Eating for Endurance & Health



Most people don’t consider eating when working out besides the occasional Gatorade or Powerade drink that is glowing fluorescent blue, green, yellow or red beside the handrail of the elliptical machine or treadmill on which they trod.   Most people I know exercise to burn calories so why on earth would they CONSUME calories at the same time.   Fortunately or unfortunately, I grew up with this “exercise to eat” mentality so I am well versed in the non-sensical rationalization of in order to lose these two must match.  Additionally, after damaging my mind and body with such rationalization, I learned what was really true about dieting, exercise, racing, and winning (the war against weight gain – mentally & physically).

TRUE/FALSE: If I consume 2000 calories/day (based on my height/weight/activity level), then I need to burn via exercise at least half of those calories in order to lose weight.

chicken lasagnaFALSE!  Caloric intake should be based on height/weight/current activity level in order to maintain current weight.  Cutting calories/increasing activity will allow for weight loss BUT cutting your intake by over half or even 1/4 can be dangerous.  It can actually cause your body to hold on to fat because it thinks your starving to death….because you are in that moment.   Slow changes are best.  Remember, your body needs a baseline amount of calories from fat, carbs, and protein to simple keep your organs and brain functioning – without extra activity.

TRUE/FALSE: It isn’t necessary to consume calories when you are exercising.

IT DEPENDS!  If you’re workout is less than an hour, water will do.  If you’ve eaten in the last 3 hrs prior to activity, your body will probably have enough energy/glycogen to fuel you without a bonk.  As in the picture below, if your activity (triathlon) is over an 1hr and you haven’t eaten within an 1-2 hrs of the start of your activity, then you will need some fuel.  I’ve got an Ignite REFUEL Energy Gel hanging from my bike which will top off my glycogen storage for the later half of the 45 minute bike and 3.4 mile run I am about to endure. If the race/activity was longer I would need to keep fueling with gels/energy drinks/water/etc. every 15-30 minutes adding more fat/protein as the length grows.  (FYI – because of good clean nutrition…and solid training, I won that race.  Thanks Ignite Naturals, Arbonne Nutrition Line, and Coach Craig Cecil of Peak Performers!

CLEAN FUELING OPTIONS:
Use coupon code IN0730 for 10% off Ignite Naturals!
Use ARBONNE ID #13270083 to sign up for 20-35% off gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan protein powder, energy drink mix, fit chews, & more!

LR carrollton bike

TRUE/FALSE: It’s important to eat carbs/protein right after I workout to help my body recover.

TRUE! Within the first 30 minutes after workouts ~1hr or more, you need to consume 100-200 calories of sugar/carbohydrates to keep your body from burning muscle mass and producing anti-healing stress hormones like cortisol. Often times, it’s hard to stomach much after a long or hard workout/race but at least consume some sports drink or fruit. Within two hours, you also need to consume a 4/1 or 3/1 ratio of carbs to protein to help muscle recovery and healing. Post-activity nutrition is vital to keeping you healthy during those long training periods so that you can reach the start line AND the finish line of your next race!

So who is willing to take the opportunity and commit to 18-20 weeks of training for the Asheville Marathon? We start Monday November 4th, for the 19-20-wk training program or Nov. 11th for the 18wk program. Run/walk, run, or walk your way there with a group of new and experienced marathoners. Anyone can do it, just read “The Non-runner’s Marathon Guide for Women” – a hysterical read for anyone considering their first race of any distance or wondering why anyone would want to run any distance.

Let me know your thoughts, feedback and if you’re interested in running/training with me.

Happy trails!

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