By Sergi Bonillo, Food and Beverage manager at Academia Sánchez-Casal, Barcelona.
When, what, how and how much we eat powerfully affects our energy levels and, as a result, also our performance and productivity. We must be aware of what we eat, but if we want to go one step further, we must also eat with strategy.
To maintain our energy levels, we must have a snack every 3-4 hours after each main meal. Then, we should not wait more than 2 hours after a snack to have another main meal.
This strategy prevents our metabolism from slowing down and provides an appropriate level of glucose to the blood in order to keep our cells working at the best level of performance. Having an eating strategy also prevents a decrease in muscle mass.
Therefore, at Academia Sánchez-Casal, we establish 3 main intakes per day: breakfast, lunch and dinner, which are alternated with 2 strategic snacks called “Energy Points”. The Energy Points contain solids and liquids to help maintain our student-athletes energy levels high.
The solid foods we offer in our Energy Point are usually fruit, vitamin and protein energy bars, nuts and, occasionally, non-industrial pastries. All these products are carefully selected and meet the high nutritional requirements that our nutrition department establishes, even when they are processed foods. Processed foods that are selected contain whole grains, do not have hydrogenated fats, and have the lowest possible amount of preservatives and chemical elements.
In the liquid food category, we offer whey protein shakes (Whey 00) mixed with chocolate and / or fresh fruit and skimmed milk. For our youngest student-athletes, we offer isotonic drinks composed of minerals, carbohydrates and vitamins, which help them to replenish energy levels after a hard workout. This type of drink not only hydrates but also supplies energy. At Sánchez-Casal, we only offer products from leading sports nutrition companies, who can guarantee both professionalism and rigor in the quality of their products.
Nourish yourself to perform at your best level
It is important to know when to eat each meal or snack, and remember that breakfast is one of the main meals, as eating early in the morning helps metabolism to activate and produce energy. By eating a good breakfast, we can focus and be mentally alert for longer periods of time. Breakfast should always contain the 3 macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
Throughout the morning, we must use strategic snacks to maintain energy levels and increase nutritional intake. A snack will also be necessary in the afternoon, after lunch.
Lunches and dinners should be part of a balanced daily diet, which strategically distributes the consumption of carbohydrates, protein and fats appropriately according to the specific needs of each person.
Food and Beverage manager at Academia Sánchez-Casal Barcelona