The benefits of maintaining a semi-detailed diet log during training can be numerous and often outweigh the tedium of keeping a diary. Most importantly, understanding your macro-nutritional composition carbohydrate/ protein / fat and how this is suitably matched with your activity level and training sessions (simply taken from your Training Peaks calendar) through dietary analysis. This can be particularly relevant for athletes looking to lose fat and/ or build lean mass. Careful appraisal of daily intake allows controlled weight loss or gain based on personal characteristics and parameters to make the whole process much simpler. When trying to lose weight we are really trying to lose fat mass. On the other hand, when trying to gain weight we are generally talking about gaining muscle mass.
For instance, truly objective dietary awareness is difficult as we become locked into eating what we think is a diverse and healthy balance for our daily requirements. However, if we are training in a phase with high intensity intervals (which may rely heavily on anaerobic capacity) and our diet has a large fat component, our carbohydrate metabolism and glycogen storage in the liver and muscles will become restricted, performance will suffer and fat loss/ oxidation is suppressed. Fat metabolism generally is too slow to create enough ATP for intense exercise, although below threshold power we aim to improve the maximal rate of fat metabolism.
Nutritional analysis which allows us to quantitate whether we have the right fuel mixture, at each phase in training, so that we are not limiting our training through inadequate nutrition is a commonly over-looked aspect of performance. Meal composition helps prevent loss of mucle and gain of fat, with an adequate training programme. Deeper analysis into macro- and micro-nutrients can provide excellent feedback for not only Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) but actual personal requirements for training and suggested meal plans to help achieve objectives faster!
A sample analysis report is offered within each phase of the personalised periodisation programmes provided. A single week of dietary intake is needed for each phase of training, making sure precious training time isnt bogged down with paperwork! Otherwise a stand-alone analysis can be performed upon request.