Jon Morrison BSc (Hons) PINES |
Sports Nutrition Lecturer & British Champion Inline Speed Skater
A lot of the time we take our home comforts for granted, well more specifically the continuity that routine gives us. It allows for more control over what we eat and in turn the ability to positively work on meeting our nutritional goals, goals that can sometimes make or break your next big performance.
It makes sense to put in place some strategies to ensure that when we’re on the go, we’re ready TO go.
Here are my top 3 to help keep on the road to success!
Tip #1 Pack Practical, Portable Prep!
The first thing to consider is when prepping food, that its:
1) Easy to pack.
2) Is portable enough for wherever you are.
3) Is practical to eat.
The first point is simple enough, make sure that you have the storage space for all your nutritional items. For me personally, I have a separate bag which contains my race day food – that way I know that the entire bag can be prepped with everything I need from main meals to energy snacks without compromising my competition bag, which is often filled with spare clothes, racing suit and my skates.
Portability is important, i.e can It be taken in a tub? How big is the meal? Does it need any special requirements? (such as cold storage or needing to be out of sunlight) and can it be eaten at the venue? Lastly is it practical?
Sure it may seem like a good idea to put a whole chicken in a bag, but think about whether it’s easy to eat on a train, the coach or in the car? When your shattered from a race or a hard workout, the last thing you want is a fiddly meal that you will struggle to eat properly!
Tip #2 Bulk buy and strategically hide
Everyone should aim for a balanced diet, eating a range of foods rich in the essential nutrients necessary for health, but you already know this. This is your starting point, the very foundation for which your nutritional plan should be built on. However, this is not always the easiest thing to maintain if you’re constantly on the move!
My 2nd recommendation is to bulk buy when you can, buying the best quality and longest lasting foods that you can afford (bars, gels, packaged snacks…) and then place them in several locations.
Here are a few common ones:
✓ Car (glove compartment, boot.)
✓ Sports Bag.
✓ Desk at work.
✓ Locker at Sports Club/Gym.
✓ Jacket pocket (inside pocket.)
The aim is to have a food option available when travelling, to avoid ‘delayed eating’ that may interfere with your fuelling or recovery strategies. For example, I have a few training venues myself – one of them is 2 minutes from my flat, another is 45 minutes to an hour drive away.
The latter could mean that traffic increases the time spent away from my next meal, but the snacks stored in my car would mean that I can still take on board nutrients for recovery and repair should I spend too much time behind the wheel.
Tip #3 Know your environment beforehand!
The beauty of the modern world and all its technological advancements mean that we’re always in a position to gain information on anything we want. Specifically for the travelling athlete, knowledge of the area you’re in is essential to choosing a healthy option that’s nearby.
It doesn’t matter where you are travelling, it could be your routine trip to work or away at a competition – using the internet to look up food options will be vital to making an informed choice before you get there. This will also help reduce the stress that making a decision on the spot can sometimes bring, and of course most restaurants have their menu available online for you to look through.
Take Home Message
That’s my top 3! Follow on my Instagram (@jonmorrison8) for further tips – hopefully these points help you to eat better when travelling.
Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.