Archive for the ‘Sports Nutrition’ Category

What Energy Bars To Use?

Excerpt from my upcoming Peak Performance E-Book: Guide to Endurance Sports Nutrition…

I recommend using bars for training fuel and recovery – they digest well and provide quick fuel. However, I see a lot of athletes who start to use bars to replace every day whole foods. Bars alone will not provide all the nutrients you need to stay healthy, so make sure they are not the focus of your primary diet. So with so many energy bars offered in the market it is hard to know which one you should be eating. As with most performance products you need to self diagnose what works best for your body. Here I breakdown the attributes you should be looking for.

Before and During Workout

Choose a high carbohydrate bar (between 25-50g) made of simple carbs to provide quick energy. Look for the bar to contain low fiber (less than 5g), low protein (less than 10g) and low fat (less than 4g). If the bar contains fiber, fat and protein that are above those numbers it will slow digestion and ultimately your performance. If you do choose to eat a bar during your training session, make sure to drink 5-10oz of water with it. Some of my favorite bars in this category include Clif, Luna, Odwalla and PowerBars.

Post Workout

Choose a whole foods bar that is made of few ingredients to help ease digestion and recovery. Those with natural sources of carbohydrates and protein are best. If you do not like these natural bars make sure to look for a post workout bar with a quality protein source such as hemp protein. Examples include: Lara, ProBar, Think Organic, Pure Bar and Vega!!

Want to make your own whole foods bar? Here is an easy quick recipe you can make in minutes….

Cranberry Hemp Nut Bar

dsc01009Ingredients:

2 cup walnuts

1 cup pitted dates

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 cup oats (gluten free if possible)

2 tbsp agave nectar

1/4 cup hemp seeds

1 tbsp virgin coconut oil

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

pinch of salt

Directions:

Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend. Press firmly into a pan and put in the freezer for 1 hour to form. Cut into squares and enjoy. You can wrap each square individually and store in the freezer for an on the go snack.

Recovery for Triathletes

With the triathlon season upon us (my first race of the year is next weekend!), I’ve noticed a lot of people asking about recovery. So I’m here to clear up the confusion around Recovery and provide a new delicious and effective smoothie recipe for you to try. Recovery is one of the most important aspects of triathlon training and should not be overlooked. With an increase in effort and training hours it is crucial for your body to recover quickly in order to improve performance and stay healthy. The faster you can recover, the sooner you can get in that next training session. So what are the best ways to recover? Optimal nutrition is key.

After a training session you have a 30 minute window to refuel your body. It is essential to replenish your glycogen stores during this time with easily digestible carbohydrates and a small amount of protein. The protein helps to speed the uptake of carbohydrates into your system. The more easily digestible the carbohydrates and protein, the less work and energy your body needs to digest them, making that energy free to repair the body. In addition, you want to think about your recovery meal as having the following characteristics:

  • Rich in omega 3’s – to combat inflammation in the body produced during workout
  • High in electrolytes (magnesium, calcium, sodium and potassium) – to fight muscle soreness and cramping
  • High in antioxidants – to prevent and repair muscle damage produced by free radicals during training
  • A source of leafy greens – to alkalize the body after all the acid build up (that can lead to fatigue) during training

Here is a great SUPERFOOD Recovery Drink:

1 Banana (potassium)yummymummychocmilksmoothie

1 cup of coconut water (great source of electrolytes)

1 tbsp raw cacao powder (#1 antioxidant and magnesium source on the planet)

2 tsp hemp seeds (easily digested protein)

1 tbsp raw honey (optional)

1 tbsp flaxseed (source of omega 3’s)

1 tbsp Revitaphi (ultimate green superfood alkalizing formula!!!)