Practical Nutrition Strategies to Boost Your Coaching Business

As a fitness and health coach, it’s important to recognize the key role that proper nutrition plays in optimizing your clients’ athletic performance and well-being. 

Despite this understanding, many athletes and even coaches tend to underestimate the nuanced impact of nutrition on performance and recovery. 

In this article, I explore evidence-based strategies that I have utilized throughout my coaching career to enhance your coaching methods and strengthen your business by emphasizing the fundamental importance of nutrition.

The Importance of Nutrition in Workouts and Recovery

While most athletes concentrate on fueling their workouts, many overlook the importance of recovery nutrition. Neglecting this aspect can lead to suboptimal performance and hinder progress. Research shows that both pre and post-workout nutrition is crucial for optimal performance and recovery.

Clients/Athletes often have common nutritional questions such as:

  • What to eat?
  • When to eat?
  • How much to eat?

This article will address three key components:

  • Pre-workout nutrition
  • Post-workout nutrition
  • The 4 Rs: Rehydrate, Refuel, Repair, Rest

As a coach, addressing these questions and providing practical guidance and solutions will bring you one step closer to maximizing your client’s performance.

Pre-Workout Nutrition: Tips to Boost Athletic Performance

Many athletes and coaches underestimate the importance of pre-workout fueling, which can be a common mistake. Whether you are a coach, an elite athlete, or a newbie, it’s essential to have a comprehensive understanding of how to effectively fuel your body before physical activity.

Throughout my career, I’ve seen it firsthand: The best professional coaches and athletes prioritize nutrition above almost everything else. 


Carbohydrates are crucial as the primary energy source for athletic performance. For individuals engaging in workouts lasting longer than 60 minutes, consuming a meal high in quality carbohydrates is recommended approximately one hour before starting the activity. 


Customizing your protein intake based on your body weight, workout intensity, and fitness goals is essential. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, obtaining at least 20% of your daily calories from high-quality protein sources is recommended. Consuming around 20 grams of protein in each meal regularly can benefit muscle growth and development.

Six examples of pre-workout meals: 

  • Whole grain sandwiches with tuna or chicken provide a mix of complex carbohydrates and protein for sustained energy.
  • Brown rice and chicken offer a balanced combination of carbohydrates and lean protein for long-lasting fuel.
  • Sweet potatoes, rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals, provide a sustained energy release.
  • Bananas are known for their high carbohydrate content and easy digestibility, making them an excellent choice for a quick energy boost before exercise.
  • Cold potato salad, which provides carbohydrates and can be prepared with a variety of healthy ingredients to suit individual preferences.
  • Oats and eggs on rye bread offer a mix of complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats, making it a well-rounded pre-workout meal option.

Post-Workout Nutrition: The Key to Recovery

As coaches, we need to focus not only on our clients’ pre-workout nutrition but also on their post-workout nutrition. Sometimes referred to as “recovery nutrition, post-workout nutrition focuses on refueling strategies immediately after exercise. 

This is where the four Rs framework (Refuel, Rehydrate, Repair, Rest) comes into play.


Immediately following strenuous exercise, aim to replenish glycogen stores with low and high GI carbohydrates. Examples include:

Chocolate Milk:

My personal post-workout favorite, good ol’ chocolate milk, is not only delicious but also packed with plenty of protein, carbohydrates, calcium, and B vitamins to aid recovery.

Whey Protein Shake:

Whey protein shakes offer a similar taste to chocolate milk while providing plenty of protein, carbohydrates, calcium, and B vitamins. Mix it with your preferred milk for additional nutrients.

Energy Bars:

Specially designed for cyclists but perfect for all athletes, energy bars come in various flavors. They boast a beneficial 4:1 carbs-to-protein ratio, with options ranging from high-carb to protein-plus bars. 

Cottage Cheese:

Unlike chocolate milk, cottage cheese is not on my list of post-workout snacks. That said, it’s rich in calcium and protein, making it excellent for muscle rebuilding. Those who do like it say you can enjoy it plain or add some fruit for extra flavor.

Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter:

Rice cakes are another excellent post-workout snack. They provide energizing carbohydrates, while peanut butter offers protein, unsaturated fats, and vitamin E. 


Drinking fluids like water, sports drinks, and gels is vital to replenish lost electrolytes. Proper rehydration is essential for preventing muscle soreness, fatigue, and cramping, especially in hot weather.


Consuming high-quality protein is critical to support muscle repair after exercise. Fast-acting proteins such as whey are particularly beneficial for post-workout recovery as the body can quickly absorb them. 


Ensuring that athletes receive adequate rest is essential for their physical and mental recovery. Prioritizing adequate sleep and downtime allows their bodies to heal and alleviate stress.


To monitor fluid levels, weigh yourself before and after your workouts. Additionally, pay attention to the color of your urine, as it can serve as a helpful indicator. Clear urine usually means you are well-hydrated, while darker urine may indicate dehydration. 

Before exercising, aim to drink about 16 ounces of water two hours in advance. Remember to continue hydrating during your workout and after you’ve finished.

That’s A Wrap

By integrating these key nutritional strategies into your coaching method, you can significantly contribute to your client’s success in reaching their fitness objectives. 

It’s important to emphasize that proper nutrition plays a crucial role in enhancing physical performance, promoting optimal recovery, and sustaining overall health.

Equipping your clients with the essential knowledge and tools they require to make informed dietary choices will not only maximize their results but elevate the effectiveness of your coaching.



Brenton is an Australian with 20 years of experience working with professional athletes who have won more than 15 international events combined. He holds a degree in Sports Coaching and was the former Head Coach of the Japanese Government Sports Institute. Brenton also served as the former Manager & Head Coach to Australia’s Governing Sporting Body and has been a Dunlop International Advisory Board member since 2010. Additionally, he has successfully been self-employed for 17 years and understands the challenges of building a business. Brenton’s expertise lies in goal setting, leadership, internal and external motivation, biomechanics, and program design and delivery. Brenton continues to consult with professional athletes and sporting organizations.

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