I remember one time when Jeremy McGrath and I were coming back from a long hard workout at the gym, we were driving pass a common fast food burger stand and Jeremy said we could go in there and ruin everything we just did. By now Jeremy knew that not only the training but also the diet was a necessary discipline for performance.
You see, the bottom line of what training actually does is put a stress on your body which triggers an adaptation response. This adaptation response forces your body to adapt to the stress and get stronger. In order to adapt and get stronger it needs all the right building blocks at the right times and in the right combinations, quantities and qualities. This comes from your diet and supplements. If you put a lot of demand on your body by training hard and you don’t have the proper proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fluids for the rebuild you are wasting much of that hard workout. If you didn’t have the proper diet before, during and after a hard workout the benefit and gain may have only been 60% or even less instead of the potential 100%. If you do this over a long period of time you will quickly plateau, go backwards, develop overuse injures and/or get sick. What if you don’t train hard and have a poor diet, well then you better not get on a motocross track.
I guess it’s safe to say that now a days most people know that a good diet has many benefits. I mean what the heck with all the scientific evidence how can one argue. So if not knowing isn’t the problem what is? For most people its probable many things like; procrastination, they’ll start a better diet next week but next week it gets put off to the next week and so on. For other people they don’t want to give up the tasty diet that they’ve gotten use to, these people think it will be too difficult to make a lasting change. Some kid themselves into believing that it doesn’t make that much difference anyway. Still for others it’s a lack of will power and the excuses go on and on. All these people are fooling themselves. They have themselves believing that to change to a high performance diet it would be painful and difficult when in reality their poor diet is causing them more pain and difficulty. Let me explain further.
Our bodies are a complex organism. In reality our body is an ever changing field of energy. It is constantly regenerating itself according to its genetic code. For example every 5 days we have a new stomach lining and every six weeks we have a new liver. This goes on and on down to the last atom in one year. That’s right, science has discovered that through our cells dieing and regenerating new ones we have a brand new body every year. The food we eat not only gives us energy for moving and thinking it also gives us the building blocks that enable our ever changing field of energy to continue to reinvent itself. Sure we can survive without the optimum diet but we cannot strive without it. Without it our bodies and therefore our lives are compromised. We have less energy for mental and physical work and play, we have a compromised immune system and get sick more often; in short we age faster and end up living with chronic health problems. Then most people will fall into the pharmaceutical and medical industry loop seeking their medicated cocktails that can keep people alive longer but cause many side effects and people end up living longer but with a lower quality of life. Its high time people take their health as a personal responsibility and start eating for health and energy and not just for taste bud satisfaction. And you know what, taste bud satisfaction is a learned response and therefore it can be relearned and changed.
For example up to the age of about 15 I really liked sweats but after I learned they were bad for my conditioning I stopped eating them, overall I started eating what I thought was healthy. After a few months every once in a while I would try a sweat drink or snack and didn’t even like the taste of it anymore. If you’re not already on a high performance diet you just need to get on one for a few weeks or so and change your eating habits. Once you do this and pass the test of time it will be easy. You’ve heard of certain aftermarket motorcycle products being referred to as a ‘must have’, well if you want to be a competitive motocross racer a high octane diet is a “must do”.
Referring to the title of this month’s tip “The Big Factor in Your Diet” this paragraph hits that nail right on the head. Intake timing is another important factor regarding nutrition. Most people have it backwards, by eating a light or worse yet no breakfast, a light lunch and then a heavy dinner. By doing this not only is one not getting the fuel they need throughout the day, but they are also making their metabolism slow down and convert carbohydrates into fat for storage. In order to get the full benefits of sleep you should go to bed with an empty stomach. I’m not saying you should go to bed feeling really, really hungry but you should have already eaten enough earlier so you’re food is already digested and left the stomach. The ideal timing intake is a heavy breakfast, a hearty lunch and a moderate early dinner. You can have a nutrious snack between breakfast and lunch and/or between lunch and dinner but don’t snack after dinner. And you should eat dinner 3 to 4 hours before going to sleep. This will give you the fuel when you really need it and allow your body to shut down for a deep sleep at night. You don’t want your body to be digesting a heavy late dinner when it’s trying to shut down for a good hibernation type sleep. Do you know where the word breakfast came from? It means break fast; to break the night’s fasting state. If you’re not used to this type of intake timing it could be difficult at first but you can do it if you’re persistent and make the adjustment gradually. Once you’re body gets used to it you’ll be running on auto pilot. The majority’s habits are not always best; just look around you at the average person’s physic and health. If you want to sore with the eagles you can’t flock with the sparrows.
