These days, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is viewed as a more efficient way to alter body composition, compared to more traditional cardio workouts, and in turn, requires a slightly different approach to nutrition.
Research shows this type of training to be preferential for a few reasons. Firstly, it burns more fat during the session itself, making it a more effective way to workout. Secondly, HIIT exhibits what is known as the EPOC effect in the body following training, meaning that the body continues to burn calories after the workout (between 12-24 hours).
Increase your carbs with starchy fruits & veggies
As a result, nutritional needs are somewhat altered when undertaking this type of training, due to the body’s elevated metabolism post-training (which creates the ongoing calorie burn). This means that it is important to refuel properly between training sessions, which will allow for adequate recovery. You may need to think about an increase in carbohydrates, on the days when HIIT is undertaken, such as starchy fruits/veg like potato, parsnips and bananas, or rice, bread, oats and legumes.
Eat more protein & good fats
On the other hand, when performing cardio-based exercise, the body’s carbohydrate needs after a workout may be lower overall. This means that a higher protein/fat and lower carbohydrate approach may be more beneficial. It’s still good to consume the starchier carbs listed above, but in much smaller quantities.