Through my work with Feed Athletes, these are the three fueling changes that I use in my daily routine, and I have shared most often with our athletes with great success.
Most athletes use the same hydration day in and day out when they should be matching their hydration to the length and intensity of their workout.
Here is my cheat sheet for what hydration I use during different types of workouts:
Your workout is less than 60 minutes.
Here you want to use low-calorie hydration. You are just looking for electrolytes. My favorite is Nuun Sport + Caffeine. It keeps the calories low, gives me the electrolytes I need and an extra boost of caffeine.
Your workout is over 60 minutes, but low to medium intensity.
For these type of workouts, I still want to keep my calories in check. My go-to is Skratch Hydration (Lemon-Lime is the most popular, but my favorite flavor is Passion Fruit).
Your workout is over 60 minutes and is medium to hard intensity.
Here I want maximum energy so I can maintain the quality of my training until the very end. Maurten is my drink mix of choice. Use Maurten 320 for maximum workout energy.
The most common mistake I see is people lining up on the start line and sucking down a gel before a long workout. Please don't do this.
Once you start with quick energy (gels or chews), you have to keep using it every 20 to 30 minutes until you finish your workout or your energy levels will crash... and you will bonk.
My rule of thumb is to save gels and chews for the last hour or last 50% of my workout. I then start with chews (2 individual chews) every 15 to 20 minutes. If I need a boost, I will add in a gel (Maurten Gel is ideal here). If I want some caffeine, I will use Clif Bloks with Caffeine.
The key to making training progress is to overload yourself, recover, then do it again. But the key to overloading is that you need to recover between each session hard session so you can go hard again. Your primary goal should be to reduce inflammation between sessions.
Here is my primary "recovery" routine.
1) 🍒 🍒 Reduce Inflammation every morning with Tart Cherry. It is like nature's version of Advil. I take two pills every day to stay on top of inflammation.
2) 💆♀️Pressure points. Before bed, I take 10 minutes with the AcuMobility Ball on my calves and my quads. It will release tension in your muscle, quick start overnight recovery, and help you sleep better.
3) 🌿 CBD Drops and Lotion. While CBD might not be for everyone, it has become my number one recovery solution. I primarily use Floyd's Arnica + CBD Balm on my knees and back. It is an incredible tool to use plant-based medicine to reduce inflammation and speed up your recovery.