How To Periodize Your Nutrition Habits


There are many ways to manipulate your nutrition to support the specific needs of your training or workout cycle. You can do so to train the body to work with or without specific types or amounts of food. You can also do so to maximize performance output.


Carbohydrate cycling – Eating different amounts of carbohydrates depending on the training load that day. This is specific to the size of the soldier and the level of training they are completing. This might look like 200g on low training day, 300g on a medium training day, and 400g on a hard training day.


Train Low – Eating very little or not at all before a training session, usually early morning training. This allows your body to learn to run more efficiently on lower fuel. This workout will be a struggle because you have less energy and performance may be compromised.


Train High – Eating sufficient carbohydrates pre training to top off glycogen stores. This will support high quality training session and train the gut to absorb carbohydrates efficiently. This helps to maximize the amount of carbs we can use for energy.


Recover Low – Eating very little or not at all after a training session. This allows the body to learn to adapt to changes that happen post training.


Recover High – Eating sufficient carbohydrate post training. This will replenish glycogen stores and aid in recovery.


There are still many questions about this training practice. Some evidence on its efficiency is still scarce, but the science is promising.

Please speak with your Sports Dietitian if this is something you are interested in trying.


Happy snacking!



Further reading:

Jeukendrup A. E. (2017). Periodized Nutrition for Athletes. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 47(Suppl 1), 51–63. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-017-0694-2

Mujika, I., Stellingwerff, T., & Tipton, K. (2014). Nutrition and training adaptations in aquatic sports. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism, 24(4), 414–424. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijsnem.2014-0033


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