An underlying principle of endurance nutrition: Eating protein and fat in foods signals your body to burn fat. Carbohydrates, especially simple carbohydrates in food, signal your body to burn sugar (glucose).
Here are a few guidelines to follow:
- Eat 100-200 calories within 30 minutes of getting up in the morning with protein in your food (fat is fine if it comes along) to tell your newly awakened body that it’s time to burn fat for the day. (For example a handful of almonds or other nuts is quick, easy and healthy.)
- Eat protein in every meal and snack to keep the signal going all day. I am not recommending a high protein diet, but rather that your protein consumption be spread out through all your meals. Don’t eat doughnuts and bagels with jelly for breakfast and consume all your daily protein at dinner with a 16 oz. steak.
- After exercise drink a recovery drink within 20 minutes of exercise. A recovery drink should be 40% protein calories and 60% carbohydrate calories. A recovery drink only needs to be 200 calories.
- Use a recovery drink that works of your digestion:
The amount of protein you need will vary both with the amount of exercise you do and age.