At all3sports we’ve learned that nutrition is very individual and personal. What works for some people does not always work for others. What we have found is that regardless of what nutrition you prefer, the timing of nutrition is a big factor in nailing your workout or race. Here we will discuss nutrition options in the context of pre workout, during workout, and after workout.
The purpose of pre-workout nutrition is to give you enough fuel to start your workout correctly. Without this “full tank of gas” your body might not have enough energy to perform well. How much pre-workout nutrition really depends on the intensity and duration of the workout.
Here are some pre-workout options we have found that work well 20-45 minutes before a workout.
GU Stroopwafles are one our favorites due to their flavor. They come with 140-150 calories per waffle with 21 – 23g of total carbs. They can even be heated up for a more delicious treat before going out to suffer.
Bonk Breakers come with a bit more calories (around 260 calories) compared to the Stroopwafles and will come with more total carbs, about 36g. These are great pre-workout snack for longer harder workouts. Some staff favorite flavors include Mint Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter & Jelly, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip.
For a little energy boost pre-workout or before a race First Endurance provides their Pre-Race formula in either pill capsules or a powder mix. Pre-race contains a proprietary mix of neuro stimulants including caffeine. But be careful with this, 1 serving is about 200mg of caffeine!
During Workout Nutrition
For workouts under 1 hour your body should have enough energy in reserve to allow you finish your workout. However once you start going past 1 hour your body needs to replenish its energy stores. There are a wide range of options out there and here are a few options for during activity that we have found to work well.
Huma gels are a bit different than most gels. The biggest difference is the consistency is a bit more fluid than most gels and these contain chia seeds. It is more like preserves or jam than a gel. This is a great break from the normal texture of a gel.
EFS Liquid Shot is packed full of electrolytes and packaged in an easy to use flask. Liquid Shot is a shop favorite. Liquid Shot is a little heavier, or more dense, than other products. One flask packs 400 calories. This is great for long races as it cuts down on how many things you are carrying around.
Picky Bars offer a great natural real food option for during exercise. It can also be an anytime nutrition option too. They keep a balanced ratio of carbs to protein, 4 to 1. This is also the ratio that a lot of post workout nutrition follows and has been found to maximize absorption of nutrients. The flavors are also delicious with my favorite being Lauren's Mega Nuts.
Gu Energy Gels are the most common gels found at races. They are at most running races, so it is a good idea to practice with what is on the course before the race. These gels tend to have a thicker consistency than other gels. Gu has a lot of flavors to choose from so finding one that works for you should not be an issue. You can alos check out their Roctane gels for gels with a bit more amino acids and sodium.
Post Workout Nutrition
After a workout is complete it is time for your body to repair and replenish. It is important to get in carbs and protein soon after a workout has ended. Research has shown that there is a critical thirty-minute window immediately following exercise when insulin sensitivity is at its highest and exhausted muscles essentially open the door to nutrients.
First Endurance has Ultragen which is designed to be a fast absorbing recovery mix to be taken within 30 minutes after your workout. Ultragen derives its carbohydrate source purely from Dextrose. Dextrose is a fast absorbing sugar that transport nutrients into the cell. For more information First Endurance provides a detailed research packet, which contains more information than we get into here.
Skratch has also recently come out with a recovery drink option called Endurance Recovery Mix. We have not yet tested this product, but carry it due to our love for their drink mix. Skratch has always paid attention to what they put in their products, making sure there is no unnecessary fillers. Have you tried it? Let us know if you dig it.
Finding the right nutrition for you may take some time. It comes down to what your gut can sustain while you are exercising. Look for more articles and advice from our experts soon to help you figure out your nutrition.