Are you Feeding or Fueling?
What’s the Difference?
Eating the right foods at the right time allows runners to train, compete, and recover. Runners who simply focus on feeding tend to make nutrition choices that are inconsistent, poorly timed and high in fat and sugar, all choices that lead to poor performance.
Runners who focus on fueling make nutrition choices that are consistent with the energy demands of their sport. Planning daily intake for training and recovery considers timing, quality and quantity of food and fluid intake. All of these factors set the table for peak performance.
Check the boxes below that describe your pattern of nutrition for most days. Are you a runner that feeds or fuels your training?
|Feeding is:||Fueling is:|
|▢ Inconsistent food intake (skipping meals, fluids).||▢ Consistent food intake (regular meals, snacks and fluids) throughout the day.|
|▢ Eating on the run (pun intended) i.e. quickly in a short period of time.||▢ Taking time to sit down and have meals and snacks.|
|▢ Eating most of your calories at the end of the day (I call this back-loading calories).||▢ Eating every 3-4 hours – distributing calories from morning to night to meet energy needs for exercise and recovery afterwards.|
|▢ Being passive or reactive. Based on “what’s easy” and “what happens to be available.”||▢ Being pro-active and mindful. Includes eating a balance of what you need to eat and what you like to eat.|
|▢ Skipping meals and snacks before and after exercise.||▢ Eating meals and snacks that are timed to meet energy needs before and after exercise.|
|▢ Not eating enough or eating too much to meet energy demands of training.||▢ Eating a variety of wholesome foods, in appropriate amounts, to meet the energy demands of training.|
|▢ Eating highly processed foods that contain lots of sugar, heart unhealthy saturated fats.||▢ Having whole-grains, moderate amounts of protein, and heart healthy sources of fat.|
|▢ Having a limited amount of veggies & fruit.||▢ Including a variety of veggies & fruit (I call this eating the colors of the rainbow).|
|▢ Drinking water/sports drink only when thirsty.||▢ Drinking water/sport drink on a schedule before, during, and after exercise regardless of thirst.|