Nutrition and Hydration For Cross Country Training

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Pre-race Diet – Approximately 30 minutes before starting the race, get one or more "Little Debbie" snacks (or equivalent) and eat 200-350 calories. In most cases, a single package will work. A good choice may be an oatmeal cream, a large gelatin brownie, or a twin pack of nuttie bar. This results in sufficient carbohydrate concentration in the bloodstream just in time for the event. It also collects that your event will not be longer than 20-25 minutes. For longer events, you need to juggle a few times with meals and perhaps even eat a few seconds in the minutes before the event (eg Marathon or 10 kilometers). For very long runs, for example at a marathon, you should consider eating through the run at regular intervals, but that's another story.

Pre-race Hydration – Longer events require proper hydration to avoid dehydration during the race. Usually, the stomach can absorb about 1 liter of water per hour. Cold liquids are absorbed more quickly than hot liquids, so you should always consume cold liquids. Athletic drinks such as Gatorade or PowerAde are good during and just before practice because they contain a balanced blend of electrolytes and carbohydrates. For shorter events (30 minutes or less) you probably will not suffer from dehydration from the event, and it may be better if you do not drink in minutes before these events or stomach ulcers may affect your performance more than a little thirsty. For these shorter events, plan hydration completion 30 minutes before the event. The idea here is that your stomach is most void of the event to minimize the discomfort.

Pre-exercise Nutrition – As training generally takes a much longer time than a 3.2-mile race, develop food and drink. In general, the same rule is that you do not eat regular meals for 2 hours before your workout. Just as in a scenario of competition, you consume a large carbonated snack (200-350 calories) about 30 minutes before your workout. You probably want to have a little Debbie snack cake in the minute before you're done. It's a good time for this section and before training.

Food and beverage finishing – You should consume about 150-200 calories during your workout for about 30 to 30 minutes. In most cases, this goal can be achieved by consuming about 16oz Gatorade or PowerAde and eating a small Debbie snack cake. You do not want to try all the calories from a sports drink or just a snack cake because you either get absorbed into dehydrated or swollen. You have to try to strike a balance between the two. If this happens, continuous dosing of carbohydrates will ensure the exercise of the muscles.

Post-Training or Post-Workout Nutrition

Perhaps the most misunderstood aspect of fitness training is what to do after two hours of hard workout or race. Do it well and be ready and refreshed to start your next day workout, with minimal pain and fatigue. You are wrong and you hate all your daily practice and your performance suffers greatly.

You do not want to lose fat 2 hours after training! This is ZERO calories from fat. You want to have enough balance between proteins and carbohydrates to encourage proper insulin production and replacement of glycogen in muscle cells.

My recipe is a pure protein drink that contains 24-30 grams of whey protein powder. Instead of other types, you prefer to use whey protein as it is proven to be the most effective in muscle recovery. You also want to make sure that your drink does not contain any other "performance enhancing" supplements because they not only increase the protein powder, but are also unnecessary after the workout restoration.

Next, you would like to drink a 24-32oz high carbohydrate drink. Great examples include Hawaiian Punch, Hi-C Blast (any taste) or Sam's Choice Lemonade (Wal-Mart). Read the labels and make sure your drink contains at least 120 calories in 8oz per serving. Be sure to avoid these "Low Carb" versions of the drinks and find out that some of the lemonades will contain less calories than the fruit-flavored counterparts.

Do not even think about consuming Gatorade or PowerAde to heal the post. This is because carbohydrate is very low (typically about 50 calories per 8oz per portion), and although this is ideal during exercise, this is not enough to be a subsequent recovery drink. Think about it consuming about 400 to 500 calories under the carbohydrate under the post healing drink and trying to do it using Gatorade, it requires less than an hour to drink over g gallons. Unless you're designed for camels, you probably pierce the whole place before it's over.

The idea here is to accelerate the maximum amount of carbohydrates into the bloodstream so that insulin can convert these carbohydrates into glycogen and return this glycogen to muscle cells as soon as possible. It has been proven that after a workout there is a 2-hour facility block, where the body is the fastest to perform this task. After waiting, this is a block of options and you can wait for a few days or so to fully restore lost glycogen so you can see that this time is important!

You consume any amount of protein drink or carbonated drink, it is very important to keep the right amount of protein and carbohydrate when you do this. You want to equalize 20% protein and 80% carbohydrate (by weight). In the example above, it can be seen that 8 oz of protein powder from whey powder (24 to 30 grams of protein) is proportional to 32oz hi-C (about 100 to 125 grams of carbohydrate). Obviously, you have to play a bit with the ratios to compensate for the fact that the amount of actual carbohydrate changes from drink to drink, but math is easy enough to figure out in your head.

The scientific reason for these ratios is that it has been shown that intake of the 20% protein mixture into carb's intake is only about twice the insulin response in the body. This is critical in the sense that this insulin response processes the actual transformation of carbohydrates into glycogen and injects the glycogen directly into the muscle cells. It was also found that fat inhibits insulin response and poor glycogen recovery will be the result.

In addition to the aforementioned drinks, it is also worth considering taking a couple of multi-vitamins to replace the critical elements for regenerating muscles. During the evening meal, try to eat more complex carbohydrates in the form of pasta, rice, bread or grain. This is equilibrated with a protein in the form of a chicken, fish or beef. You should consume a uniform amount of carbohydrate and protein for breakfast. Healthy examples include bagels, eggs, cereals, toast, sausages, bacon and the like. Avoid the sugar breakfast, for example, a fruity loop or pop. You may also find that too much of the way for fresh fruit or juices can cause stomach pain and diarrhea, which is not fun. You will only know where you can handle large amounts of fruit as part of your diet. Fill out your diet with a good vegetable mix.

Typically you want to add complex carbohydrates as part of your breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals. Only target simple carbohydrates (snacks and fruit creams) during the training period. Follow these guidelines and your athletic performance will be better than you can imagine.

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