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Nutrition and All Out Mayhem: Fueling for The Challenge

Optimize your performance during this year's seven-day challenge using these nutrition tips before, during, or after your workout

By Alyssa Morlacci
4 minutes

Whether you’re competing for a speed PR or the bragging rights that come with completing a grueling week of workouts, properly nourishing your body during All Out Mayhem week is imperative.

The seven-day fitness challenge, starting May 21, is designed to push you to your limits. And for the first time ever, not only will Orange 60s be included in All Out Mayhem, but so will other class options such as Lift 45 and Orangetheory Live.

Dr. Rachelle Reed, Orangetheory’s senior director of science and research, Kim Plessel, a registered dietitian and Orangetheory Medical Advisory Board member, and Jay Patruno, a registered dietitian and Orangetheory’s Nutrition Strategist, have provided nutrition tips to help you fuel more effectively during All Out Mayhem week.

“The best time to work out is the time you’ll adhere to,” says Reed, so the following nutrition information tackles three key timeframes surrounding workouts – focusing on pre-, peri-, and post-workout.

But first, let’s review 3 key nutrition concepts:

1. Protein and Meal Spacing: Consuming protein consistently throughout the day, starting with breakfast, will promote your fitness goals (whether they’re to gain muscle or lose weight) and help you stay satiated between meals, Plessel says. “I recommend striving for 4 eating events with enough protein, spaced throughout your day,” says Patruno. “20-40g of protein at each eating event,” says Patruno, will set you up for success.

Further, The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggest waiting four to six hours after eating a meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) to work out; incorporating a light snack 30 to 60 minutes before you start moving; and consuming a high-protein meal or snack as soon as possible during recovery.

2. Hydration: Hydration is the most important, yet often overlooked, part of a healthy diet. It’s also the “key to maximizing your athletic performance,” Plessel says. Patruno adds that sipping water throughout the day, aiming for 17-20 ounces every 2-3 hours, can help you maintain a balanced hydration status.

3. Protein, Fat and Carbs All Play a Role: Rather than restricting any one macronutrient, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests that all macronutrients play a role in helping you fuel appropriately for performance. “For example, adequate carbohydrate intake can help you minimize feelings of fatigue during and after your Mayhem workouts,” explains Patruno.

If you feel fatigued, chances are you need to up your carbohydrate intake. Plessel suggests finding an amount that works for you, somewhere between 30 to 50 grams per meal, derived from healthy options like sweet potatoes, fruit or quinoa.

 

Pre-Workout Recommendations

Hydration is a priority pre-workout; “by the time you’re thirsty, you may be dehydrated,” Patruno says. The National Athletic Trainer’s Association recommends consuming 7-10 ounces of water right before exercise. 

Low energy? Having a pre-workout snack can help combat fatigue. In accordance with the International Society of Sports Nutrition, Plessel suggests having 20 to 25 grams of carbohydrates and 5 to 10 grams of protein. This combo will increase carbohydrate availability while minimizing muscle damage. Steer clear of foods that are high in fiber and fat in order to minimize any gastrointestinal distress during exercise.

 Pre-Workout Fuel Ideas:

  •  Fruit with string cheese or a small amount of nut butter.
  • Quarter of your post-recovery shake or fruit/yogurt smoothie.
  •  Small protein pancake.
  •  Low-fat breakfast bar.
  •  A banana with some yogurt.
  •  Half of a turkey and cheese sandwich.

 

Recommendations for during your Mayhem Workouts:

During an Orangetheory workout, you should drink 6 to 12 fluid ounces every 10 to 15 minutes. The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition recommends sticking to water if you’re working out for less than an hour. But if you’re a heavy sweater or are training for longer durations and opt for a sports drink, the Orangetheory Medical Advisory Board suggests finding an option that contains less than 36 grams of carbohydrates per 20 fluid ounces, less than 270 milligrams of sodium, and no artificial sugar, fat or heavy protein.

 

Post-Workout Recovery

Protein is especially important during recovery, so the International Society of Sports Nutrition says to have a snack or meal with about 20-40 grams of high-quality protein within an hour or two after your workout.

Should you use a protein powder? Whey protein isolate gets into the blood much more quickly than natural proteins because it contains the amino acid leucine. Still, other quality proteins, like milk, eggs, beef and chicken — or for vegans, tofu, soy or pea isolate based protein powder, and chickpeas — are also ideal recovery options.

Post-Workout Fuel Ideas:

  • Ascent Recovery Water, followed by a balanced meal once showered and back to your routine.
  •  Scoop of whey protein (or, for vegetarians and vegans, a soy or pea protein isolate such as Ascent Protein’s Plant-based Protein powders) shaken with water or almond milk, and a piece of fruit.
  • Recovery smoothie blended with protein isolate, fruit and coconut water (for natural electrolytes).
  •  Bowl of oatmeal topped with fruit, seeds, and Greek yogurt or protein isolate.
  • Chocolate milk with  ½ peanut butter sandwich.

Are you ready for All Out Mayhem? Register now for $15 on the mobile app or at your local studio.

About the Author:

Alyssa Morlacci is a Los Angeles-based journalist who covers lifestyle, wellness and travel for publications like Los Angeles Magazine, LALA Magazine, Time Out, Here Magazine, Gulfshore Life, Flamingo Magazine, and more. She is also the digital editor at Malibu Magazine and EatSmarter.com.