Sports nutrition for endurance, the basics: how to turn your daily diet into a performance powerhouse
Today we're shining a light into those much-overlooked corners of diet and nutrition, the places the rest of the sports nutrition industry would prefer you didn’t visit - we're talking real food. Because a great diet is where great performance is made, it's the foundation of sports nutrition for endurance performance and without the basics in place you’ll never achieve your full potential.
What’s on your plate has a massive effect on your performance.
- Too much ‘Bad Stuff’ reduces energy while increasing acidity, inflammation and illness. This means slower recovery, slower performance, and higher risk of illness and injury.
- More ‘Good Stuff’ boosts energy, speeds recovery and makes you a stronger, faster athlete who eats PBs for breakfast.
In a piece like this we should now divert into several thousand words on grass fed beef, MCT oil, veganism, 80-20 eating, cheat days, and all manner of complicated dietary advice that sounds great but can become so tangled that our ability to stick to it will be bugger all.
So instead here’s some sane, simple advice on turning your daily diet into a powerhouse while keeping it totally manageable.
Sports nutrition for endurance: foundation
The Golden Rule is:
- Eat less Bad Stuff
- Eat more Good Stuff
Fruit and veg good: for performance you can't get enough of this stuffThe Bad Stuff is:
- Excess caffeine
- Anything you can buy in a bakery
- Sugar, especially the processed stuff
- Soft drinks and fruit juice
- Anything manmade and or processed, which means almost anything in a packet
- Anything containing ingredients you can’t pronounce
And the good stuff is:
- All veg
- All fruit
- Unprocessed nuts - roasted, salted, honeyed and sugared don't count
- Legumes and beans in all forms – chick peas, black beans, black eyed beans and more
- Herbal teas
- All superfoods – chia seeds, spirulina, maca, raw cacao, and so on
- Quality organic meat, fish and eggs if you eat animal products. Level the organic price hike by using less while going massive on the veg, thus increasing your plate quality even further for the same cost. Result
Sports nutrition for endurance: making it work in the real world
First up, following this simple advice isn’t about turning into a crazed food evangelist who brings their own lunchbox to dinner parties. It's about making smart, tasty, performance-based choices about your food whenever you can.
Think of every meal as part of your endurance nutrition and see how easy it is.
All you have to ask of any food is: will this make me slower, or faster?
Chances are, you already know the answer.
If you’re really serious about making a change like this, clear your house of everything you want to avoid and pack it to the rafters with the Good Stuff instead - weekly online shopping is a lifesaver here.
That way when the munchies attack you’re never without something that works. Your chances of tipping the balance in favour of the Good Stuff have just soared, so when life, work or travel throws you a duff menu you can’t avoid, you can deal with it guilt-free.
Sports nutrition for endurance: where do sports nutrition supplements fit in?
Check the Bad Stuff list above, and you’ll find the rest of the sports nutrition industry and their products ticking all the boxes for their massive processed sugar content and manmade ingredients. It’s as far from real food as you can get.
Check the Good Stuff list and you’ll find none of it bears any relation to anything Lucozade, Hammer, Hi-5, Gu, Torq, Maximuscle, Science in Sport or any of the other identikit endurance nutrition brands are offering.
Their standard nutritional advice for endurance always looks like this:
- Carbo load for three days before any endurance event
- Consume 60-90grams of carbs per hour when exercising beyond 90 minutes
- Eat a carb and protein snack for recovery afterwards
- Eat protein, ideally in shakes and bars, like it’s going out of fashion to build muscle
If you wrote that lot down, please now draw a big fat line through it, roll the piece of paper it’s on into a ball and file it in the small, round cabinet on the floor better known as the bin.
All it will do is empty your wallet, slow you down and make you ill.
While we’re debunking nutritional myths built by companies whose very existence depends on selling us the ingredients they so conveniently recommend, scheduled nutrition plans can do one too - these only exist to sell as much product as possible, not to serve athletes. They also act as a dangerous barrier to folks tuning into their own body’s needs, another key nutritional skill for serious results.
Your sports supplements should be just that, supplements to an awesome diet. And just as your food should always be the best it can be, so should your supplements which is why we developed our range of the most powerful products out there for performance and health gains in one hit.
Eat good to go good. It really is that simple
Sports nutrition for endurance: conclusion
Real food is in, processed food is out, and your diet is now positively packed with the Good Stuff. For zero extra financial outlay you’ve just made yourself stronger, faster and fitter. Boom and double boom, we salute you.
Want to pack your endurance diet with the most beneficial superfoods for athletes in one super-tasty & convenient hit? Check out our gamechanging Pre and Post Workout Shakes
©33Fuel™, Fueling limitless performance since 2012