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Fuel With Purpose: Prepare

Our Three-Part System

Honey Stinger’s three-part Prepare, Perform, Recover system is designed to help you perform at your peak. All our products provide targeted support through each stage of activity by giving your body the nutrients it needs most at the time. Fueling your body with the right food and drink prior to exercise gives you energy and strength to perform your best. We sat down with Jamie Meeks, Registered Dietitian and Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, to learn all about preparing for activity. Here's what she had to say.

Fuel With Purpose

First, let’s lay the foundation. Food is fuel, and when related to sports and activity, it’s important to fuel our bodies with a specific purpose. What, when, and how you eat is an around-the-clock deal. Macronutrients—fats, proteins, and carbohydrates—produce energy, build and repair muscle, and support immune health. Each macronutrient plays a critical role in your athletic performance.

Good nutritional preparation has powerful benefits. It means you’ll be able to confidently rely on your speed, power, focus, and decision-making skills. You’re investing in your carefully cultivated skills, and you’re improving your chances of staying healthy and injury free.

Carbs & Hydration

Proper preparation means you appreciate the power of carbohydrates. Carbs are essential to replenishing glycogen, the energy stored in our muscles. Glycogen helps power and fuel our workouts. Proper preparation also means you recognize all hydration is not created equal. Water is a suitable drink, but it may not be the best beverage for hydration. Sports drinks with electrolytes may be required in endurance activities, intense sport events, or warm climates. Sports drinks contain carbohydrates and sodium which help absorption. 

To maximize the results of your training, eat a complete meal containing carbs, protein, and moderate fat two to three hours before you train. If you eat 45–60 minutes prior to your workout, choose foods that are simple to digest and contain mainly carbs and some protein. This will help prevent stomach discomfort during training. Carbohydrates help maximize your body’s glycogen stores for high-intensity exercise. Protein improves muscle protein synthesis, prevents muscle damage, and aids in recovery. Fat is also an energy source and it’s important for immune health.

Some Common Mistakes

If you don’t fuel appropriately before a workout, you’re more likely to experience lack of energy or early onset fatigue. Your body will be more susceptible to dehydration, muscle cramps, heat illness, upset stomach, and GI issues. Some of the most common mistakes include:

  • Experimenting with new fueling options on race day. Eat your first waffle while training for your half marathon instead of on race day. This way, you won’t experience negative side effects related to putting something new into your body.
  • Not eating enough. A lot of us have been taught to count calories and worry about weight gain. We need to shift this paradigm of thinking towards adequate fueling for maximized performance.
  • Relying on caffeine or other stimulants. There’s no substitute for real preparation.
  • Choosing the wrong types of food. Consuming foods high in fat or fiber too close to training or competition can lead to GI upset and take you out of the game unnecessarily.

Have a Plan

The best advice for everyday and elite athletes alike includes having a fuel and hydration plan and being consistent with your plan. Don’t get stuck heading into your workout or competition improperly or under-fueled. Consistency will yield performance benefits and maximal gains. Plus, you’ll feel good and be confident.

Make Honey Stinger’s Prepare products work for you. Our waffles, gluten-free waffles, mini-waffles, and hydration are specifically formulated to be easy to digest and help fuel muscle energy stores. They’re portable and practical for when you’re on-the-go and need convenient, science-based nutrition products to fuel your training. Learn more about the whole Prepare, Perform, Recover™ system here.

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This content is provided by Jamie Meeks, Registered Dietitian, Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, and Sports Dietitian for Professional Athletes.