How much fluid should you drink during training? What should you eat and when? Here are a few tips on how to eat correctly during training.
Perspiration cools the body
During sport, you lose more water by sweating than the approx. 2 litres you should drink every day anyway. Therefore, you need to drink more to restore your water balance.
The heat generated by the exertion can be released through sweating. An athlete loses about 580 kcal of heat through the evaporation of 1 litre of water. Interesting fact: A trained athlete produces more sweat than an untrained athlete (2 to 3 l more per hour).
Our water balance
We already lose water every day without doing any sport. Per day:
- approx. 0.5 l through the skin
- approx. 0.4 l through breathing
- approx. 1 l through urine
- approx. 0.1 l via stool
Therefore, an 80 kg man requires approximately 2 litres of water a day. On average, we cover 2/3 of this requirement with drinks and 1/3 with food.
Basic rules for eating before training
- Top up your batteries with carbohydrates
- You can have an easily digestible carbohydrate-rich snack 1 to 2 hours before training.
- You should eat your last big main meal 3 hours before training.
- Find out what works best for you. Some people can train optimally if they have a snack just before training; others cannot eat anything up to 2 hours before training as it is too difficult to digest and sits too heavily in their stomach as a result.
- Drink water or mineral water when you feel thirsty. You should have a minimum of 1.5 to 2 litres daily.
Light snack suggestions
- 1 portion of fruit like a banana, apple or orange
- 1 piece of bread with honey or jam
- 1 muesli bar
- 1 yoghurt drink, milk drink, yoghurt or mixed muesli with milk
- 1 half handful of “Biberli” (gingerbread biscuits), “Basler Leckerli” (traditional hard, spiced biscuits from Basel), “Nussstängeli” (hazelnut biscuits), rice cakes
Basic rules for eating during training
Training for 45 to 60 minutes
- It is best to have your favourite cool, non-energy drink (15–20 °C).
- Only small amounts of water are recommended, so drink in sips.
- It only makes sense to consume additional carbohydrates if you are planning to complete several shorter training sessions on the same day or over the next few days.
Training for 1 to 1.5 hours
- It is best to have a cool drink (15–20 °C) and drink it in sips.
- The drink should have a carbohydrate content of approximately 6–8% (100 ml contains 6–8 g carbohydrates) and also be isotonic or hypotonic.
- If you wish to practise long-lasting endurance sports over a period of 60–90 min., you definitely need a mid-training snack which staves off the effects of fatigue and also increases performance. Consume 30–60 g of carbohydrates every hour to prevent a drop in performance.
- Drink when you feel thirsty, on average 100 to 200 ml every 15–20 minutes.
Sports drink recipe (during training)
- 1 litre of water
- 30 g of syrup
- 30–40 g of maltodextrin
- 2 pinches of cooking salt (1.5 g)
- Lemon juice to taste
Basic rules for eating after training:
- Start filling the energy reserve 15 to 30 minutes after exercise at the latest. Timing is key here as your body is particularly efficient at building muscle using protein shortly after intense exercise.
- Add protein: Protein is important because it repairs and builds muscles.
- Eat carbohydrates. They are important as they replenish your carbohydrate reserves after exercise: If you exclude them, the body uses protein as an energy source, which in turn is detrimental to muscle building.
- Limit your fat intake as this hampers the absorption of protein.
- Drink plenty of fluid.
Possible meals after training:
- 1 portion of home-made berry milk (see recipe below)
- 180 g of yoghurt, 1 bread roll and 300 ml of sports drink
- 1–2 boiled eggs with crispbread and a portion of fruit
Berry milk recipe (invigorating post-training drink)
- 300 ml of milk
- 150 g of berries (strawberries, raspberries or blueberries)
- A squeeze of lemon juice
- 1–3 teaspoons of sugar
- 2 pinches of salt