Hang in there...
If you are aiming to squeeze as much out of your training as possible, then you need to nail your nutrition before (fuelling), during (hydration) and after (recovery).
Your pre-training meal composition will depend on your overall goal. If your ultimate goal is body fat loss, try joining an early morning Pack class, skip breakfast and train fasted to maximse fat metabolism. If you find it hard to train on an empty stomach, go for a small snack such as a banana or handful of almonds before the class. Chugging down on a green tea before training can also boost fat metabolism due to the caffeine and catechin content, as well as giving you a morning energy boost.
If your ultimate goal is cycling performance/general improvement in fitness, stock up on your carbohydrate intake before the session to boost glycogen stores. Ramping up your carbohydrate intake beforehand will help you squeeze every last ounce of power out during the high intensity sprints. To do this, opt for a high carbohydrate meal such as whole wheat pasta, sweet potato or quinoa before the class.
With The Pack class lasting 45 minutes you can forget your sports drink. There is a wealth of research to show that carbohydrate-based sports drinks do not have an effect on performance during exercise under an hour. All a sports drink will do is add extra calories and sugar to your intake – and if fat loss is your goal, this is only going to be detrimental to your progress. Stick to water and make sure you have a large bottle with you, as you’re going to be sweating a lot….
As with the pre-training meal, if your goal is fat loss, then keep the calories low and opt for a low carbohydrate meal. However, if you are training again later in the day, or you are a cyclist with a big ride tomorrow, then you will need to replace the glycogen you have used in order to train hard again in your subsequent session. If this is you, chow down on a meal with a 2:1 carbohydrate to protein ration to replenish glycogen and aid protein synthesis.