The Texas heat is here so I want to cut right to the numbers I personally stick to and hope they help you during the hottest parts of the year (now until October essentially).
*** With the 16 points being made I will say if you are not an athlete focused on maximum performance you will likely not need the carbohydrates added to your fluid during the 1-hour group class especially if your goal is to lose bodyfat- you will release plenty of stored glycogen for your workout assuming you are eating a balanced diet throughout the day BUT YOU SHOULD STILL HAVE THE WATER.
****If you complete multiple workout sessions in one day then the added carbohydrates could be a great option. ***
1.) With temperatures above 80 degrees in the open-door gym (KTX) I estimate my fluid loss around 1 liter per hour while coaching and exercising or anything that has me moving around.
2.) #1 has me drinking 4 cups (32 ounces) of water PER HOUR to maintain adequate water levels.
3.) #2 would be near impossible without a water bottle (or 32oz mason jar with a lid 😊 )
4.) Drinking too much water without proper electrolyte and mineral balance can be just as dangerous as not drinking enough water (details below).
5.) To combat #4 becoming an issue I typically add 100mg – 200mg per cup (8oz)
-or- more simply put…
¼ tsp salt per 32oz water in the fall/winter
½ tsp salt per 32 oz during the hot spring/summer/early fall
6.) If you work outside or in a hot warehouse, I recommend the same guidelines.
7.) If you show up to the gym dehydrated in 90+ degree weather and try to do 60 minutes of warm up + workout you are putting yourself at risk but you certainly are not going to maximize your performance output.
8.) Some athletes lose closer to 2 liters per hour… the only way to truly know is to weigh yourself (without a sweaty shirt) before and after the workout. 1 liter of water is roughly 2 pounds.
9.) Minor underhydration (as little as 2% of your total body weight) can cause a measurable decrease in performance. Obviously the greater the % the greater negative impact.
10.) Glycerol could be supplemented to help retention of consumed fluids pre workout… (like before a long workout on a hot summer day). Do more research if you plan to use glycerol… I will discuss this as well as other supplements during the final portion of performance nutrition (supplements) Part 3.
11.) DURING workout sessions (between rest sets – not all at once in the middle of a metcon) Carbohydrates should be added to the fluid at around 5-8% to maximize performance output.
12.) #11 put simply… add 50 grams of simple carbohydrate (glucose/dextrose/ sugar/honey etc.. ) to 32 ounces of water.
13.) Add #5 to #11 = #14
14.) 32 ounces of water + ¼ – ½ tsp salt + 50g simple carb = basic athlete intra workout sports drink formula.
15.) Consume around 8 ounces every 15 minutes but make sure you do not drink a bunch within 15 minutes of the highest intensity workouts.
16.) #15 boils down to if you are training multiple sessions + when those sessions are taking place + what type of session is taking place (high intensity, lifting, cardio, gymnastics, and duration).
❤️❤️❤️My favorite sources of sodium + minerals: ❤️❤️❤️
1.) Irish sea moss (loaded with electrolytes and contains 92 of the 102 minerals… say whaaat! )
2.) Celtic Sea Salt
3.) Colima Salt
4.) Redmond Salt
5.) Pink Himalayan Salt (not as much sodium chloride as the others but extra minerals – some sources are not as clean as others )
6.) Iodized salt
🚨🚨IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS about water/electrolytes/carbs PLEASE LET ME KNOW! I love to help to the best of my ability. 🚨🚨
Today will wrap up the basics of essential macros for performance nutrition.
Just a reminder for those who missed previous posts, this is for athletes eating for performance goals specifically NOT muscle gain, weight loss, or health – just straight up performance.
ESSENTIAL MACROS FOR PERFORMANCE: FATS 🥑🥜🥛
As previously mentioned, after total needed caloric intake has been established, carbohydrate intake is likely the limiting factor in energy for athletes.
Once carbs have been established you will ensure that adequate protein is maintained and hopefully not over-consumed.
This leaves us with the remainder of the calories coming from fats.
👻I have to say it was VERY challenging for me to keep this one simple since fats are farrrrrr from simple. But we will dive deep many moons down the road on advanced fats.
