Are you wondering how to celebrate Halloween but can also stay on track with your fueling plan? Many athletes in our Sports Nutrition Coaching Program (the Performance Fueling Club) came to me with questions and concerns about fueling on Halloween this week. They were very stressed about the “temptation” of all the Halloween candy and how eating some would be “detrimental” to their goals.
First of all, this is not true! Enjoying Halloween is not going to result missing your performance results. But there is a way to approach it so you feel confident going into the holiday.
Here are 3 simple and easy sports nutrition tips that I shared in this week’s athlete’s sessions. After our talk, our athletes felt confident and understood how to fuel properly going into Halloween this weekend. I wanted to share them with you so you can feel the same!
1. Fuel like An Athlete
No skipping meals to have candy. Fueling with full meals and practicing the Performance Plate Method will ensure you are getting your six essential nutrients. If you train on Halloween, you still need to fuel like the athlete you are! My Sports RD recommendation is 3-4 meals with lean protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats and fruit/veggies.
Don’t skip meals or fueling yourself to have candy. This will leave you under-fueled and with poor energy levels on the field!
Your focus should still be fueling your body like the top level athlete you are. This isn’t meant to be restrictive but remember, you can have things you enjoy (or some candy) every single day! Candy is not only restricted to Halloween. Candy and things you love/enjoy can be a part of your fueling plan. I actually recommend it! Including foods you love into your fueling plan will help with sustainability and compliance.
2. Don’t Skip Post-Workout Fuel!
Post-workout fuel is still essential to help recover and repair the muscles after training. After training you want a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein to maximize muscle protein synthesis and recovery. You should not be skipping this since you will have candy later. As an elite that is training on a daily basis, your body needs to take advantage of the important post training re-building period of time.
3. Halloween Candy for Pre-Workout Fuel?
A pre-workout fueling top off of 30-60 grams of carbohydrates can help increase energy during training and this could be an excellent way to incorporate a Halloween treat. I recommend a candy that is pure carbohydrate (sugar) to help top off your stored carbohydrates. Try Swedish fish, Starburst, or Sour Patch kids.
If you decide to stick to your normal pre-workout fuel, you can still enjoy your candy! I recommend having some Halloween candy as a treat with friends and family. Having a couple of your favorite pieces with friends and family will help you enjoy the holiday and stay on track with your fueling plan.
If you have more questions about fueling or you are concerned about fueling over the holidays, apply for sports nutrition coaching today! I help elite female level athletes maximize their performance with easy and simple nutrition. I help you with the basics as well as hydration, game day fueling, cycle syncing and more!