Do you ever feel sluggish or bloated during travel trips? If so, you aren’t alone. Many athletes I work with do!
I help many athletes plan for fueling during domestic and international travel. GI discomfort, bloating, and cramping during travel are some of the most common challenges I see with athletes. Many athletes are confused about why they feel so different when traveling for competition compared to when being at home.
Let’s dive into why this might happen and how you can change your travel fueling plan to maximize your performance.
My number one recommendation is to figure out how to mimic your current fueling routine at home. Consistency is KEY for your body. Let me show you an example of what I mean.
Many high school and college athletes often survive on grazing on snacks between their class and training schedules. Full meals are not often a priority and may be challenging to eat because of time restrictions.
But now on the road, you are eating three full meals with the team. Maybe you are even eating a big hotel breakfast when you are used to skipping it at home. If you are not used to eating full meals, this is going to be a shock to your GI. Introducing new foods or a new fueling plan can leave you bloated and sluggish.
So how do we correct this? Skip eating breakfast?
Nope! If you are here, you know better than that!
I recommend reviewing your Practice Day Fueling Foundation to build healthy habits you can mimic on the road. Athletes in the Performance Fueling Club follow the Performance Plate Method (PPM) to build a strong fueling foundation at home that is easy to replicate when traveling.
The PPM is a simple approach to sports nutrition that is replicable for home or away games. Snacking is important but you need to eat full meals!
Starting your days off with regular meal timing following the PPM will help to establish a consistent eating pattern. I recommend 3-4 meals a day following the Practice Day Plate.
I also recommend examining your food choices when you are on the road. Are you choosing or eating foods that you fuel with at home? If you eat oatmeal or peanut butter toast every morning, are you eating that on the road? Or are you eating an omelet with pancakes? Just because we are on the road does not mean we need to utilize or view food differently. You should always aim to fuel your body in the best way possible!
So to wrap it all up, fueling on the go is hard but it does not have to be. You can use the Performance Plate Method to learn how to build daily habits that are replicable on the road.
I can help you do this in the Performance Fueling Club program. This on-demand sports nutrition coaching program helps athletes learn the basics of sports nutrition and shows you how to modify fueling based on practice, game, or rest day. The program combines Sports Dietitian coaching and on-demand resources so you always feel supported in your journey. Join today!