Athlete Food - our continuous adventure to seek out healthy food around the globe and at our own dinner tables. Hope you are inspired to get on a plane or get out the plates and cook a healthy dinner tonight!
We live in New York City, but our careers (racing professionally as triathletes - hello dream job!) take us all over the world. This blog documents our journeys to the starting line, travel to race destinations, and the constant search to find healthy food on the road and at home.
Help for Animals was formed in 1974 by its founder, the late Dorothy Cridlin, and a handful of volunteers in Cabell County, West Virginia. The organization was incorporated in 1977 as a non-profit corporation under laws of the State of West Virginia and received 501(C)(3) status from the Internal Revenue Service (see latest non-profit tax status letter from the IRS dated April 10, 1991 attached). Their goals, mission and objectives were:
Based on what we know now, it looks like 30 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour during endurance events lasting several hours would be the sweet spot for most athletes. [For reference, a typical packet of a sports gel contains around 30 grams of carbohydrates, as does a banana or most single-serving bottles of sports drinks.]
Train your gut, just like you train your muscles. In the buildup to an event, practice with the foods or drinks you plan to have during the event, adding more, slowly. Some people find that combining multiple kinds of carbs, like glucose with fructose, are more tolerable than either one alone, probably because they are metabolized along slightly different pathways in the body. It’s also clear that you can swish sports drinks around in your mouth and spit without swallowing and your brain will interpret this as meaning you have more energy available. I think that’s fascinating and it can be useful, if you can’t stomach more carbs just then.
[Dr. Burke noted that “the issue is so much more complicated than the Twitterverse would have people believe.” Carbohydrates remain muscles’ preferred fuel choice during exercise, she explained, because they can be metabolized so quickly. But our bodies contain much larger stores of fat than carbohydrates, so it makes intuitive sense that we might want to become better able to use that substantial fuel source, perhaps by eating a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet.]
It depends on what kind of event someone competes in. In long, relatively low-intensity events like ultramarathons, fat might provide enough fuel. But even then, if someone wants to sprint at the end, they are going to need carbohydrates for that burst of exertion. For more intense events, there is evidence that high-fat diets impair performance. In our research with elite race walkers, we found that after they went on a high-fat diet, they could not train as hard and their competitive results suffered.
I wouldn’t say that at all. Some athletes love them. And we know that high-fat diets stimulate different molecular changes in the muscles than high-carb diets, some of which could be beneficial for performance.
That’s an interesting topic. We know that most athletes need more protein than the standard dietary allowances call for, to help in muscle repair. But we also are learning, by studying athletes, how important sufficient protein is likely to be for nonathletes, especially older people, if they want to maintain muscle mass.
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