Sports Nutrition Energy Needs

The body needs regular energy in order to perform at the highest levels physically and mentally. Eating a balanced diet is the first step to unlocking your best performance but additional energy, timed right for exercise, is required to fuel your workout and recovery. Proper sports nutrition will help you feel your best before and after exercise while aiding in a quick, strong recovery. Do you account for your sports nutrition needs?

Use this chart to determine your sports nutrition energy needs.

Total Exercise Time

 Before Exercise

During Exercise

After Exercise

30-60 min of exercise

100-150 calories, 30 min pre-exercise

NA

Eat 250–300 calories within two hours

60-90 min of exercise

200-250 calories, 45-60 min pre-exercise

100-250 calories per hour

Eat 300–400 calories with 4:1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio

90-120 min of exercise

300 calories, 60-75 min pre-exercise

100-250 calories per hour

Eat 300–400 calories with 4:1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio

Use this chart to adjust your meal timing to best accommodate your exercise session.

Morning Exerciser

Afternoon Exerciser

Evening Exerciser

Exercise session is around 6:30 a.m.: Exercise session is around 1 p.m.: If your exercise session is around 6 p.m.:
6 A.M. Eat a light snack, or drink a glass of juice8 A.M. Time for breakfast, Don’t skimp: Aim for 30 percent of your daily calorie intake at this meal, and balance carbs with protein12 P.M. Lunch

4 P.M. Snack

8 P.M. Dinner

7 A.M. Eat a carb-rich breakfast like fruit with oatmeal or whole-grain bagel10 A.M. Snack: Eat a 200-calo­rie yogurt or energy bar1:30 P.M. Protein-rich lunch

5 P.M. Small snack

8 P.M. Dinner

 

7 A.M. Breakfast11 A.M. Early lunch that’s rich in carbs3 P.M. Late lunch

5 P.M. Light snack

8 P.M. Protein-rich dinner