Nutrition : Eat strategically to climb better !
Performance Climbing Nutrition is essential. Find the best nutrition to improve your performance in climbing. To delay muscle fatigue and be more efficient !
Does your climbing performance vary from day to day? Do you send hard only to feel like a wet rag the next time out? Do you feel a constant need to snack to avoid getting “hangry” or crave coffee to battle a midday crash? The biggest gains in climbing come when your energy level is consistently high. This allows you to climb stronger, longer, and more frequently.
Nutrition and strategic eating optimizes energy levels and strength. And minimizes recovery time. After years of climbing , experimenting on myself and others climbers, a four-week program of strategic eating for active outdoor lifestyles, I developed these strategies to help you eat your way to “next-level” performance.
Nutrition, step 1: Eat Balanced Meals
Eating balanced meals and snacks will stabilize your energy at a high level, even out your appetite, and prevent midday crashes. Balancing meals and snacks means that every time you eat, you’re ingesting some form of carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
These are your body’s main fuel source—the gas that gets the car running. Carbs break down in your digestive tract to glucose, your body’s most readily available fuel, which then passes into your blood to fire cellular activity. How quickly you absorb glucose depends on the type of carb you eat. Both types come in refined (processed) and unrefined (whole) forms. Unrefined simple and complex carbohydrates are best: The easiest way to know how a carbohydrate is going to act is to eat it in its natural, unrefined state, as Mother Nature intended.
Simple carbohydrates: These are the quickest source of fuel and the most easily digested. Because of this, your blood sugar will spike and crash rapidly. A simple carb is like trying to keep a bonfire going all night with newspaper, leaving you with short bursts of flames. Some examples of unrefined simple carbs include honey, molasses, and maple syrup, while refined simple carbs include cane sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.
Complex carbohydrates: These have a carbohydrate structure that is harder to break down and usually present with fiber; therefore, they’re slower to digest, giving a steady, more gradually increased and decreased supply of glucose to the blood. Complex carbohydrates are a slow-burning log that gives off better heat and requires less maintenance. Some examples of unrefined complex carbs include most vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds, while refined complex carbs often come in the form of breads, pasta, and baked goods.
The protein structure is a chain of amino acids that your body breaks down and uses for different functions. The main function of protein in climbing is to aid in rebuilding muscle tissue after exercise. So, if carbohydrates are the gas for the car, protein is the mechanic repairing and rebuilding damaged parts at a pit stop. Animal proteins such as meat, poultry, eggs, and cheese are the best for repairing muscle tissues. Vegetarian proteins such as tempeh, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds can also provide adequate repairing power if eaten together in a diverse diet.
The main function of fat is to slow digestion, to keep you full and control the rate at which you use your carbohydrate fuel. If carbs are the gas and protein is the mechanic, then fat is the brake pedal. Eating fat will slow down the digestion of both simple and complex carbohydrates. Some examples of good fats include avocado, nuts, olives, coconut, and butter.
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