What is Nutrient Timing & What Are the Benefits?

What is Nutrient Timing & What Are the Benefits?

Posted by Sydney Bollinger on

ZOZOFIT knows that, for most people, hardly anything is more important than ensuring your body is getting the right amount of fuel to perform well during your chosen sport. Whether you’re a distance runner or weightlifter, planning nutrition and focusing on nutrient timing reaps many benefits for your performance and your health. 

What is Nutrient Timing? 

Nutrient timing is knowing when — and what — to eat, focusing on specific times and foods that can both fuel and replenish your body before, during, and after a workout session. 

All fitness enthusiasts and athletes can benefit from nutrient timing, but it does involve the work of figuring out what your body needs. Nutrient timing isn’t as simple as making sure you eat something before your run or just that you drink a sports drink to replenish electrolytes after a hard workout. 

With nutrient timing, you are focusing on fueling your body with what it needs to perform well, which places a big focus on the body’s overall health. Not all foods are the same, though, and nutrient timing is often focused specifically on carb replenishment or protein intake. Endurance athletes also need to focus on replenishing electrolytes after long hours of exercise. 

Healthy Vegetables
When doing nutrient timing, it's important to make sure you're getting a healthy mix of good foods that support your wellness goals.

What Should I Eat? 

Before you begin with nutrient timing, think about your normal workouts and what kind of nutrition would most benefit you. This will be different for everyone, depending on their level of activity and fitness goals.

Regardless, definitely think about eating before a workout. A good rule of thumb is to focus on carbohydrates since your body burns carbohydrates for energy. If you schedule most of your workouts in the morning, starting the day with a bowl of oatmeal or peanut butter toast, as well as a protein-rich food like greek yogurt or eggs might be good options. 

During a workout, especially if you are planning on a workout longer than one hour, you will want to consider some during-workout nutrition to give your body more much-needed carbohydrates and electrolytes. There are many options for during workout-nutrition, but gels, stroopwafels, and gummies are all very popular, but good options. 

If you need nutrition during your workout, you will need to time it to optimize your performance. After all, this is what nutrient timing is all about! Many nutrition brands have their own guidelines, but it’s better to learn exactly what you need to keep going. 

No two people are the same, so it’s difficult to base what is best for you based on the experience of a different athlete or your gym buddy. Also, some types of nutrition may be more effective for you than others. For example, some people do well with gels, but others prefer stroopwafels, and still others prefer having a couple protein bars on hand to refuel. 

For hydration during a workout, choose a dedicated sports drink like Gatorade Endurance, Skratch, or Tailwind to replenish electrolytes. These drinks are optimized to help you perform better. 

Consuming the right nutrients within 30 minutes after a workout can jumpstart your recovery. Most trainers recommend a protein shake, which can give you both a boost of protein and carbohydrates. Don’t forget to hydrate with water, either! 

Listen to Your Body 

As you begin nutrient timing, pay attention to the signals your body sends. Are there moments when you feel like running the next three miles is grueling or that you begin to get an upset stomach? These are signs that something is wrong. 

Maybe you need more than one gel per hour or you’re intaking too much. Test out different types of nutrition and different time intervals until you find something that works for you. 

If you are an athlete who races or takes part in competitions, make sure you have your nutrition timing down to a science before the big day. You never want to be trying something new the day of a competition. 

What are the Benefits? 

One of the biggest benefits to keeping your body fueled and ready for activity is that you are less likely to run the risk of becoming depleted. When your body is worn out, you are more likely to become injured, whether a strain, sprain, or even a stress fracture. 

Additionally, nutrient timing can optimize your performance by keeping your body fueled. That means it’s easier to keep going and continue improving your fitness. 

Nutrient timing also has huge benefits on recovery. Through nutrient timing, you can enhance your recovery, as well as muscle tissue repair. This means that nutrient timing isn’t something that starts and stops with one workout. Understanding nutrient timing will help you build a fit and healthy lifestyle where you are optimizing your fuel to then optimize your fitness. 

How to Start Nutrient Timing

The more you can follow your own nutrient timing, the more benefits you will see in muscle gain, fat loss, and increase in your endurance. This means that you also want to ensure you don’t aim for something too difficult right away. 

As with most new habits, start small. For example, begin incorporating a recovery protein drink after your workouts. Once that is built into your workout routine, then think about carb-load days before the workout or the best during-activity nutrition for you. 

Watch Nutrient Timing Work For You

Whenever you introduce something new into your fitness routine, you will want to track and see how this new thing has impacted your overall fitness. 

After incorporating nutrient timing, put on your ZOZOSUIT and see how ZOZOFIT can show you the difference in your body, whether it be muscle gains or body fat loss. ZOZOFIT takes accurate body measurements with 3D body scanning technology to give you real-time results and insight on your fitness. 

Body measurements are one of the best ways to see the physical results your fitness routine may have on your body, especially because scales are often inaccurate and can be difficult to derive results from.

Overtime, you can compare your measurements, which makes it easy to track specific focus areas. ZOZOFIT will be a welcome addition to your fitness tracking arsenal. 

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