Pursuit of a Passion: Week 4- The Forgotten Art of Fueling for Workouts

Soccer Mom Active Fitness

The previous Kick It Like Mom article Unlocking Your Potential talked about how much focus we put on our children’s potential rather than on our own and asked the question: What can we accomplish when we focus on improving ourselves rather than just doing?

I’ve set out on a 6 -week journey to find out. I’m attending a comprehensive Women’s Soccer Academy put on by Pro Skills Soccer and professional players Keelin Winters and Dani Foxhoven of the Seattle Reign FC. The course guarantees you’ll leave a stronger overall player and athlete. Can this 30-something soccer mom still learn some new tricks in the sport I love or should I leave well enough alone? I’ll be sharing what I learn!

Week 4

“Dear lord where did my 25 year old self go?” ~Me

Last week I had a wisdom tooth taken out and was couch bound. No physical activity allowed.

This week I’m off the couch and ready for action but a week behind in my Pro Skills Soccer training course.

In just 2 weeks we have a final assessment of our skills to measure how much we have improved throughout the course as an overall soccer player. I’m determined to get everything I can out of the training and losing a week of practice has put me behind in achieving my goal. The course requires 3 additional training sessions each week on top of the 2 games I play which was already hard enough to balance. Now to catch up and double the amount of training?

My motivation is high but I’m most concerned about how my body will stand up to the test.

I’ve only recently been able to admit that my body doesn’t bounce back from physical activity the way it used too. Maybe it’s because I run after a 2 year old all day or because I’m in my 6th year of being 29 years old. Regardless, there are too many mornings after a game that I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck- completely wiped out and too sore to move. I drag myself (literally) out of bed groaning, “Why God Why?!”

Running and sport ankle sprain injury

Since having a baby one thing that has fallen by the wayside is making sure my body is properly fueled for games and workouts. I spend most of my day trying to get a toddler to eat leaving just enough time for me to grab whatever is left over. Not the best way to ensure top game performance or a quick recovery after.

In order to cram in twice the amount training this week I need my muscles to recover quickly to get back out there the next day. The key will be to fuel my body for the increased activity levels. For peak energy, performance and muscle recovery proper fueling is essential.

At a very high level, the best way to fuel your body for your workout depends on the intensity level and duration. Carbohydrates are stored in muscles as glycogen and are used for energy first, then fats and proteins are used. The higher the intensity of your workout, the more carbs (glycogen) that are used. The longer the duration, the more likely your glycogen stores will be used up and fat and protein will be used.

Going into your workout or competition with low glycogen stores can cause early fatigue a reduced intensity, an increased risk of injury and a slower muscle recovery.

For a quick recovery it is vital to start refueling as soon as possible after exercise. This helps top up your glycogen stores and repair muscles. This is often a forgotten step but becomes even more important as you get older.

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How much and what type of carbohydrates to take in depends on many factors including your fitness level, intensity and type of workout and type of carb. I won’t get into the science (good resources are listed below) but have laid out a basic timeline and menu of options for fueling for a game day or training session.

Breakfast or Lunch (Stock up on Carbs, topping up glycogen stores)

3-4 hours before training session or game

  • Bagel
  • Oatmeal with honey & blueberries
  • Banana
  • Pasta with tomato sauce
  • Baked potato with low-fat topping

Pre-Game (Carbs for increased energy)

1-2 hours before training session or game

Post-Game (Carbs & Protein to replenish glycogen stores & repair muscle)

Within 30 minutes after training session or game

  • Chocolate Milk
  • Protein shake or smoothie

As I work thorough my week of increased training, paying attention to fueling my body has helped. I’m sure my daughter appreciates that it doesn’t take me 15 minutes to drag my sorry, sore self out of bed to get her in the morning. That is a win-win in this active family!

What are your favorite foods for fueling? Leave a Comment!

Other resources:

“Sports Nutrition for Women” by Anita Bean

What Every Athlete Should Know About Nutrition & Fueling Your Body: Z Girls Blog

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2 Comments on “Pursuit of a Passion: Week 4- The Forgotten Art of Fueling for Workouts

  1. Pingback: Pursuit of a Passion: Week 5- Support: The Key to Success | kickitlikemom

  2. Pingback: A Mom, Her Soccer Ball and Going After a Goal | kickitlikemom

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