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Nutrient Timing for Athletes: Maximizing Performance and Recovery

Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper! There is a lot to be said by simple phrases like this, especially for athletes. I get quite a few questions about diet as a Biokineticist and endurance coach with athletes. Here are a few ideas to consider in your endurance training diet and nutrition approach:

Idea 1

Nutrient Timing

The great father of endurance coaching and responsible for TrainingPeaks platform, Joe Friel speaks about “nutritional periodization” or put in other words nutrient timing. It's the idea of what context the macronutrient is being consumed under. For example, consuming carbohydrates during exercise is that it will be used by muscles to create energy while consuming carbohydrates outside or far away from an exercise session is that it is more likely to either be stored as glycogen or adipose tissue (especially large amounts that create big surges with insulin release).

It's the idea of pairing your macronutrient intake with how your body uses it throughout the day, including before, during, and after exercise. Becoming leaner, stronger, and better-fueled is the ultimate goal. So let's explore that a little deeper with the next two ideas.

Idea 2:

Eating during Exercise

One of my favorite sayings for athletes looking to lose weight is “Chase performance and lose the weight, chase weight loss and lose performance”.