Do You Need to Eat More as an Athlete?

The answer is most likely yes, you need to eat more.

Let me tell you a story about one of my amazing athletes:

When Megan joined PFC, she was very hesitant to incorporate more fuel into her diet. She initially joined PFC in order to lose weight. Her top priority was modifying her body composition to get faster on the field before her summer showcases.

To accomplish this goal, she was avoiding fueling before her early morning training and not refueling properly after training. Why? Because she thought, “These extra calories will make me fat. I”ll be undoing all of the hard work I’m doing during training.”

How wrong she was! Megan’s restriction was actually causing the opposite effect. 

Her underfueling led to intense hunger and cravings throughout the day and at night. This caused her to binge eat, resulting in poor efficiency as an athlete and undesirable body composition. She constantly felt fatigued, would think about food all day, and didn’t know why she wasn’t reaching her goals. 

Effects of chronic underfueling

Does this sound like you? Then keep reading to find out how to fix this!

Not fueling properly before and after training was causing all the symptoms Megan was experiencing. By not giving her body enough fuel, she was running it into the ground. After talking with one of the RBSN sports dietitians through PFC, they set up a fueling plan. Over the next couple of weeks, Megan started incorporating pre-workout fuel before practice and recovering with a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein after training. 

She started to feel more energized during her workouts and wasn’t as sore after her training. Plus she lost 3 lbs of body fat in 4 weeks!

The PFC pre- and post-workout fueling modules showed her how to optimize fueling before training for more energy and how fueling after allowed her to OPTIMIZE recovery. You can reach this too!

Below is a sneak peek of the pre/post-training guidelines you learn about in PFC and what helped Megan reach her goals!

Pre-workout: Aim for 25-50g of carbs 30 min – 1 hour before to help top off glycogen stores and prevent hunger during hard training sessions. If you aren’t used to fueling pre-training, first try something easy to digest like gummies or applesauce.

Post-workout: Fuel with a ratio of 3:1 carbs to protein to replenish glycogen ASAP. Fueling after a workout also helps decrease feelings of soreness, replenish energy stores lost, and helps build muscle getting you towards your body composition goals. You will also want to make you rehydrate with plenty of fluids since you lost a lot of water and electrolytes.

Example of pre- and post-training snacks. Focus on carbohydrates pre-training and a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein post-training.

Eating more can be intimidating. It may sound counterintuitive, especially if you have body composition goals. But as an athlete, your body needs the energy and protein to function at its best. When you underfuel, your metabolism decreases to adjust to the lack of energy and diverts any available energy to necessary functions. This makes it harder to gain strength, speed, and muscle, not to mention lose body fat.

Need some extra guidance? Take your fueling to the next level and apply more pre/post workout fueling tips when you join PFC today. Get started here!

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