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Archives for the day Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Nutrition pointers for athletes

I ran into Joe P. from the Clif Bar company at lunch today.  I asked him a few questions and sent him an e-mail with some questions.  He was kind enough to answer quickly and directly.  He recommends that I keep a food log.  I am going to start one because I have a lot of issues with speed and longer distances.  Most people do not need to keep a log.  If you are a bit OCD like most of my friends on facebook and Dailymile, start a food log now!

We are very lucky to have Joe and the Clif Bar company right here in the East Bay.  His answers may seem easy or complex at first glance.  Read the answers thoroughly and think about your situation and how this information applies to you.  It makes sense.  When you go to the Oakland running festival or any other big event, give Joe or Clif a shout out for having great customer service.  They appreciate the feedback.

In my own experience I have found that everyone is very different when it comes to food and how soon after eating that they can work out.
Four hours should have been ample time between a meal and working out. Digestion of eggs is pretty quick but you said that you had an omelet
which could have had numerous ingredients in it. It really is hard to tell what it is that gave you difficulty during your workout. I would
recommend that you keep a food log and see if a pattern develops negatively with certain foods.

What do I eat before a race?
What to eat before a workout depends on the workout and how much time you have before you train. Also each of us know how much time it typically takes our bodies
before we can work out with any problems. Eat a sensible meal 200-400 calories prior. More specifically a complex carbohydrate meal (metabolic type). See below

What should I eat when transitioning from one workout to another (also known as a brick workout)?
Between workouts I would recommend a drink product, gel or blocks (I use Clif Bar Products). A few words of caution before consuming – do not ingest more than 250-300 calories because the body cannot assimilate more than that during workouts. You must remember the higher the intensity the more the oxygen is being shunted to the working muscle groups. The digestive track tends to shut down during very intense workouts or when an excessive amount of food has been taken in. On that note- drink temperature is also a very important factor – room temp is better for the body to ingest because it does not have to warm the drink body temp before it can be assimilated.

How do we consume enough calories to complete a 4-10 hour training session?
You should remember not to overload the body and only consume 250-300 calories per hour. Regardless what the product is: drinks, bars, gels, blocks.

How do we train our bodies to burn fat during these long workouts?
To train the body to burn more fat during workouts you need to work at 70-75% because more oxygen needs to be present for a fat cell to be broken down and assimilated into energy. Most people like to go hard and fast and unknowingly train their bodies to use glycogen as the primary fuel source. The other reason that glycogen is used is because there is not enough oxygen present for the body to use fat cells for a fuel source because of the metabolic process. Glucose breaks down easily and is usually what the body uses first as a fuel source.

Do you have any general dietary tips for us amateur athletes?  Something like, eat more spinach and limit Big Macs to one per week.
No general rule of thumb for eating habits. The athlete should figure out their own metabolic type and eat for their specific body type. Refer to the book “The METABOLIC TYPING DIET” by William Wolcott & Trish Fahey. With that said- you are what you eat – eat organic healthy foods that are minimally processed. Read the book ” How to eat, move and be healthy” by Paul Chek. I recommend this as I am a CHEK certified coach: CP1 & HLC2

I have my books on order from, another local vendor.  Alibris is a bit like the original before they became a powerhouse.
How to eat, move and be healthy
The metabolic typing diet