Legendary cycling champion Lance Armstrong keeps to a strict training regimen and diet in the months leading up to the Tour de France.
He ups his caloric intake from 3,000 to 6,000 a day, and cuts down on the percentage of carbs.
This finely honed nutrition plan has helped Armstrong win five consecutive Tours.
So to help you train and run better, we speak to one of Singapore’s top endurance athletes, Adrian Mok, and asked him to weigh in on the best chow for runners.
#1 Super Fuel: Soup
After a heavy gym workout, Mok usually heads to Soup Spoon for heavy protein with his favourite Beef Goulash or Chicken Stew.
Eat This Because: Soups contain fewer calories, and can keep you feeling full for longer.
#2 Super Fuel: Wraps
You can get these from any sandwich shop. Mok usually chooses roast beef or grilled chicken with lots of vegetables. Hold the sauce, though.
Eat This Because: Mok says you get a protein fix without too many carbohydrates (it’s definitely less than white bread).
Also, the vegetables contain essential vitamins. Best of all, wraps can be eaten on the go – great for those pressed for time.
#3 Super Fuel: Brown rice with mixed vegetables
This can be found in any speciality vegetarian food retailer, or even food courts that have vegetarian stalls.
Avoid curry vegetables. Instead, ask for more greens, tofu and, if they are available, beans.
Eat This Because: You get low GI (glycemic index) carbohydrates from brown rice.
The tofu and beans are good sources of protein. Vegetables are rich in fibre, making you feel full longer on fewer calories.
#4 Super Fuel: Economy rice
Ask for a smaller portion of rice, and load up on dishes like braised tofu, steamed egg, long beans and any green, leafy vegetable.
Skip the curry gravy and fried stuff.
Eat This Because: You get to load up on carbs and protein, yet limit your fat intake to a negligible amount.
Nutrition-wise, Mok says this is the easiest option for eating well.
#5 Super Fuel: Beef kway teow
Get the soupy type, says Mok. Alternatively, go for Vietnamese beef noodles, which are equally nutritious.
Clear soup usually contains fewer calories, and the tender beef strips used are mostly lean cuts.
Eat This Because: This is a dish that will fill you up, minus the calories. It contains 380 calories per serving – much less than a dish like fish head bee hoon soup (600 calories).
Besides, the Vietnamese version is normally served with lots of fresh herbs like peppermint and vegetables such as bean sprouts.
#6 Super Fuel: Soft boiled eggs and toast
When ordering toast, ask for just the kaya (skip the butter) and go easy with the soya sauce in the eggs.
Benefit: This is a great post-run recovery food. The complex and simple carbs in bread and kaya will help refuel your glycogen stores, and the protein from the eggs will promote muscle recovery.
#7 Super Fuel: Muesli bars
Cost-wise, they are cheaper than sports bars and contain about 120 calories per bar – just enough to tame hunger pangs.
#8 Super Fuel: Beancurd
It contains no cholesterol, is low in simple sugars and is a good source of calcium.
#9 Super Fuel: Dried fruit
Go for the organic versions. Dried fruits are densely packed with essential vitamins and minerals.
And they are easier to carry around as a handy snack.
A warning, though: Skip the sweetened preserved fruits because these are high in sugar.
Get a copy of Men’s Health for health, fitness and lifestyle tips that are 100% useful. Men’s Health, published by SPH Magazines is available at all newsstands now.
Check out more stories at Men’s Health online, www.menshealth.com.sg .