5 basic tips to optimize your diet before outdoor training

The warm weather, without a doubt, brings on the urge to spring into action and get outside.  Whether your passion is running, cycling, hiking or cardio-strength circuit training, a few basic nutritional tips that will help you to easily optimize your training.

Say NO to training on an empty stomach

So, you love to jog before the sun’s up? Nice! But many make the mistake of setting out on an empty stomach. Running after not eating for almost 10 hours will limit your performance, because your muscles will have to use reserve energy which is taxing on the metabolism. If your appetite is almost non-existent at this hour, you can choose a small snack such as a smoothie and then have breakfast later. The rule applies for the rest of the day as well. If your last meal was consumed more than 3 hours before, a snack is a must!

Bring on the carbs!

We often associate proteins with athletes, but it’s important to note that carbohydrates (sugar) are important ingredients for a good performance. It’s a fact! Carbs are the main energy source for muscles! That’s why you should choose a pre-training snack that will provide your muscles with everything they need: fruit, yogurt, homemade muffin, energy balls or crackers.

Easy to digest pre-training snacks

To avoid digestive discomfort during intense training, you should limit your intake of food high in fat and fibre as they take longer to digest. Fried food, nuts, cheese and raw veggies are therefore to be avoided. Having your snack one hour before training also helps to limit discomfort. However, if you have very little time on hand, the trick is to choose a liquid or puree snack. Apple sauce, yogurt or a small smoothie will go down well!

Hydrate like a pro

In order to prevent dehydration, you should consume 400 to 600 ml of water two hours before training. Even if you're training outdoors, it’s no excuse for leaving your water bottle at home. The best option: a hydration belt! The target should be 150 to 350 ml of water every 15 minutes, according to your personal tolerance level. To hydrate well, try our homemade sports drink recipe! <link to previous content - homemade sports drink>

Optimal recovery

After training, choose a carbohydrate-rich snack to replenish your energy reserves and protein to repair your muscle fibres. It can be a full meal or snack, such as Greek yogurt with berries, cottage cheese on crackers or nuts and dried fruit.

Title of the recipe : The athlete’s omelet

This omelet recipe is the athletes’ favourite! What makes this omelet especially suited for sports is that it has the added boost of carbohydrates provided by the brown rice. You can create your own signature omelet with your choice of veggies or replace the rice with potatoes (skins on), to keep that extra bit of fibre.

To make this omelet quickly in the morning, it’s best to have the brown rice ready the evening before. It tastes even better because the grains of rice have hardened, which improves the texture. You can also cook a larger quantity of brown rice and freeze it in 1/2 cup containers if you wish to make this recipe often.

Recipe category : Breakfast

Annie is a nutritionist, Doctor of Pharmacy and the founder of </998>  Energetic, creative and passionate, she has a unique way of increasing your knowledge of nutrition and of simplifying your diet (in a big way).

Preparation Time :  10 minutes

Cooking Time : 5 minutes (+ the rice-cooking time)

Yield(Number of portions) : 1 omelet

Ingredients : 5 ml (1 tsp) olive oil
                       2 egg whites (or 1 whole egg, yolk and white, beat with a whisk)
                       125 ml (1/2 cup) of brown rice, cooked following package directions
                       1 Italian tomato, seeds removed and diced
                       A handful of fresh spinach chopped
                       Salt and pepper to tast

                       60 g (1/4 cup) grated cheese (optional, if eaten at least an hour before training)
                       Fresh, chopped spinach for garnish

Preparation :  Add oil to a non-stick 23 cm (9 in) fry pan and cook over medium heat. Add the egg mixture. Cook the omelet for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring with a spatula to facilitate cooking.

When the edges of the omelet are almost cooked, and the centre is still slightly moist, add the rice, tomato and spinach to half of the omelet. Add the cheese if desired. Salt and pepper to taste.

Fold the other half of the omelet over the half with the filling. Continue cooking for 2 minutes or until desired texture. Serve with a garnish of fresh, chopped spinach.