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Fuel your body during All Out Mayhem week with tips from nutrition experts

Reach your ultimate potential during this year's six-day challenge using a meal plan approved by nutritionists and doctors to boost energy and promote results.

By Alyssa Morlacci
4 minutes

Whether you’re competing for a Splat Points 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 six-day fitness challenge, starting May 26, is designed to push you to your limits. And for the first time ever, the annual competition will be available through the online training platform Orangetheory At Home™, where members and nonmembers can access the daily challenging workouts led by virtual coaches.

Dr. Rachelle Reed, Orangetheory’s global director of fitness science, and Kim Plessel, a registered dietitian and Orangetheory Medical Advisory Board member, have created a nutrition plan that will give you the fuel you’ll need during All Out Mayhem week.

The following nutritional guidelines are designed for a late-afternoon workout, but they can be rearranged to fit an early morning, midday or evening exercise routine. As Reed says, “The best time to work out is the time you’ll adhere to.”

As you configure this plan to fit your schedule, timing will be important. The International Society of Sports Nutrition and 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.

Hydration

There’s a reason hydration is first — it’s the most important, yet often overlooked, part of a healthy diet. It’s also the “key to maximizing your athletic performance,” Plessel says.

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 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.

Breakfast

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.

Meal Ideas:

  • Smoothie made with high-fiber fruit (like apples, bananas, oranges and strawberries), a leafy green, yogurt or protein powder, and flaxseed.
  • Bowl of oatmeal or breakfast quinoa with fruit and nuts, topped with plain Greek yogurt or stir-in protein powder.
  • Eggs served with a vegetable hash that includes sweet potatoes or winter squash for potassium-rich carbohydrates.

Lunch

Carbs tend to get a bad rap, especially when weight loss is the goal. But Reed stresses that “you need enough carbohydrates to keep up with the demands during All Out Mayhem week.” 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, derived from healthy options like sweet potatoes, fruit or quinoa.

Meal Ideas

  • Colorful salad with poultry or fish (edamame or tofu for vegetarians) as well as avocado and pepita seeds, which are nutrient-rich fats.
  • Quinoa bowls with a choice of protein and vegetables.
  • High-fiber wrap.

*These meals can be repeated post-recovery as dinner options.

Pre-Workout Snack

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.

Meal 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.

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 grams of protein as soon as possible after your workout.

Should you use a protein powder? A 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, oatmeal, sunflower seeds and chickpeas — are also ideal recovery options.

Meal Ideas:

  • Scoop of whey protein (or, for vegetarians and vegans, a soy or pea protein isolate) 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 yogurt or protein isolate.
  • Chocolate milk with sunflower seeds or almonds.

To access All Out Mayhem classes online, go to OrangetheoryAtHome.com, and to purchase your All Out Mayhem Hat, head over to ShopOrangetheory.com

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.