How important is eating versus training?
One might argue that when it comes to your overall health, what you eat trumps how you train. What?
Yup. Below is a little math formula I came up with to help illustrate this point:
Fitness = PT * N(2)
PT stands for Physical Training and N stands for nutrition. Notice that I put a “2” above N. This squares that variable to denote it’s importance… whether this holds up in the courts of mathematics and human biology remains to be seen. But for purposes of our little blog post, you get the idea : )
Nutrion is KEY to staying fit - specially when on the road. Check-out PKBs Meal Replacement of CHOICE: Shop Now
So why do so many of us so easily break down when it comes to eating right while traveling?
For starters, I can attest from personal experience that:
Combine all of that into a week or more of home-awayness and you quickly find that just fueling up can be a CHALLENGE, much less fueling up RIGHT.
Below are three tips I’ve found essential to eating right while on the road. Add to this an effective scheduling protocol for your training, and you can suddenly reverse the negative effects that a week or more of travel can have on your training program.
1. Pack a Supplement. Most of us use one variety or another. What you use and why may be the purpose of another blog post (and possibly by somebody with more technical experience). That said, I’ve mostly traveled with protein supplements until recently. I’ve now switched to a whole-food meal replacement.
If you’re traveling where the risk of skipping meals is high, you need more than just protein supplementation.
I first started using Sustained Operations Meal Replacement during a 5-day business trip to Los Angeles. I was in the thick of training for the upcoming Obstacle Course Racing season.
Not far from Santa Monica, I relied on that golden sand to load my PKBs and Brute Force bags and continued my training programming under TrainOC guru James Short. With easy access to miles of beach, pull-up bars and rope climbs, each workout quickly pushed me past a 1,000-calorie burn within the first 45 minutes.
And as the unpredictable mixture of training and travel would have it, I was left to rely solely on TP’s Post Mission supplement for three hours before being able to meet up with Justin and Jason (business partners) for dinner.
It worked. I actually felt as if I'd eaten a small meal. And Post Mission is the recovery recipe not the meal replacement!
A unique blend of electrolytes, carbs and protein, the Post Mission mixed fine inside the JAW (Just Add Water) pouch and tasted better than most, water-mixed supplements I've tried.
A while back, PKB was thinking about coming out with an easy-to-travel meal supplement for the mobile athlete. Now it looks like Tactical Protein has done more than I could have ever hoped for. We’re thinking about offering TP supplements through our website, if this is something that would interest you - let us know in the comments below or via email!
What’s your go-to supplement?
2. Get your Micronutrients. This one is real easy to explain but possibly the most difficult to incorporate.
Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals that most of us forget about but are so important for proper organ function and cellular development. So when traveling, and you’re already having to deal with environment, diet and schedule changes, why not make it a point to EAT EVEN BETTER!
You’ll find that the majority of micronutrients tend to live in dark green, leafy vegetables. How do I eat 'em? A shake!
And as the terms “shake” and “vegetables” may imply, you’re gonna need at least one trip to the grocery store and a blender! Or an organic food store that already prepares something similar.
Here’s what I mix and how:
20 ounces of:
- 2/3 coconut water
- 1/3 water
- 1/2 spinach
- 1/2 kale
1 cup sliced squash
1 cup sliced cucumber
1/2 of an apple
Feel free to play around with the quantities above. Depending on the size of your blender you may need to cut those quantities by half. I pack a small, portable blender (a review coming soon on a potent at-home and on-the-road blender option).
3. Schedule at least Two Meals a day - no exceptions. I put this last because it is the MOST IMPORTANT. You could literally pack your entire refrigerator of the best food but if you don’t eat it - what’s the point?
It is so important to eat as close to your normal, at-home, feeding times. Your body develops a certain rhythm for meal-times and thereby nourishing itself. When you mess with this rhythm, you mess with all sorts of stuff that ultimately affect your digestion, metabolism and energy levels. Training? Forget about it. You’ll be lucky if you can keep yourself functional.
I may be speaking more to those with a set training schedule at home. But even if you don’t have a steady training program, if you can stick to eating meals within certain times of your day, you’ll find that you eat less crap, stay more focused and when you train, you are better fueled!
As always, please feel free to share your experiences with eating right, or wrong, and training when on the road.