IRONMAN athletes are a unique breed: we’re goal-driven, type-A, and competitive, and we design detailed race and fueling plans to be prepared for any scenario that race day might toss our way. But no matter how prepared we are, there’s one element of nutrition plan that can’t be forgotten: sodium. Whether you’ve got Kona or another humid race on the calendar, take the time now to map out a sodium plan so you can not only avoid a trip to the medical tent, but perform your best.
I often get these questions: “Which sports bar or fuel replacement is best?” “For recovery, which sports nutrition drink mix should I buy?”
It’s no surprise these are frequently asked questions; sports nutrition companies are doing a great job marketing their billion-dollar businesses. Their products are in every sports store, sold on websites, and probably in your pantry. Now, don’t get me wrong, I use sports nutrition supplements and am a member of the PowerBar Elite Team. I proudly use their products when training in season. There’s a time and place for these products, which I’ll get into, but never use them in place of real food.
Triathletes come in all shapes and sizes. Just like books, they shouldn’t be judged by their cover. Still, whether it’s to look better in their tri kit or to become faster via an improved power-to-weight ratio, improving body composition is an ongoing process for many athletes. But how to achieve a leaner physique can be tricky. Here’s why, and what to do about it.
I came upon this article a few months ago and contacted Dr. Rick Kattouf, asking permission to use his article in my blog post. I felt this topic is all to common with endurance athletes – and it needed to be shared. If you are struggling with your weight, not becoming more lean, having afternoon and evening cravings despite long training hours each week, take a few minutes to read this article.
Weight Gain During High-Volume Training? How To Avoid the “Endurance 15”
By Dr. Rick Kattouf
Here is a common question that has come my way many times over the years:
“Rick, I recently trained for an Ironman/marathon/ultra-marathon/ultra-distance cycling event. I trained more than I ever have before and I tried to eat healthy. I am so frustrated because after all of this training, I actually gained 15 pounds during this time. How can I actually gain weight when I was training more than ever?”
I call this all-too-common scenario the “endurance 15”. I am sure you’ve heard of the “freshman 15”: a young man/woman goes off to college and gains 15 pounds during their freshman year of college. The “endurance 15” is the scenario in which an endurance athlete is training many hours a week and actually increases body weight and fat; gaining five, 10, or 15 pounds during their training.
There are a multitude of factors that contribute to the endurance 15. Let’s discuss why this may be happening. [Read more…]
Life is too short not to indulge once in a while — especially in chocolate. But, don’t grab a 3 Musketeers candy bar thinking you are doing your body a favor. Not all chocolate is created equal. Dark chocolate packs the biggest health punch compared to milk and white chocolate.
The secret behind dark chocolate’s powerful punch is the cacao bean, rich in a plant-based organic compound called flavonoids. Flavanols, the primary type of flavonoid in cocoa and chocolate, have powerful antioxidant properties responsible for providing numerous health benefits. The downside is cacao (the cocoa bean) by itself is unappetizing with its chalky and bitter flavor. Once milk, butter and sugar are added chocolate gets its yummy, creamy taste we have come to crave. However, the processing of chocolate takes out the flavanols negating the health benefit of cacao. [Read more…]
From the Race Smart Kitchen
Looking for a healthy topping for your Greek yogurt, oatmeal or just a yummy post workout recovery snack? Here is a delicious, nutritious and homemade granola recipe that you won’t be able to live without!
One of my favorite dishes growing up was an apple cranberry casserole. It would show up on our buffet at Thanksgiving and Christmas and rarely anytime in between. I came to view this dish as a rare and special treat often sneaking back for more during the meal as I knew it would all be gone if I didn’t help myself while it was still there for the taking.
While I refer to this dish as a “casserole,” some friends have suggested it should be called a “dessert”. While it does have sugar and some butter (rich in fat soluble vitamins) to offset this it is full of vitamins, minerals and health promoting anti-oxidants.
Let’s dive into this casserole and see what is so good for us in there. [Read more…]
The holiday season is quickly approaching and while this is a festive and fun season, it can also be a challenging time with numerous food temptations, which can lead to weight gain. As Jan 1st rolls around, our resolution will be to lose the weight gained during these next 6 weeks, eat healthy and get physically fit.
As we all know, it is not healthy to ride the roller coaster of gaining weight only to try to lose it. This puts our bodies in a bit of a yo-yo rhythm and makes it harder to keep weight off in the long run. Here are some tips to help avoid the weight gain this holiday season so you can arrive on Jan 1st ahead of the game, with the resolution to continue eating healthy, getting more fit and having a great 2014.