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Benefits of Using Nutrition in Training

Benefits of Using Nutrition in Training

The nutritional needs of a athlete vary from person to person, due to factors like bodyweight and composition, and duration and intensity of activity. Getting the correct nutrition can benefit everyone. Improved performance, reduced risk of injury and illness, and faster recovery times are all benefits of using correct nutrition. So, using nutrition as part of your training should be a no brainer.

When thinking about your training nutrition the key things to focus on are carbs, protein, and hydration. These are crucial to a training diet and have many benefits.

We will discuss the natural food sources you might get these nutrients from and point you in the direction of some of our products that can help.

Carbohydrates:

Embrace the carbs! Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose and are the body's main source of energy, fuelling the brain and muscles during exercise, especially for long-distance and endurance sports. This makes them a macronutrient meaning they’re one of the nutrients your body needs the most of.

Learn about What are Micro and Macro Nutrients? and how our bodies need them to function and grow.

Once consumed, carbs are stored in the muscles and liver in the form of glycogen. However, glycogen stores are limited and when depleted you may start to feel tired/fatigued. Therefore, it is important to load up on carbs before a race or training session to make sure your glycogen stores are topped up from the beginning.

Some foods that contain carbs are:

  • Pasta (wholewheat)
  • Rice (wholegrain)
  • Baked potato
  • Couscous
  • Bread
  • Bananas
  • Oatcakes

Eating a high carb meal before training or racing will make sure you set off on top form. But remember to leave at least 2 hours between eating and exercising to give your body time to absorb all the key nutrients from your food.

If you’re going to be exercising for over an hour it can also be helpful to use in race fuelling in the form of energy products such as energy drinks, energy gels, energy chews, and energy bars during your activity. These contain carbohydrates that will give you the energy boost you need to keep going.

Protein:

As well as carbohydrates, consuming protein is also beneficial during training periods as part of your recovery routine.

Protein aids your recovery by:

  • Reducing muscle soreness
  • Promoting muscle repair and growth.

It is also reported to boost glycogen storage.

However, a lot of foods that are high in protein can also be high in fat, meaning that over consumption can lead to excess weight gain. While you are training, it is good to make sure that you’re consuming low fat protein.

Some foods that contain protein are:

  • Grilled Meat
  • Grilled Fish
  • Canned Fish
  • Baked beans
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Cheese

As well as natural food sources you can also incorporate protein into your diet through protein recovery drinks and recovery bars. These are ideal for aiding your recovery after a race or training session. They combine carbs and protein to help you refuel.

Hydration:

What are Electrolytes? Sodium, Potassium and Magnesium are all common electrolytes essential to keeping your body hydrated.

Often when you’re training you can become dehydrated. This is because when we exercise, we lose electrolytes like sodium through our sweat. Especially in higher temperatures.

Dehydration can lead to you feeling nauseas, dizzy and tired. So, it is important to make sure you keep your electrolytes topped up while you work out.

The obvious choice for hydration is water but sometimes water alone isn’t enough, and it can be highly beneficial to take electrolyte tablets or other hydration products for intense exercise sessions.

View our full range of hydration products here and discover your new favourites.

See: The Art of Staying Hydrated During Workouts

The Importance of Planning.

Don’t underestimate the importance of planning and practicing your nutrition routine. Especially if you have a big event coming up, you’ll want to have your nutrition plan down at least a few weeks before so you have time to practice with the same nutrition you will use on the day. Never leave it until race day to try something new! 

Take a look at our nutrition guides, and plan your nutrition!
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