Fuelling An Intense Training Session

If you play team sports like football or rugby, you’ll be used to regular training sessions with general fitness, sport specific drills and set plays in the mix. The often high intensity of these sessions make getting nutrition right important to get the most out of the session.


Training session can be early in the morning or later in the evening; either way it is important to consider you pre-training meal. This is a key meal as it allowing you to top up your energy stores before training. This meal needs to predominantly carbohydrates, as due to the high intensity of the training session, carbohydrates will be the dominant fuel source for the session. Aim to have 50% off your plate carbohydrates alongside a portion of protein and always include some salad or vegetables. Ideally you would consume this 3 hours before the start of the session.

Here are some ideas:

• Salmon, rice and roasted vegetables
• Roast chicken breast, boiled potatoes and vegetables
• Spaghetti Bolognese and a green salad


Hydration is important too. As little as 2% loss of body weight due to dehydration can negatively affect your performance, therefore starting the training session hydrated and maintaining it throughout is important. Try sipping an OTE Hydro Tab in the lead up to training. Sipping little and often is better than taking on board large amounts at one time.


For sessions up 60 minutes, the need to take on board fuel during is low. If you have fuelled properly before hand, you should have enough energy stores to get through the session. However the higher the intensity of exercise, the quicker you will use up your energy stores, so having an energy gel or some energy drink to call upon towards the end if you start to feel fatigued is advised.

Another new concept is the idea of mouth rinsing- the frequent contact of carbohydrates with the mouth can stimulate parts of the brain to enhance the perception of wellbeing and help improve work out put. So this is an option for people that really struggle to take on board fuel during these intense training sessions.

If a training session exceeds 90 minutes then to be able to sustain performance, it is important to make a conscious effort to replenish carbohydrate stores. Availability to do this can differ, but having a bottle of energy drink at the sit of the pitch is a quick easy way to stay on top of hydration and energy levels. Sipping it at all available opportunity should be at the forefront of the mind. Aim to take on board 30-60g of carbohydrates per hour. Use our energy system to work out what OTE products you can consume to meet your demands.


Recovery is often an area that gets neglected, but really it should be your first thought once the training session has finished. Research says that within 30 minutes of finish your training is the best time to kick start the recovery process with nutrition.

You should aim to consume something that replenishes fluid, carbohydrate stores as well as providing the protein needed for recovery and adaption of muscles. This is particularly important if you have multiple training sessions a day. An OTE recovery drink is a quick, easy way to tick off all the elements of recovery and can be kept in a kit bag ready to quickly mix with water straight after a training session.