Dinner Timing

Knowing what to eat and when

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Time is of the essence when it comes to eating.     Photo: BrAt82/Shutterstock.com

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.

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