Spartan Master Coach Poppy Livers doesn't care whether you have chiseled abs, or about how muscular, fast, or strong you are. Instead, his primary focus as a coach (and as an athlete) is to look at food as performance fuel.
Here, Poppy shares how he eats to continuously perform at his peak.
Poppy Livers Nutrition 101: How to Fuel for Explosive Power
1. Eat When You're Hungry
According to Poppy, eating schedules are good if you have a goal such as losing a certain percentage of body fat. But when you’re training to perform, you have to listen to your body.
“Outside of pre- and post-workout, I don’t have an eating schedule," Poppy says. "I eat when I’m hungry, because my body knows that it’s working hard."
2. Cook Your Own Food
When you cook your own food, you know what you’re putting in your body, Poppy says. Most days — if not every day — Poppy and his wife, Toni, are in the kitchen cooking all of their meals.
“We don’t go out to eat much, and this gives us a lot of control on what we’re putting in our bodies,” he says.
3. Go Heavy on Reds and Greens
Colorful foods are also a staple for Poppy.
“I always make sure to get some fruits or veggies in every meal,” he says. “People underestimate the power of fruits and vegetables, but they’re so important for digestion, gut health, and keeping the immune system strong."
4. Eat a Snack Before Working Out
“I know some people like to fast before they train, but I can’t do that," Poppy says. "I need some energy. I’ve got to eat."
Every morning before his workout, Poppy takes in a small serving of toast or oatmeal to help fuel his workouts.
“I don’t eat a huge meal — just enough to get me going,” he says.
5. Load up on Protein After a Workout
According to Poppy, protein after a workout is non-negotiable.
“You’re wasting all that hard work in the gym if you’re not giving your body an essential nutrient for recovery,” he says.
Immediately after every workout, Poppy refuels with a scoop of protein powder.
6. Count Macros, Not Calories
When it comes to how much to eat, Poppy leans toward counting macros like protein, carbs, and fats instead of total calories.
“I don’t overly obsess over the numbers, because I know that I’m always moving and always working hard,” he says. “The biggest thing I focus on is that I have a good balance of protein, carbs, and fats in every meal.”
For the most part, Poppy keeps his macros at 45-65% carbs, 20-35% protein, and 20-35% fat.
Don’t just eat like Poppy, train like him too. Download the Spartan FIT app and get started with his 30-Day EXPLODE workout program.