means you're not getting a salary to play a sport. Not being an athlete would include everyone from a billionaire tech investor to hard working mom who wants to kick ass in the gym.
But hey this leaves plenty of room for you and I to pursue other things in life at a high level! My tequila and red wine intake beyond the point of being acceptable for an athlete.
Getting back on track...
"Im an athlete, what should my macros look like?"
The majority of the listed points above increase your ability to tolerate carbs, carbohydrates are a performance powerhouse when it comes to fuelling intense activity.
Following a 40:40:20 ratio should have you recovering and performing your very best.
"You mentioned in your last post, which didn't include pre workout carbs? I feel flat and tired without them what should my daily carb intake look like? Can you include pre, intra and post workout nutrition? Thanks"
Sure, Id be happy to help…
Breakfast: Protein + Fat
Mid morning snack: Protein + Greens
Lunch: Carbs + Protein + Greens
Pre training meal: Carbs + Protein + Fat
Intra workout: EAAS + BCAAS + Coconut water
Post workout: Carbs + Protein
Post workout meal: Carbs + protein + fat + greens
Remember as an athlete each meal is an opportunity to recover and the discipline to eat so often is easy for them to follow.
"Okay wait Ian, Hold up… I'm not an athlete but I'm lean, have muscle and do bodybuilding workouts at the gym… I can't seem to get a pump without carbs, do you have a second to write me up a sample carb plan around my workout?"
Yah the pleasure would be mine… I would recommend this to hard training individual who works out like a bodybuilder. Eg. workouts consisting of 16-40 sets performing 6-20 reps. This is a great way to build muscle, recover and stay lean.
Pre workout: 30-90 minute before you train you should finish this meal
-Eat a moderate amount of easily digestible carbs along with a small portion of easily digestible protein
-Add in a little fat to slow the release of sugar into the blood stream to avoid crash
*4 rice cakes with organic peanut butter and protein shake
*1 small sweet potato with coconut oil and 1/2 chicken breast
*1/2 cup white rice with small piece of Salmon
*Based on 80kg male 8% BF
You don't want to place a burden on your gastrointestinal track so this isn't the time for your chicken and rice you will need some liquid nutrition to keep your muscles fuelled. I recommend some dextrose with BCAA's/EAA's or protein powder. When you combine amino acids with carbs your ability to replenish glycogen increases, not only are you creating an ideal hormonal environment for muscular growth but you're providing the body with nutrients when it need's them the most.
You have just been sipping on a high powered recovery cocktail so there is no need to frantically reach for your tupperware'd meal after dropping the entire cable stack once you finish your crossovers, you have time..
45-60 minutes after training:
Eat a balanced meal with carbs + protein + greens
-Ground beef + rice + Broccoli
-Chicken + sweet potato
-Salmon + pumkin + asparagus
-Pineapple + steak
Give this a try and see how you look, feel and perform then re assess from there.
Remember when reading these blogs you will have to find what works for you, personally I feel mental fog when I eat carbs pre training but I know what works for my body. Every single meal plan I write is different… There is no one size fits all recommendation!
It's important to recognize the difference between eating for
1. Health and longevity
3. Body composition and Aesthetics
Know your goals...
Have a happy, healthy and fit day everyone!