You Are What You Eat

by David Segal
CPFT., ACE., AFAA., PFIT.

You are what you eat

Because we all ride, race or workout at different times, the following suggestions should be incorporated into your training regimen as you consider the time of day that you will perform.

Training for riding calls for an understanding of the benefit that the proper foods can do for your energy levels and body strength. If you live on sodas and fried foods, over time you will become fat and listless. It will be too easy to lay on the sofa, playing Motocross Madness and eating chips. However, if you eat a hearty breakfast a good lunch and a healthy dinner with some mid morning and mid afternoon snacks you will be full of energy, eager to ride or ready to do a killer weight workout. Adding several glasses of water during the day will leave you less likely to overeat since you will feel fuller.

First thing, in the morning get a good breakfast inside you to give you sustained energy and muscle-building reserves for the next several hours. Nothing beats a couple of eggs, a slice or two of Canadian bacon and a slice of whole wheat toast. Cook your eggs (or low cholesterol egg beaters) in non-stick spray Pam. Add a half a grapefruit which is believed to be effective in burning fat and a good source of vitamin C. Add a cup of coffee. The caffeine will give you an energy boost and aid in burning extra fat during exercise. An hour or so before a ride or workout you will need some high carb foods to get you through a tough workout. A bowl of cereal such as Grape Nuts or even a cup of oatmeal will do just the job. Don’t stop at your local fast food joint on the way to the track, it will sit in your stomach like a ton of bricks.

Toss an energy bar into your workout bag. Look for one with high protein (20 grams or more) and some good carbs. Its ok to go high on the carbs at this time – up to 40 grams and don’t worry about the 250 plus calories in the bar. If your workout is tough your body will appreciate these supplements.

Following a workout – within an hour after you finish you will need to consume some foods to replace the energy you have used. This 1 hour period is important as studies have shown that your body metabolizes (digests/processes) food most effectively and economically during this time. Gatorade, a banana, or fruit juices will give you almost instant recovery. If your workout included muscle building exercises go for some high protein foods to feed your muscles for growth such as a can of tuna, cottage cheese or even a protein shake. A cheap effective source of protein can also be found in eggs. You can hard boil them and snack on them.

One meal during the day should be you main meal. This should be your major source of energy and body building foods. A good 6 oz. non-fatty steak with a sweet potato and a plate full of salad will satisfy your hunger and trim your waistline. Other options include fish (grilled not fried), chicken (baked not fried), mountains of salad (watch the quantity of dressing). Is there a message here?

Because, we are what we eat.