Since the high-performance diet for sport leaves a small amount of wiggle room for fat consumption compared to carbs and protein it is vital to focus on quality fat sources to ensure optimal performance can occur.
Without going crazy on which types of fats and exactly how much of each is ideal (advanced nutrition) I’ll keep it simple and say:
🚨HAVE A BALANCED FATTY ACID MEAL PLAN🚨
1️⃣ Saturated fats – (most animal products/ coconut & palm oils)
2️⃣ Monounsaturated fats – (olive oil, avocado, macadamia nuts)
3️⃣ Polyunsaturated fats- (seeds & most vegetables oils)
It would be very easy to go down rabbit holes of which ones are good/bad/ugly/ etc… at the end of the day for athletes focused on performance (basics)… keep a balanced diet of fats and you will probably be OKAY.
If you log your food and 80% of your daily fat intake is regularly from the same exact food source then maybe raise an eyebrow and get it fixed. (This would typically happen with saturated and polyunsaturated fats). I’ve never encountered an athlete consuming an over abundance of monounsaturated fats on the regular.
It is important for athletes to get the minimum necessary amount of ESSENTIAL fats for these reasons:
1.) Required for normal skin health. ✅
2.) Fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E, & K) must be delivered in a fat package. 💊+🥑+☀️ =✅
3.) Necessary for neural function and growth. 🧠
4.) Improved release of somatotropin (growth hormone). 👍
5.) Reduction of inflammation (unless there is an imbalance). ✅
Higher amounts of omega 3 fatty acids could potentially give the following performance advantages: 🔥🔥
1.) Enhancement of aerobic metabolic processes.
2.) Reduce the ability of red blood cells to congregate (decreasing the change of unwanted blood clots).
On the contrary, too much fat intake is typically associated with REDUCED ATHLETIC performance.
1️⃣ It is very easy to go overboard on fat sources when eating processed foods containing oils.
2️⃣ Excess fat calories can limit the required intake of protein and carbohydrate.
3️⃣ Athletes should note that excess amounts of fat can raise triglycerides and cholesterol levels beyond what would be considered ideal particularly when combined with HIGH AMOUNTS OF CARBOHYDRATES. 🍕🍟🍔 = 😮
^^^ This is usually NOT the case when consuming the same amount of fats on a moderate to low carb diet, which we will discuss in eating for health. High carb does not typically go well with high fat. Carbs and fats are not bros. ❌
When excess fats can help athletic performance: 🤔
1️⃣ When athletes have a hard time sustaining weight even with adequate carb and protein requirements being met (eat more fat). Many times these athletes are called “hard-gainers” or “ectomorphs.”
2️⃣ When athletes need to consume 4,000+ total calories in a day… this can be challenging off primarily carbs and protein. Usually endurance athletes.
Note – doing 4-5 cardio sessions per week does not qualify as an endurance athlete. Endurance athletes are typically 10+ sessions per week and multiple hours per session.
3.) ^ MCT oils could be a great option for “hard-gainers” or athletes who struggle to get in enough total calories because they are easy to consume and can be used strategically for performance aid.
In a nutshell 🥜, I recommend athletes eating for performance to:
1️⃣ Avoid oils, butter, cooking with added fats, and avoid processed foods with added fats when possible.
2️⃣ Get a good portion of the saturated fats from fatty fish like salmon, grass fed meats (better omega 3 balance), or other whole food sources.
3️⃣ Get the remainder of balanced fats from vegetables, nuts (brazil, pecan, walnut, & macadamia), avocados, and hummus (blended sesame seeds).
4️⃣ Avoid HIGH fat meals within 2-3 hours pre workout and 2-3 hours post workout.
This wraps up essential macronutrients for performance (the basics).
Many athletes consider protein to the most important nutrient for success. As discussed previously, I believe carbohydrates are the most important macronutrient for performance and see too many athletes consuming excess protein (beyond what is ideal) leading to limiting the intake of other essential nutrients that are critical to high level performance.
