By Ashley Lauretta

There are just so many things that go into training. If training and racing isn’t your job, trying to fit it all into your everyday schedule can feel impossible. Proper nutrition can sometimes fall by the wayside during training, and according to Chris Toriggino, the head coach and founder of Athlete Architecture, there are two reasons for this; time and physiology.

“Simply put, time is a precious commodity and often it feels like there is not enough time to fit everything in to the day,” explains Toriggino. “Due to this, many athletes do not put a high priority on nutrition—nor do they understand the significance of a proper nutrition plan and how it affects future performance.”

The physiology portion plays tricks on an athlete’s mind and Toriggino notes this is due to appetite suppression of the hunger hormone, ghrelin, that occurs post-workout.

“Even though the athlete may not feel hungry post workout, it is vital that he or she re-fuel within 15 minutes of workout completion to optimize recovery and fitness gains.”

In order to keep up with proper nutrition with a busy schedule, athletes should put just as much effort into scheduling a weekly nutrition strategy as they plan the swim, bike and run training.
“A good nutrition plan begins at the supermarket,” notes Toriggino. “Creating a shopping list and purchasing high-quality food has a trickle down effect, enabling the athlete to make proper food choices from their pantry and, ultimately, from their plate.”
If you have good-quality foods in your house, it is easier to optimally fuel your body. He adds that your shopping and meal preparation should be done on a rest day or a light training day to maximize efficiency.
If nothing else, however, Toriggino tells his athletes that refueling immediately after a long training session or especially intense interval session is essential.
“Studies show that the refueling window—the time that your muscles and liver are most apt to optimally absorb carbohydrates—is within 15 min after exercise,” he stresses. “Interestingly, this window shuts down significantly within 30 minutes. By refueling within 15 minutes of exercise completion, the athlete is initiating the recovery process and prepping themselves for the next training session.”
He shares that a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein in the form of a shake is an ideal post workout nutrition strategy. Setting aside these ingredients before your training for the day is the easiest way to ensure you quickly and efficiently get in your nutrition post-workout.
A key part of that post-workout nutrition is aiding recovery, which can be achieved with supplements, as well.
“If athletes use supplements in their diet, they should focus on convenient protein choices and branched chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, valine) supplementation,” adds Toriggino. “High-quality hemp protein powder added to a post-workout recovery shake is ideal and an easy way to incorporate a complete protein into your diet.  In addition, high grade BCAA’s have been shown to aid in recovery and are a smart supplement choice during high training volumes associated with IRONMAN preparation.”