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Quick Easy High Carb Meals / Snack

Hey Folks

do you know of or use any Quick n Easy High Carb Meals or snacks to fuel your training ??

I do shift work from 03:00 - 12:00 5 on 3 off roster and im struggling to fuel my training .... and i dont wont to constantly fuel it by Coffee or redbull any more lol

any help would be great and Happy Christmas to you all



  • Cartons of own brand supermarket fruit smoothies are relatively cheap and offer a good amount of carbs/calories in a digestable form, case of how much liquid you can take in your stomach.

    When it comes to meals I would personally go for things like cereals and pasta,rice early in the day breakfast/lunch together with a little protein. I then go for carbs from vegetables together with larger amounts of protein as an early evening meal. I then tend to fuel around my exercises with energy drinks/gels/bars etc...

    What you throw into the equation is getting this sort of structure which makes a lot of sense into a routine which is going through cycles due to your work patterns. Mike what you do not say is work 3.00am to 12 noon, or 3.00pm to 12 midnight? Which way around is it do you train before or after work, this would help with coming up with ideas for integrating you nurition into the day if you see my point.
  • I'd say 0300 is 3am He's gone to the effort of using a 24hr clock format ( shift wo tiers tend to do tha more than non shift workers) .

    That's a grim shift start time.
  • XpiderXpider Posts: 22
    Yup I'm afraid it is an early start ! No rest for the wicked.

    Thanks for your advice LancsRider
  • In that case I would be tempted to make sure you have a good cereal based meal at a normal to slightly late breakfast time 7:00/9:00 on all your days as the basis for your exercise energy. When on shift work top this up with something like a smoothie and together with an energy drink you will be ok for a full training session in the afternoon. Personally I wouldn't go any further prior to a heavy swim session but could get away with a bit more for a bike ride.

    I think the secret then is to have a light protein based evening meal/post session top up. Try and avoid the temptation of feeling hungry and having lots of white startchy carbs in the evening such as white rice/pasta/potatoes. One its not good to sleep on and secondly there is a bodily temptation to lay any excess down as fat which can be counterproductive.

    I think the trick then is to lightly snack on healthy food throughout your day however it is structured. A lot of this needs to be trial and error and find out what works but I think the body does thrive on some structure and at least one meal and in most cases this is breakfast which should be the main meal of the day. I think the reality however is that too many peopel make a dinner the main meal of the day which from a nutritional sense makes no real sense but emotionally it feels like a reward for a days effort and is a difficult habit to break or turn around. An issue like shift work could confuse the situation but as long as you get an opportunity to eat at a normalised breakfast time I can see no real problem.
  • XpiderXpider Posts: 22
    Thanks m8

    It should be GOOD to start fueling my training via proper food instead of Redbull and stimulants and not getting the dreaded bonk every so often.... Bloody shift work will be another challenge tho :roll:

    Thanks again for your advice

  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408

    Food of champions.
  • Xpider I think this post raises a few good general points for people who want to move on in their training. These points have been brought home to me very much over this Christmas period. As you hightlight to a point you can get away with energy drinks here and there and supplementing durring exercise sessions, but there comes a point where this strategy starts to break down and as such it is not just about shift patterns though that magnifies some issues.

    At one level training for an hour or so a day can be done relatively easily on top of an unstructured diet, I suspect the increased calorific demands are taken up by an increased post exercise appetite and we all can get away with it.

    Over the past 18 months I have gone from a relatively lazy lifestyle to one of training for 20 to 25 hours in most weeks. To get through 2 to 3 sessions a day requires an approach which is all about me planning nutrition otherwise I would simply grind to a halt.

    My approach over Christmas has been one off having a good time and simply having a few tick over sessions out running or on the bike trainer. In all honesty I am completely stuffed and my body has struggled to deal with the heavy food and drink associated with Christmas and to be honest part of me can't wait for the fridge and the snacks table to be emptied and I can get back to normal and my training to feel properly fueled again. I know after a few days I will crave these type of foods again, but i have also learnt that my body has changed and I can't cope with them well.

    I am not trying here to take a holier than though attitude rather to point out that serious and reasonable training regimes do need to go hand in hand with a nutritional strategy and this requires structure and sacrifices to an extent. Trying to make imporvements in your training without thinking through this position is fraught with problems and I suspect more so as you get older, I know I can't get away with what i could have 20 years ago.

    With new year training resolutions on the horizon I would quietly suggest that many might be well served in looking at what they put into their bodies first, rather than simply looking to do more work if they want to make performance gains in 2012. Get this part of the jigsaw in place and my personal experience is that building workload can follow on relatively easily.
  • hussler.hussler. Posts: 390
    Why high carb??

    I dont eat high carb meals at all, all they tend to do is spike your insulin levels (regardless of high/low GI) and you will be left feeling hungry again....

    I would advise high protein meal 2-3 hours before training supplemented then with a simple energy drink an hour before training.

    I have 3 rashers of bacon, 2 poached eggs and some mushrooms for breakfast everyday. this is approximately 5-600 cals and high protein/low carb. (excellent if your trying to lose weight as it leaves you feeling full for longer, you wont snack of rubbish later in the day and you dont get the after lunch energy slump/i want to fall asleep feeling).

    Before you all shoot me down etc I race ironman distance and since switching to this high protein/low carb diet my performances/training has gone through the roof. I have knocked 27 mins off my marathon time (3:17 to a 2:50) whilst still maintaining my strength on the bike (sub 60mins for 40k, sub 2hrs for 80k and sub 5hours for IM)

    Regardless of shifts all you do is change your eating pattern to reflect them. If that means you eat breakfast when you would normally eat dinner or lunch then so what?
  • XpiderXpider Posts: 22
    Right... o.k

    I'm going to try both diets. High Carb and high protein and see how my results get on. I'm preferring the protein option purely for the weight advantage. Christmas took its toll.

    Thanks again folks for taking the time to help me. I have cut out met stimulants and I'm fueling through alot more pasta/chicken rice/chicken dishes plus fruit eg banana and apples and porridge with apricots etc


  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    Although I don't work such extreme shifts as a 3am start, I do shift either 0700-14.00 & 14.00- 22.00. It never ceases to amaze me how many folk go home at 10 & eat an evening meal. Again I accept that 3am isn't 7am, but my eating pattern remains pretty much the same regardless of shift, breakfast moves depending on start time, but lunch will always be 13.00 ish, dinner will always be 18.30ish, that way I know I am fuelled for whatever session I am doing, early swim requires juice & go, fruit if I am hungry, breakfast 09.00-10.00, early work juice & fruit before cycling to work & cereal at 08.30-9ish. Evening wise if I finish at 14.00 I swim or bike then snack after & eat dinner at 18.30-19.00.
    I am no ironman & don't train for 20+ hours, I manage 10-12 & take very few supplements..ever.
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