“Eat five to six small meals daily” [Loehr & Schwartz]. “Snacks between meals should typically be between 100 and 150 calories and once again should focus on low-glycemic foods such as nuts and sunflower seeds, fruits, or half of a typical-size 200 calorie energy bar” [Loehr & Schwartz]. If you exercise, “ensure that the foods being consumed have enough salt in them to replace the salt lost through sweat” [Bartlett & Al-Masri, p. 168]. “Do not skip snacks before bedtime. Snacks should include both carbohydrates and proteins. Because the body recovers during sleep, it is important to ensure that it has enough fuel to build and repair properly” [Bartlett & Al-Masri, p. 147].

“The frequency with which we eat also influences our capacity to stay fully engaged and to sustain high performance. Eating five to six low calorie, highly nutritious ‘meals’ a day insures a steady resupply of energy. Even the most energy rich foods won’t fuel high performance for the four to eight hours that many of us frequently permit to pass between meals” [Loehr & Schwartz]. “Many studies have shown that humans exhibit a pronounced oral need—to drink, smoke, or nibble—on a 90-minute schedule. Research from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York found that volunteers, left on their own in an environment without any time cues and told to help themselves to food, drink, or cigarettes whenever they felt like it, did so on a regular schedule—at a mean interval of ninety-six minutes” [Rossi, p. 122].


Further reading:

Lilah Al-Masri and Simon Bartlett. 2011. 100 Questions and Answers about Sports Nutrition and Exercise. Jones and Bartlett Publishers

John A. Hawley and Louise M. Burke. 1997. Effect of meal frequency and timing on physical performance. British Journal of  Nutrition (1997), 77, Suppl. 1, 591-5103.

Ernest Lawrence Rossi. 1991. The 20-Minute Break. Los Angeles: Tarcher.

Mary M Tai et al. 1991. Meal size and frequency: effect on the thermic effect of food. AJCN

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