Hybrid training is not new to the fitness scene but has surged in popularity over the past few years from the growth of functional training and fitness competitions, such as Hyrox. 

Now you likely know you need to tailor your training to suit this, but do you need to adjust your nutrition to maximise your training efforts?

What is hybrid training?

Hybrid training is a way to combine different approaches to training so you get a bit of everything. This may be strength work, functional fitness, cardio, and endurance. It essentially means shifting away from a single focus and using two or more training techniques at the same time

As a result of the multifaceted approach, there are demands a unique training and nutritional approach to fuel your workouts and recovery effectively.

What are the benefits of hybrid training?

This well-rounded fitness approach can yield impressive fitness results, from improved cardiovascular health and endurance to enhanced strength and muscle tone. 

Aside from the above, hybrid training can lead to fewer over-use injuries which can be more common when sticking to one style of training. It can also help avoid plateaus with training as you’re constantly keeping things varied!

To maximise these benefits, it’s crucial to understand how to tailor your diet to meet the diverse demands of both activities. 

What are the top 3 nutritional considerations for hybrid training?

The top 3 nutritional considerations for hybrid training are:

  1. Consuming enough calories
  2. Fuelling with the appropriate macronutrient split
  3. Timing

Giving each of these factors careful consideration will put you in great stead to train and perform at your best!

1. Consuming enough calories:

Adequate calorie intake ensures that the body has the necessary energy to perform and recover from the dual demands of these activities. The energy demands on your body during training and competition are significant, making it essential to consume enough calories to fuel your performance and support recovery. Insufficient calorie intake can compromise every aspect of your performance.

It is also hugely important from an injury prevention and recovery perspective. Proper nutrition aids in recovery, reducing the risk of overuse injuries common in hybrid training. Sufficient calories ensure that the body can repair tissues effectively, maintain joint health, and recover faster between sessions.

Ensure you monitor your energy levels, performance, and body composition. If you’re struggling with fatigue, poor performance, or unintentional weight loss, consider increasing your calorie intake.

Here’s a handy calculator to help you estimate your requirements or we’re on hand to assist you! Book a call here.

2. Fuelling with the appropriate macronutrient split

As mentioned, hybrid training places significant demands on your body. Running, particularly long-distance, requires carbohydrates as the primary energy source, while strength training relies on protein for muscle repair and growth. Balancing these needs involves strategic nutrient timing and selection.

Protein: Active individuals may require in the region of 1.2g – 2.0g per kg of body weight. However, for highly active people and athletes, this figure can exceed 2.0g per kg of body weight.

Carbohydrates: Make sure you’re including enough carbs in your diet. If possible, focus on complex carbs (3-12g/kg), as these are better utilised by the body. If you work in percentages, aiming for around 40-45% carbs is a good starting point.

If this is not already something you’re doing, start with small changes. Gradually reduce ‘white’ carbs while increasing brown carbs. For protein, add in an extra protein-rich snack or shake to have around your sessions.

Healthy fats should make up the rest of your calories due to their role in energy, hormone balance, joint health, and nutrient absorption. All of which are crucial for optimal performance in hybrid training.

3. Timing

Nutrient timing is crucial for hybrid training, optimising performance, recovery, and muscle growth. Eating a balanced meal rich in carbohydrates and moderate in protein 1-2 hours before exercise ensures sufficient energy. During prolonged or intense sessions, easily digestible carbs maintain energy levels. Consuming a mix of protein and carbohydrates within 30-60 minutes post-workout aids muscle repair and glycogen replenishment. Proper nutrient timing ensures your body is fuelled, recovers efficiently, and builds strength and endurance effectively.

This can be broken down into:

Pre-Workout Nutrition

  • Running: Consume a small, carb-rich snack 30-60 minutes before running to fuel your session. For example a piece of fruit.
  • Strength Training: Include protein and carbs in your pre-workout meal to provide energy and support muscle repair. A smoothie with protein powder and fruit or a turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread works well.

During Workout Nutrition

  • For sessions lasting less than an hour, water is typically sufficient. For longer/more intense workouts, consider a sports drink or energy gels to maintain glycogen levels.

Post-Workout Nutrition

  • Running: Replenish glycogen stores with a carb-focused meal or snack. Include some protein to support muscle repair. A recovery smoothie with fruit and protein powder or a rice bowl with chicken and vegetables are great options.
  • Strength Training: Prioritise protein to aid in muscle repair and growth, alongside carbs to replenish energy stores. Greek yoghurt with honey and berries or a protein shake with a banana can be effective.

Play around with meal timings and see when you feel the most energised in training, and if any foods have a particularly good or bad impact on your performance.

Overall, although we have provided you with the top 3 considerations, it’s important to find out what works for you  – what works for one, may not be suitable for another.

Lastly, I would always suggest trialling things ahead of any competitive events as you would not want to negatively impact your performance on the day!

If you would like to discuss your goals or any potential nutrition changes to support your revised training regime, book a call with us.

Fresh Fitness Food provides personalised meal plans delivered straight to your door, ensuring not only that you have the nutrients you need to keep you energised, but also that you have the time usually spent shopping, cooking and washing up, to engage in your favourite activities. Order today and start smashing your goals with personalised nutrition!

Get £50 off a 5-day trial with code: BLOG50. Start your trial here!

Want to discuss which nutrition plan is right for you first? Book a call with our in-house nutrition team here.

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