Fueling your Workouts the Right Way!
Hello Paddlers!! Can you believe it’s May!!! This part of the year is always interesting. Some of you are coming from a deep freeze, snow and mostly land/cardio training. Others, like us here in Florida, have been paddling all winter.
Either way, your training should be ramping up, based on your goals. Those from the recently thawed areas will now be adding on water training (more volume ) and those in the warmer states will most likely be ramping things up as you head towards your first or second race of the season, or perhaps a long term goal. In addition, there’s this constant battle of wanting to perform amazing vs looking amazing for beach season In other words, perhaps losing some pounds from the less active winter.
Why do I say battle? And what does all this mean, especially in the way of nutrition?
Most people, when prepping for beach season vs race season, have one goal in mind – to lose weight. In order to do so, a deficit must be created in one form or another, either nutrition intake or increased performance (or a mix of both.) The majority of folks opt for the decrease in calories to ‘cut’ unwanted weight. However, this could negatively affect your performance if you are not fueling properly for your workouts.
Yes, it is possible to cut back on total daily intake and still perform. It is a big math game, and that’s what I’m here for. However, one thing to keep in mind, when cutting back on daily intake, is to make sure you are, at the very least, fueling before, during and after your training sessions. If you don’t, you will severely cut into the quality of your training/performance sessions, which in turn won’t give you the paddle results you are looking for AND will actually hinder your goals of toning up.
How so? See, when you fuel properly for performance, its like putting high octane fuel into a car. It will run smooth, fast and efficient. This will equate to your best performance, time after time, session after session. Better, stronger, faster workouts equals losing fat mass, gaining muscle mass and increasing performance.
On the other hand, if you are running low on fuel and don’t replenish it, eventually you will run out of gas, and come sputtering to a dead stop.
Sometimes when cutting calories, people tend to think its best to workout on little to no calories (??) saying it will ‘“burn fat” (nope). And then continue to either fast after their workout, or intake very minimal amounts of calories. This leads to poor muscle repair, and leaving your ‘“fuel tank” less and less full. Now you go onto the next day, with your unrepaired, unfueled muscles, and try to push harder than the day before.
Guess what? Its not going to work!
You NEED calories for energy. You need energy for great workouts. Calorie intake equals great workouts.
Your muscles’ main source of energy is carbohydrates. These are needed to continue to allow them to function. Without them, your body starts to pull from not just fat but most importantly protein and we don’t want that! Both of these, especially the protein, are not the most ideal types of fuel for our muscles to pull from for energy, especially when weight training and most of our paddle training sessions (as they are typically only an hour or so in length at this point in the season.) We need those carbs.
The point in all of this? To remind you that, yes it is beach/racing season, but cutting calories improperly and not fueling for your workouts is not the most efficient way to lose those unwanted pounds AND perform at your best.
Just a little “coming into the season/summer” tip!