Performance Nutrition 101

May 4, 2022 | Nutrition & Diet

Whether you are a competitive lifter or someone who takes their training and performance seriously, it’s important to prioritise diet. You want to make sure you are eating to optimise both performances in the gym and recovery outside of the gym.

Nutritional requirements for athletes are different compared to the general population that might do light exercise for 30-40 minutes each day. 


Performance Nutrition 101

1. Hydration

HydrationWe are going to start with this one as it is often overlooked. Being properly hydrated increases both performance and cognitive function. 

It’s difficult to prescribe individual hydration requirements due to differences in sweat rate, training environment, working conditions, etc. 

However, a good rule of thumb is to pay attention to urine colour. If urine is generally clear throughout the day, you know you are well hydrated. If it’s darker in colour, that’s an indicator to drink more. 


2. Protein Intake

Protein intakeThis one is more well known. It’s well established in the fitness industry that adequate protein intake is required for muscle building. 

Aim for 1.8 – 2.2g per kg of body weight per day. The frequency and quality of protein are also important. Aim to spread protein across 4 – 6 meals/snacks per day. Choose quality protein sources such as lean meat, eggs, egg whites, whey protein, etc. 


3. Carbohydrate Intake

Carbohydrate intakeWhile protein intake remains relatively constant and spread evenly through the day, carbohydrate intake can vary.

This is to manage both performance and body composition. It’s not uncommon to consume higher amounts of carbs on heavy training days compared to rest days. 

It’s important to time carbohydrate intake around training sessions, even including intra workout carbs, to ensure that performance stays high. 


4. Periodise Nutrition 

Periodise nutritionPiggybacking off the carbohydrates and changes in requirements based on training intensities, it’s important to periodise nutrition to correlate with periodisation in programming.

Just as programming has periods of higher intensities, volumes, deloads, nutrition can be the same.

It’s important to periodise nutrition to maximize periods of muscle building, fat loss, and performance.

As discussed, carbohydrate intake fluctuates the most, with protein and fat intake remaining more constant. 

5. Fruit and Veg Intake

Fruit and veg intakeLast, but definitely not least is fruit and veg intake. If you are a competitive athlete or someone that takes training seriously, you should be exceeding the recommended daily requirements.

Getting a variety of fruit and veg means you are hitting all your micronutrient requirements. This supports general health and immunity. Making sure you stay well and injury-free means fewer opportunities to disrupt training.

The best thing to do is to pick the easiest thing that you know you can improve on. Start there until it becomes part of your daily routine, then start working on the next area of improvement.

If you want help with diet to make sure you are feeling your best and strongest, Nemesis Performance offers personal nutrition coaching.