To contradict that point, I also see too many athletes consuming far less than ideal protein, which is generally worse for performance than consuming too much. 🤯
Protein is essential and the right amounts are needed for brain health, muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, hair, nails, hormones, hemoglobin, blood, and much more so it is crucial to get the minimum requirements for performance but also keeping in mind that you will want to stay under the maximum recommended amounts to MAXIMIZE your nutrition plan.
Protein demand for performance is primarily dictated by these 3 factors
1️⃣ Muscle damage created during exercise resulting in increased protein requirements for tissue repair.
2️⃣ The amount of protein used for energy rises as muscle glycogen decreases. (Utilizing proteins for fuel is not ideal). I consider it wasteful, and your body loses excess water in this process as well. This point makes the case for pre and intra workout carbohydrates even more valuable.
3️⃣ Weight of the athlete (most of the world uses KGs… I will use LBs)
🚨🚨The amount of protein required to maintain proper nitrogen balance in performance nutrition should be between .8 and 1 gram per pound of bodyweight and fall between 15-20% of TOTAL daily calories. 🚨🚨
This number is based on the assumption that ideal carbohydrate and fat intake has been achieved. 👍
Circling back to Marisa’s ❤️ numbers.
We have her total daily carbohydrates during performance training cycles at 55-65% total daily calories.
We have her total protein at 15-20% total daily calories.
Her daily average is roughly 1,900 calories at body weight 107 lbs.
Current macro goals:
Carbs – 285 grams (60%) (minimum)
Protein – 85 grams (18%)
Fats – (% will fill in the remainder of calories- which we will discuss in our next post)
Let’s take a moment to hold up because this is going to take a bit of explaining…
Reminder: this series is about PERFORMANCE nutrition. Not gaining muscle, burning fat, building a bigger chest, or fixing your health.
I am aware that most Instagram models, bodybuilders, high school heroes who no longer exercise who know all the answers etc. will have mixed advice on macro amounts. It’s all fun and games until you’re getting smoked at the competition.
In other words… “If you’re eating like an Instagram model you’re going to get smoked at the competition.” 🐒🐒🐒
The main reason behind this is…
🔥 If you are eating more than your bodyweight in protein, I am willing to bet you are not eating enough carbohydrates and likely too much fat to perform at 100% in the sport. 🔥
More muscle does not necessarily mean more strength. I believe many fitness athletes get confused because they follow the advice of bodybuilders (who generally consume more protein than most athletes) and feel like that will help their performance. Strength and power are performance-based goals that requires adequate fuel (carbs) and should not be confused with hypertrophy and eating for aesthetics or “gaining.”
Prioritizing mirror gainz over performance gainz will come in our EATING FOR BODY COMPOSITION discussion.
Lastly, there is an idea that high amounts of protein must be consumed in a magical post workout “anabolic window.” Listen, I know it sounds cool and many people can benefit from protein shakes post workout.
I also believe athletes should consume some protein post workout but the most valuable tool post workout for performance is…. drum roll… glycogen replenishment. Which, as previously discussed will come from carbohydrates and fluids. 🧃💦
Note: I did not make the above statement to deter protein use post workout. I am encouraging athletes focused on performance to consume protein WITH carbohydrates and never alone for enhanced muscle protein synthesis and to replenish depleted glycogen stores.
📝Key notes regarding protein for performance: 📝
1.) 1 gram of protein = 4 calories which is the same as carbohydates per gram.
2.) Protein requirements for those who exercise is nearly double that of sedentary people. The general food recommendations should never be applied for performance nutrition.
3.) The liver is the central processing unit for protein synthesis. If you have elevated liver enzymes on a blood panel, you could research ways to cleanse and improve those numbers to help utilize proteins and for general overall well-being.
4.) Vegan athletes should consider supplementing the essential amino acid L-Leucine as well as many other nutrients we will discuss in the future.
5.) Whey protein and essential amino acid supplements appear to be the highest bioavailable protein sources.
6.) If you would like modern research regarding protein check out the research from Brad Schoenfeld, PhD and “protein expert” Stuart Phillips, PhD and his team at McMaster University.
7.) Consumption of whole eggs promotes greater stimulation of post-exercise muscle protein synthesis than consumption of isonitrogenous amounts of egg whites in young men. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28978542/)