Lately I’ve had an even more intentional focus on nutrition in regards to refueling. Mondays have become a crazy, long day filled with workouts and being active. As a result, I quickly learned just how big of a difference properly refueling makes. My “pre-fuel” for breakfast includes oatmeal with milk, crunchy peanut butter, and raisins. This leaves me feeling full for a while and also gives me a bit of a protein boost with my carbs.
Mondays look a bit like the following… I get a swim and run in at the Y and try to be done by 10:30 so I have some recovery time. As soon as I get home, I have my first snack. I get playtime with the kiddos, lunch, and then I hop on my bike on the trainer during naptime. Once I am done biking, I have another snack. Then I head into school to lift with my student athletes from 3:30-4:30. Even though it’s getting close to suppertime when I get home, I often will have a third snack at this time. I make supper, and then sometime between 6-9pm, we play in a volleyball league for 45 minutes to 1.5 hours if it’s a double-header. And yes, after I get home I often have yet another snack.
Let me first clarify – these snacks rarely take the form of crackers, chips, cookies, etc. I know Mondays are a really long day, and I need to be intentional about what I put into my body because I KNOW it WILL affect the way that I feel and perform later in the day and even the days afterward. My first long Monday, I didn’t hardly snack, and I felt my body slow down and become sluggish as the day progressed. Another time, my snacks didn’t consist of the best choices, and it was evident that my body suffered from that as well.
When it comes to refueling, I try to take in the 3-4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein that science has shown to be the optimal ratio. Carbs are to replenish the depleted glycogen stores that your body uses as energy, and protein is for repairing and rebuilding the muscles that were taxed. The simplest way to get this ideal ratio is of course through chocolate milk, which is why it is the ideal recovery beverage. Other foods that I have also incorporated into my snacking are the following: Greek yogurt (adding granola will up the carb amount), banana with crunchy peanut butter, and apple slices with crunchy peanut butter. I have a “thing” for crunchy peanut butter lately. ;) Fortunately, just 2 TBSP of it has 7 grams of protein. As soon as I added in all of the healthy snacks with carbs and protein in them, my body felt better faster and my performance didn’t take such a beating.
I could simply tell you what science has been saying all along when it comes to refueling, carbs and protein, chocolate milk, etc, or I could tell you my personal experience. Don’t minimize the affect that nutrition and refueling has on your body because it is most likely bigger than you realize! Refuel properly so you can keep on playing!