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Is it smart to pay attention to my energy balance during the taper phase?

Yes, reductions in training load during the taper lowers daily energy expenditure. Paying special attention to energy intake during the taper, helps to sustain energy balance and avoid undesirable changes in body composition.

Image of The Athlete’s FoodCoach
Written by: The Athlete’s FoodCoach, on 18-01-2024
Cyclist weighing his food at the buffet during trainingcamp

Why is it important to pay attention to my energy balance during the taper phase?

  1. Optimal performance: Adequate energy intake during the taper phase ensures getting energized for your race and helps in replenishing glycogen, both crucial for peak performance.
  2. Avoiding weight fluctuations: In the taper phase, reduced training may lower daily energy expenditure. Maintaining the same dietary intake as before can create a surplus, potentially causing undesired changes in body composition and negatively affecting performance.
  3. Injury prevention: Proper energy balance promotes recovery and prevents the risk of injuries during the taper phase.
  4. Supports proper body function: Maintaining energy balance provides the necessary energy for essential bodily functions, including hormonal regulation, digestion, temperature control, and menstrual stability in women, all critical for peak performance.
  5. Stronger immune system: Maintaining energy balance supports sufficient nutrient and energy intake to strengthen your immune system and making it better prepared to fend off illnesses the last days before your event.

How do I get my energy balance during the taper phase on point?

Balancing personal energy intake and -expenditure can be a complex task. Athletes need to rely on their appetite, but this can be a challenge when circumstances change as is the case with tapering. The FoodCoach app simplifies this by calculating your individual energy needs, and help you translating that into practical, day-to-day nutrition choices. So you can create eating routines tailored to your tapering phase. Focus on:

  1. Match plan to new training routine: Use the FoodCoach app, allowing it to automatically calculate your daily energy needs. Analyze your daily energy balance and match your meals to your new training routine by logging meals accurately.
  2. Compare days: Analyze your daily energy balance at the start of your taper. This helps you to gain insights in your new energy needs.
  3. Match meals to new routine: Log your meals to match your plan to your daily reality. Challenge yourself if you really have logged all your meals: food intake is usually 10-20% under reported due to wrong portion sizing or log discipline.
  4. Calibration: Follow your plan and log all meals during the taper. Pay attention to your body signals. If you're still feeling hungry or experiencing weight gain/loss, consider adjusting your meal plan.

Example of The Athlete's FoodCoach app

Popular meals during the taper phase

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