An Endurance Athlete's Sample Diet
Have you asked yourself how many calories should I eat or how many calories of each fuel source should I eat? Well, you won’t find an answer in this article since every body is different and you will need to experiment for with what works best for you. For CHO intake specifically, I would start with a minimum baseline of 150g of CHO per day, and increase as necessary, not at will.
The items listed below represents my daily diet about 2-3 weeks prior to Wildflower (Long Course), when I was training for about 1.5-2 hours a day – sometimes twice a day during the week (early morning swim, mid afternoon run). I generally try to get 50-60% of my calories consumed by 12-1pm.
•3 potatoes and olive oil with salt pepper and spices; slice and dice 3 medium size potatoes, drench in olive oil and spices, and mix thoroughly. Bake at 350 degrees until desired crispiness
•1/8 pound of vegetarian fed ham steak
•1 slice of whole grain bread
•3 tbsp of cashew, almond or sunflower seed butter
•1/3 – ½ cantaloupe or melon
•1 cup regular or decaf coffee
•1 lipoic acid supplement
•1 fish oil supplement
Mid Morning Snack
•3 Handfuls of Trail Mix (peanuts, cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, raisins)
Late Morning/Early Lunch (Stir Fry, or equivalent)
•1/3 cup of brown or wild rice
•2-3 oz of chicken or turkey
•1 bag of frozen vegetables
•All sautéed with 4 tbsp of Olive Oil and/or Butter
•Gigantic Salad: lettuce, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, cucumbers, purple onion, 1/2 of an avocado, squeeze of lime juice
•5 tbsp olive oil
•3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
•Couple dashes of salt and pepper
•3-4 medium size oranges (helps with the mid afternoon slump!)
•Cup of tea (decaf)
•Depending on hunger (not appetite), but generally much smaller than your average American style dinner – a berry shake with some whey protein.
Below is a graphic from fitday.com that shows the breakdown of calories from energy sources for me on a day-to-basis.
The above daily diet represents an ideal day, and is something I can usually make happen about 4-5 days a week. But, I am human, and have weaknesses for certain items like everything bagels, donuts, potato chips, dark chocolate, beer and wine. Dark chocolate, I’d argue, is not that bad for you since it contains plenty of antioxidants, can really satisfy a sweet craving, and is much closer to its natural state than milk chocolate. Wine is also a fairly natural product and also contains anti-oxidants.
You will also notice that I don’t have eggs in my diet. The main reason is that I simply don’t like them. I think eggs are very healthy as they are packed with good protein. If I ate eggs, I would eat the yolk.
As for protein, I don’t eat the recommend 1g/1 lb bodyweight as its “recommended”. The main reason why is because I have a tendency to put on mass easily, and 120g/day keeps me where I need to be. I have considered purchasing some Bragg’s amino acids for a combo food flavoring/recovery supplement since amino acids are really what your body is after in protein for recovery.
Written by Ryan Denner