In Racing Weight Cookbook: Lean, Light Recipes for Athletes ($25, VeloPress), running coach and Outside contributor Matt Fitzgerald returns to his popular, effective approach to performance nutrition. This time, he and coauthor Georgie Fear simplify the advice and offer more than 90 easy-to-make recipes. Here are their recommendations for timing your meals:
Eat carbs early and protein late. In the morning, your glycogen stores are depleted. A good dose of carbs will help you jump-start your day. At night, your body shifts into repair mode and needs protein for proper recovery.
Eat on a consistent schedule. Studies show that people who eat erratically, even if they consume the same number of calories, accumulate more body fat.
Eat at least two hours before exercising. This allows your body ample opportunity to digest and refuel.
Eat immediately after a workout. Carbs restore glycogen, and lean proteins rebuild muscle. Ideally, you should sit down to a meal within 30 minutes of exercising.
It powered Shackleton, Mallory, and Amundsen, and now dehydrated meats are being pressed into energy bars. They’re just as easy to stash in a pack or pocket for a long run or hike, and they’re usually higher in protein. The only bone of con-tention: the taste. You’ll either love it or hate it.
Epic: A mix of meat, nuts, and dried fruit—and that’s about it. This Paleo-inspired snack has something most trail foods lack: omega-3 fatty acids. Available in bison, beef, and turkey. ($8.50 for three bars)
Omnibar: According to Brent Ruby, the physiologist behind Omni, the bars are designed with the precise nutritional balance of complex carbohydrates and protein for optimal energy synthesis. Made from Montana-raised beef, they’re intended for sustained activity—four hours or more. Comes in four flavors, including roasted peanut and mango curry. ($3)
Tanka Bar: A sweeter, softer take on beef jerky. Think organic bison plus cranberries—a recipe based on the Lakota food wasna, a type of pemmican. ($3)