Demystifying Sports Nutrition

  • By Sabrina Grotewold
  • Published Jul. 8, 2013
  • Updated Oct. 1, 2013 at 6:45 AM UTC
A diet that is laden with antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables will slow the aging process and its effects on performance. Photo: Scott Draper/Competitor

When To Eat

“In the U.S., the message is perverted: three square meals, no snacking and nothing after dinner because it’ll make you fat,” says Benardot. “But your blood sugar doesn’t know what time it is.”

More from Fueling Optimally: When Is As Important As What

Benardot believes the French do it right. They have a light breakfast, drop into a café around 10:30 a.m. for a croissant, eat lunch, have a light meal or snack in the late afternoon, then eat a relatively small dinner at 10 p.m. before going to bed. Eating and drinking episodically stabilizes blood sugar; when glucose, the primary fuel for the brain, drops too low, the hormone cortisol is produced to break down muscle mass so that alanine, an amino acid, can be converted to glucose. “Blood sugar fluxes every three hours, so to not burn your lean muscle mass and keep cortisol at bay, it makes a lot of sense never to let yourself get hungry,” says Benardot.

« PreviousNext »

FILED UNDER: Inside The Magazine / Nutrition / Recovery TAGS: / / / / / / /

Sabrina Grotewold

Sabrina Grotewold

Sabrina Grotewold is runner and editor based in southern California. Christened the Kitchen MacGyver by her husband, she’s determined to persuade people to eat their veggies.

Get our best running content delivered to your inbox

Subscribe to the FREE Competitor Running weekly newsletter