Healthy eating strategies make all the difference in your daily life and event day performance. Below are some tips from our friends at LUNA to help you stay hydrated and energized during Venus de Miles.
Getting “nutritionally fit” in advance of the big day is just as important as logging your weekly mileage. Boosting your nutritional fitness is as easy as 1-2-3 once you know the optimal balance of carbs, protein and fat.
1. Carbohydrates. Whether in the form of whole grains or fruits, vegetables or dairy, carbohydrates are your muscles’ primary fuel source and the #1 ingredient in healthy training. When you sit down to eat, look at your plate: at least 2-3 foods on there (in other words, the majority of your calories) should count as carbs.
2. Protein. During training, your body needs protein to increase strength and help your muscles repair themselves after long runs and exhausting rides. Good sources include eggs, milk, cheese, legumes, nuts, poultry, fish and lean beef. Plan on one serving per meal.
3. Fat. Even though it sometimes gets a bad rep, fat is a must for heavy training, especially when you are pushing yourself to the limit. If carbohydrates are the first fuel source for the body, fats are the reserve tank that gets tapped into when the carbs run out. And you don’t want to lose your groove with only a few miles left to go! Plan on including peanut butter, almonds, avocados, olive oil—even the occasional pat of butter or piece of chocolate—with some of your meals.
Putting it all together, a well-balanced training meal might look something like this: one serving of pesto chicken (protein), one serving of brown rice (carb), one serving of broccoli (carb), along with a whole-wheat roll (carb) with butter (fat). Easy peasy, right? Whether your goal is to improve your time, win your age group, or simply cross the finish line, sensible nutrition during training will get you to event day in good form.
What to consume before you exercise
Nutritional fuel is energy for your body, which leads to a successful workout. Eating a light snack before exercise maximizes your workout by increasing energy to your muscles, improving your mood, and helping to avoid overeating post-workout. One to two hours before you exercise, consume a high-carbohydrate snack. Every body performs differently so test out a mix of high carbohydrate, protein, and/or fat to see what works best for you. Suggested pre-workout snacks include:
- LUNA Bar with a glass of water
- Half a whole wheat bagel with one tablespoon all-natural peanut butter
- One cup of nonfat yogurt with a banana
What to consume during Venus de Miles
When it comes to exercise, carbohydrates are your friend! They energize you so you will perform better and actually enjoy your training. And a variety of replenishing foods paired with hydration will ensure you reach your full potential. A few key guidelines to keep in mind during the event:
- Drink four-to-six ounces of water or sports drink every 15-20 minutes
- Consume 30-60 grams of carbohydrate per hour
- Practice your nutrition plan in training
What to consume after you cross the finish line
As you celebrate completing Venus de Miles and think about just how awesome you are, don't forget to also consider your energy stores. Nutritional replenishment will help you bounce back and avoid a post-event energy dip. Within 30 minutes of crossing the finish line, make sure you consume 100-200 calories in simple carbohydrates (i.e. a banana, energy drink, or glass of 100% juice). Within two hours of your Venus victory, consume a balanced meal of lean protein, complex carbohydrates, quality fats and fruits and vegetables. For example; whole wheat tortilla filled with 4oz white turkey meat, 1-2oz of low fat cheese, half of a sliced avocado, 3-4 tomato slices, and a large handful of spinach. Drizzle with olive oil-based dressing and add a glass of non-fat milk, baked chips, and a bowl of mixed fruit to complete your meal. If you exercise longer than 90-minutes, add some snacks between meals to continue nourishing your body for an additional 4-6 hours. A LUNA Bar makes a great snack, while offering vitamins and minerals like vitamin D, calcium, folic acid, and iron. Also, make sure to re-hydrate during this time to maximize your recovery efforts.