Nutrition and Hydration Cheat Sheet


Based on the expertise of Purple Patch Founder, Matt Dixon and Sports Nutritionist, Kyla Channell, the Nutrition and Hydration Cheat Sheet helps time-starved athletes create fundamental nutrition and fueling habits which ultimately build adaptations, reduce stress, decrease injury risk, and increase daily energy.   What began as several conversations on Purple Patch Podcast, Matt and Kyla are providing this cheat sheet to help you optimize your nutrition and hydration in performance and daily life.  If you're interested in learning more, consider a personal and comprehensive Nutrition Consultation with Kyla

Podcast episodes on nutrition, fueling, and hydration:

Fueling for Training and Racing

  • Sessions less than 60 minutes: no need to consume calories.

  • High-Intensity Training over 60 minutes: predominant fuel is glucose dominant sugar sources (chews, blocks, etc.)

  • Lower Intensity (endurance) Training over 60 minutes: fuel with "real food."

  • Always consume calories within 30 minutes following a workout. Real food preferred (#1 Habit).

  • Consume mostly protein and carbohydrate to stop muscle catabolism and replenish glycogen stores in muscle and liver.

  • Typically post-workout fueling should be lower in fat to allow for faster stomach emptying of carbs and proteins.

  • General Rules for Fueling

    • Bike: 3-3.5 cal per kg of body weight per hour

    • Run: 2-2.5 cal per kg of body weight per hour

Daily Nutrition

You Must Nail your Fueling Habits to Maintain Easy Control of Portions and Energy

  • Eat frequently with nutrient-dense foods (avoid packaged food).

  • The ratio of typical daily meals is 40% Carbohydrate, 30% Protein, 30% Fat.

  • Approximate portions: Protein .8-1.2 grams per lb of body weight, Carbs 1-3 grams per pound, of body weight, Fat .5 gram per pound of body weight.

  • Taper meal size throughout the day.

  • Never skip breakfast!

  • Reduce the ratio of carbohydrates throughout the day.

  • Any starchy carbohydrates should be focused in the morning

  • Evening meals should be focused around protein, good fats/oils and plenty of vegetables.

  • Avoid fad diets and instead focus on healthy lifestyle habits that are sustainable!

Hydration for Training and Racing

  • Sessions less than 60 minutes:  drink to thirst with water. No need for sugary sports beverages.

    • Women in high hormone phase or postmenopausal will have dampened thirst sensation so utilizing a timer to cue when to hydrate can be beneficial.

  • Sessions over 60 minutes: consume one bottle per hour on average (will vary based on humidity, heat and other factors) or approximately 10-12 ml/kg body weight per hour (.1 to .18 oz/lb).

    • Shoot for the higher end range when the temperature is above 75 degrees.

    • Aim for 3-4% concentration of carbohydrates in solution, which is approximately 7 to 9 grams/carbs per 8 oz of fluids (use glucose/sucrose sugar sources for hydration).

    • Transitioning throughout the race as you get to the run tapering down hydration to the lower end range with the option to alternate water and coke while on the last ½- ¼ of the run.

  • When you consume calories, it is best to consume fluids with little hits, more consistently. Taking in large amounts of calories or fluid at one time may cause GI distress.

  • Sip every 10-15 minutes.

  • The longer the session, the more important the hydration becomes.

  • Electrolyte intake range: Sodium - 180 to 225 mg, Potassium 60-75 mg per 8 oz of fluid. 

Daily Hydration - Fluids Consumed Outside of Training

  • There is no place for sugar-laden drinks in daily life. Instead, the best hydration is water.

  • Sparkling water is ok.

  • Shoot for half of your body weight in fluid ounces.

  • Drink two glasses of water with every meal and sip on water throughout the day.

  • If training heavily, add a pinch of salt, a splash of maple syrup and a little bit of citrus in your water. The sugars from the maple syrup will help pull sodium into the cells as well as provide some natural minerals.

  • Coffee is ok and caffeine is not a bad thing - unless it's in the evening.  Try not to consume caffeinated beverages after 1-2pm.

  • Alcohol is a diuretic and will dehydrate you. It also impacts sleep and recovery. Be aware.