Following are some meal samples and day and night race diet guidelines.
Some of you may have seen the meal samples chart in my Training and Diet Manual that comes with my MX Conditioning Video or DVD, that is a good one too.
Try not to drink a lot of liquids with meals, unless you’re very dehydrated, especially coffee or tea. They dilute digestive juices. Go easy on margarine, butter, maple syrup, ect.
You should have a good portion of fresh fruit with your breakfast. It’s good to add a ¼ cup of milled flax seed to a glass of juice. Add this to one of the following examples. Note; when eating eggs don’t eat more than two yokes a day, separate the yolks from the white on the other eggs.
1. Oat meal and toast or a good grain cereal and 4 eggs.
2. French toast or pancakes and 4 eggs.
3. Rice and 4 eggs or potatoes and 4 eggs and toast.
Add a salad made from good green lettuce or spinach and some raw vegetables.
1. Salad - Steamed Veggys - Soft Boiled Eggs.
2. Salad - Steamed Veggys - Soft Boiled Eggs - Pasta - bread.
3. Salad - Steamed Veggys – Grilled or broiled Fish
5. Salad - Beans - Rice.
6. Tuna Salad - Soft boiled Eggs - Bread.
7. Salad - Potatoes - Corn or peas with chicken or steak.
8. Salad – Pasta – Bread.
I know it’s difficult to get steamed vegetables so if you can’t get them eat a bigger salad and/or some brown rice or baked potato. I know many times you just have to get fast food or a sandwich, if so make the best nutritional choices available.
Dinner is similar to lunch. If you ate a heavy breakfast and lunch and had a nutritious snack between lunch and dinner you won’t have to eat a huge dinner just a normal one and that’s what you want. You want a relatively empty stomach by the time you go to bed.
You’ll notice that I emphasized salad, steamed veggys, soft boiled eggs, and fish in the lunch and dinner selections. You can have chicken or steak once in a while, but grilled or baked fish is better.
It’s difficult to put all the foods of this list, of course there are many other meal combos and foods you can eat. Just try to get your proteins, carbos and fats from good natural, fresh sources.
As mentioned earlier it’s important to have 4 or 5 small meals a day. The best way to do it is to have three meals a day from the above selections and have one or two smaller meals throughout the day derived from any combination of the above. Fruit and some raw almonds is also a good way to go for your between meal snacks.
If you really do the diet thing right it will still take about two weeks before you can expect to see noticeable benefits. It’s not going to happen in just a few days. So stick to the plan.
HOW TO FUEL UP ON RACE DAY
Eat a good breakfast from the breakfast examples.
Now, for the rest of the day, you want to time your food intake in the longest breaks between practice and each of your motos.
Your next meal or snack could be something like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or some fruit with almonds or a turkey sandwich or some sports nutritional products that you like. Then for the remainder of the day, choose from one of the above as needed.
Remember to stay well hydrated by drinking a lot of water and/or sports drinks. Don't mix sports nutritional products with other food. These products are designed and work best when taken on an empty stomach.
With most of the sports nutritional products, wait at least 40 minutes before or after you eat. With most of the sports energy drinks, wait at least 20 minutes before or after you eat.
These guidelines will keep you fueled up so you have plenty of energy throughout race day and at the same time you'll feel lite and ready for action.
The best food intake for night races is very similar to day races. Now you have time to eat a good breakfast and lunch. Than instead of eating dinner you would eat the same as the day meal plan starting after lunch.
Professional Motocross Trainer
If you're serious about improving your motocross fitness you may be interested in my MX Conditioning DVDs which include a lot of info about nutrition. Feed you body nutrient dense race fuel! Or you may prefer one of our three Instant Access Video On Demand subscriptions.