BIG Nutrition: Athlete Profile—Matt Ruiz


BIG Nutrition: Athlete Profile—Matt Ruiz

This week I met with Matt to learn his eating approach to fuel and recuperate from WODs. He also provides food advice for BIG members now that we are entering a strength phase in the training.

What was your favorite 2018 Open Workout? 18.4—deadlifts, handstand push-ups, and handstand walks.  I really like the handstand push-ups and handstand walks.

Is there an Open workout that you never want to see again? No, I’d do any of them again.

Now that we are done with the Open, we will focus on strength training. Is your approach to eating different when strength training versus competing during the Open? If so, how? 

No, I focus on consistency throughout the year, and I think it works. My goal is quality food, little sugar, lots of vegetables, and eating at around the same time each day.

How does each day begin? Every day begins with 12 ounces of water with ¼ teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt and a bit of lemon juice added followed by a breakfast of two packets of oatmeal, 3 hard-boiled eggs, a banana, and black coffee.

What food advice do you have for BIG members to meet the needs for building strength? Balanced meals with good carbs, vegetables, and protein really help during a period of strength training. Most people don’t realize that you need to eat enough because strength training takes a lot of energy. Muscle building is hard if you don’t eat enough.

Do you take any nutrition supplements? If so, is there one that you feel is particularly helpful or important? I don’t think my supplements are necessarily more important, because you could just eat food after a workout and that would do the same thing. But just for ease, I have a whey protein shake (Xendurance or Ascent, 1 scoop) with Cytocarb (2 scoops) after every workout to ensure a good carbohydrate:protein ratio with nutrients that are easy to digest. Sometimes I include beta-alanine before a workout and/or creatine after.

When you cook what do you make? Mostly breakfast; although, I do occasionally cook chicken on a George Foreman grill and eat it with brown rice.

Is there a food that you could not give up? Is this a favorite cheat meal question? If so, it would be pizza. I also love ice cream and Halo Top too.

Happy and healthful eating,

Donna G. Pertel, MEd, RD, LDN

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