Nutrition for Sports Performance Part 1: What to eat before you train

Are you training for a competition or upcoming event? A lot of people will spend hours and hours training their body but not become as fast, strong or powerful as what they have potential to be.

Healthy athlete swimming, training for event

What happens when you train?

There are 3 key phases your body will progress through when you are in training (see image below):

  1. The training session: When you train your body is put under stress. By the end of the session your body is in a worse off position than it was before you started the session – you’re fatigued, have higher inflammation, muscle fibers are torn apart etc.

  2. Recovery: Your body then transitions into recovery mode trying its best to get back to its functional and balanced self.

  3. Adaptation: Once we have recovered, our bodies then go into adaptive mode. We’ve just been placed under a lot of stress and our body grows to become more efficient under that same stimulus so that there is less stress on the body next time. In this adaptation phase your body becomes faster, stronger, more powerful etc so that the next time you train, that stimulus will produce less stress.

(For more information on specific changes to your muscle cells see Nutrition for Sports Performance Part 3).