Whether you’re doing it for yourself during preseason, with a team, or in preparation for a big event, two-a-days can be a brutal way to get fit quickly. It’s forever been a rite of passage to push yourself past where you thought you were capable, however, if not done properly, two-a-days can be a recipe for disaster. Having a good grip on nutrition for both performance and recovery is going to be key for making sure you come out of your next camp at your peak.
What is a Two-A-Day
Two-a-days is the term used for training twice a day. Often this is done in preparation for a season or event in a time where it is ok to periodically overtrain or push yourself to the absolute limit. Generally, this can be two sport training sessions, or a session followed by gym or cardio. Two-a-days are incredibly energy intensive and therefore properly managing your nutrition is key.
How to nail your nutrition
There are 3 things to keep in mind for two-a-days: Carbohydrates, protein, and timing.
Protein is essential to making sure you are able to recover day to day. The main focuses should be firstly getting enough protein throughout the day and the second focus should be distributing that protein throughout the day. Your individual protein requirements will depend on your body compositional goals, but it should be at a minimum 1.6g/kg of bodyweight. In terms of distribution, having a hit of protein every 3-4 hours will ensure that your body has all the resources needed to recover as quickly as possible. For more information on this, check out our previous blogs and reels.
Carbohydrates is the secret ingredient to making sure you are at your best. Two-a-days are extremely energy intensive, and it can be very difficult to recover in time for the second session of the day. As a rule of thumb, when you have two sessions, you should try to make sure that at least half your plate at main meals is carbohydrates. This will help ensure that you have enough energy throughout the week. Each sport is going to be different and will need different amounts of carbohydrates, for more information on this it is best to speak to a sport dietitian.
For days where you are doing 2 high intensity sessions within 8 hours of each other, the optimal recommendation is 1g/kg of your bodyweight in carbohydrates every hour for the first 4 hours. This is tough to do but if you can manage it, you will be setting yourself up for success.
The last area to focus on is timing. We already spoke about distributing protein but making sure you are having carbohydrates before training as a pre-training snack as well as during training sessions will not only help you stay on top of getting enough carbohydrates during the day but will also help make sure you have all the energy you need during each session.
Bonus Tip: Hydration
Replacing fluid lost during exercise is already very difficult, but doing so with two sessions a day can be near impossible if you are not mindful of hydrating yourself efficiently. Using an oral rehydration solution such as Trainade is a fantastic way to make sure you are rehydrating yourself in the most optimal way possible.