When you’re looking to eat to maximize your endurance gains you just can’t eat like regular people.
We are sure that you already know that; if you want to achieve something above the ordinary, then you have to eat, sleep, act and most importantly think above the ordinary.
Eating for maximum endurance gains is a very different thing than the masses do. You can’t eat unconsciously. You’ll have to eat with a purpose in mind
Disclaimer: We are not dispensing medical advice. Please seek the advice of counsel of your nutritionally educated health care practitioner prior to any exercise or dietary changes.
First Things First
One of the rules you’ll need to put into place is that you really must eat whole natural foods.
Sure you can get ok results in the short term eating fast food, soda, candy, packaged foods and the like. But, any serious long term results are going to have to have whole natural foods as their base.
A couple of examples that will illustrate the differences between whole foods and garbage are:
- Don’t eat a fast food burger and fries where the burger may not even be real meat, the bun is less nutritious that cardboard and the fries were cooked in grease loaded with antibiotics.
Instead have a hamburger patty at home with a bowl of oatmeal.
- Don’t eat a bowl of sugar blast off breakfast junk in a bowl covered with coagulated moo juice.
Do eat a bowl of muesli with the milk substituted with a whey shake poured over it.
- Don’t eat fast food or a TV dinner.
Instead have a piece of real chicken, a salad and a baked yam.
The above are just a few examples that you can use. If you don’t like a particular food we mentioned then don’t eat it. Substitute that food for a whole natural food that you do like instead.
How Much To Eat
To do this properly we will have to break this down into two sections.
How To Determine exactly How Many Calories You Need
To get the proper amount of calories as an endurance athlete you need to eat for a week without gaining or losing any weight while performing your normal training protocols.
If you’re losing weight, eat a little more until you’re not. If you’re gaining weight eat a little less until you’re not.
The reason no one can tell you the exact amount of calories that you need is that your training, duration, intensity, sleep, metabolism and more are different that other people’s. You’re not some cookie cutter, fit into a box, one size fits all type of a person. You have to set the food quantity you require. No one else can do that for you.
So, just monitor everything you eat for a week and you should be good to go. If you need two weeks to get it down then take two weeks. It’s not a timed event, so no worries here.
What Macro Nutrient Profile Will Be Best
Macro nutrients are your protein, fats and carbohydrates (carbs). In contrast micro nutrients are your vitamins, minerals and other nutrients you need in very small quantities.
The macro nutrient profile to stick with for at least a week to see how you do with it is; 60/20/20.
That is to say that your total calories should come from 60% carbohydrates, 20% from protein and 20% from the fats naturally found in your foods.
This will supply sufficient energy to fuel your training while providing for your muscles, organs and other tissues.
If you’re an ultra distance runner, cyclist or other sport participant then you may wish to adjust your macros just a bit. The reason is, training for 100 mile runs is different than even an insane trainer would be training for.
Here you should start with and adjust a macro nutrient ratio of 80/10/10.
That’s 80% carbohydrates, 10% from protein and 10% from the fats naturally found in your foods.
The reason is you’re not looking to carry much muscle. You’re looking at how to be as light as possible to carry less weight on those long runs or rides. You need more fuel to burn during training and nothing is cleaner burning that carbohydrates.
Give these a go depending upon your needs. You’ll find that they are pretty close. You may need to adjust them just a little to best fit your requirements, but, that’s pretty easy to do.
As an example: if you’re doing 60/20/20 and find you don’t have enough energy just switch it to 70/20/10 or 70% carbohydrates, 20% from protein and 10% from the fats naturally found in your foods.
This should give you that extra fuel ratio boost that you need and rocket you towards success.
If you’re interested in eating for maximum muscle gains please see our article called: How To Eat For Maximum Muscle Gains