I often find that athletes have irrational and unrealistic approaches to fueling and it's now cool to not eat before or during workouts. This needs to change.
The athlete who has always struggled with body image issues is now training for an endurance event and is scared to eat more food.
The athlete who has been wanting to lose weight is now struggling weight weight gain because the athlete feels sport nutrition isn't needed or doesn't understand how to fuel adequately.
The athlete who tells me that weight loss will make him/her faster but the athlete is not consuming home cooked meals or getting adequate sleep.
The underfueling athlete will always underperform. Sadly, athletes get so accustomed to working out with a tired body from lack of consistent restful sleep and a body that is not properly nourished through daily diet and this "normal" feeling will never be fixed by eating restricting carbohydrates, working out on an empty stomach or not consuming sport nutrition during workouts.
If your immune system is compromised from an unhealthy diet, you will lose performance.
If your hormones are disrupted from too much volume, you will lose performance.
If you underfuel during workouts and overfuel throughout the day, you will lose performance.
If your training plan can not be supported by good sleep and a good diet, you will lose performance.
So, do you still want to debate with me and tell me that working out on an empty stomach, restricting sport nutrition during workouts or following a high volume training plan will improve your performance and help you change your body composition?
A well fueled and well trained body performs well. A conditioned athlete will accept training stress much better than a newbie athlete. Athletes must develop overtime and the training/nutrition methods of one athlete will not work for another if the athletes are in two different stages of their development and in life.
There are many lean bodies that can not perform on race day. There are also many undernouished bodies that you never see because the body is too tired, injured or sick to show up to the race. There are many bodies that perform amazingly well but do not fit society's image of an athlete's body.
If you want your body composition to change, it can only do so if you have really great nutritional and training habits on a consistent basis.
Just like any performance-enhancing tip, there will likely be favorable results at the beginning that some athletes experience and for others, poor results that frustrate the disciplined athlete. For athletes, bone loss/osteopenia, menstrual disturbances/hormone issues, amenorrhea (women), injuries, burn out and energy deficiency, result from weeks, months or even years of underfueling.
Could you be underfuling?
-Anxiety/depression with eating
-Feeling fat and inentionally undereating throughout the day and before/during/after workouts
-Feeling obsessed with exercise/training
-Feeling controlled by food
-Always feeling hungry but not satisfying your hunger cues
-Never feeling hungry
-Difficulty concentrating during workouts
-Trouble sleeping, restless sleep (like your brain is awake and won't fall asleep)
-Preoccupation with eating, the scale or with the body image/eating habits of others
-Avoiding social situations relating to food
-Use of diet pills, cleanses, detox systems, energy drinks/pills or laxatives
-Feeling cold, all the time
-Significant weight loss
-Recent weight gain despite extreme calorie restriction and exercising daily
-Muscle cramps, weakness, heavy legs, fatigue