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Weekly Nutrition Tip: The Day After Racing- Part 2

May 1 2012

By: Debra Meszaros CSN

The Day After Racing: Part 2

Don't you dare grab that energy drink! What you choose to eat and drink before and after training sessions will determine the speed of recovery.

During a training session more than one hour, you should consume liquid containing electrolytes with about 4-8% carbohydrates. During intense, long duration training, sodium becomes the important nutrient. Sugary energy drinks can create an imbalance in water concentration within the body, without the proper balance of electrolytes; sodium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Drinking a lot of water without adequate sodium intake creates a low concentration of blood sodium. The body will attempt to concentrate sodium by increasing urination. Adding a pinch of sea salt to your water will help reduce urine output. This encourages the quick release of water from your stomach passing through the intestines for faster absorption. Try Consuming water with sodium at least 1 hour prior to the start of training.

Dehydration is never a good thing; it thickens your blood making it more difficult to flow to your muscles. Common body language of dehydration can be dizziness, headaches, nausea, chills, and dark colored urine. A quick note to those of you flying to your races, air travel dehydrates the body, so please drink plenty of fluids while flying.

If you happen to be one of those riders who believe that vitamins and nutrients have little to no value in achieving optimal body performance, I understand. This simply means that the adrenaline rush you experience during training and racing clouds your ability to become aware of how your body actually responds to the physical demands placed on it. Not supporting your adrenal glands and properly removing the by-products released during training and racing will have a long-term affect on your health and performance, no doubt. Excess adrenal stress is part of racing and adrenal stress increases cortisol production, can inhibit glucose uptake into cells for energy production, suppress collagen synthesis (protein for building healthy joints), inhibit bone growth, and protein synthesis. These are all very important recovery factors to an athlete. A great pre and post workout protocol is the use of L-glutamine to counter elevated cortisol; this is one of the reasons whey protein powders are a top choice. Additionally, low blood levels of the branch amino acids valine, leucine, and isoleucine seem to increase tryptophan into the brain, increase serotonin, contributing to fatigue. Maintaining adequate blood levels of these branch amino acids reduces this process. Whey protein concentrate often contain these branch chain aminos.1-2 grams of vitamin C per day is also an excellent adrenal support option.

Sleep and body performance:

How well you sleep also affects body performance. Your training and racing is a stimulator for growth hormone but it is adequate sleep that promotes the release of testosterone and growth hormone. Overtraining and inadequate sleep decrease your testosterone and your performance.

Strength and recovery:

Often untrained, older athletes or weekend warriors, struggle more with recovery. To increase your performance parameters and reduce muscle soreness, explore the option of 300-400 mg of green tea or black tea extract, which can be utilized to overcome this challenge. A pure Tart cherry concentrate is also helpful for reducing the loss of strength for anyone needing help in this area. Adding Tart cherry concentrate to your recovery drink can be effective along with magnesium, which can be purchased in powdered form; all excellent recovery options.

Fueling guidelines for strength, endurance, and performance:

Before training: Small carbohydrate + high quality protein 30-60 minutes before intense exercise in these quantities: 1 gram of carbohydrate per 2.2lbs of body weight X each hour of length of training and protein, 10-20 grams for one hour, or 20-40 grams for longer than one hour.

After intense training: during your training week you have plenty of time to reload glycogen levels in your body. There is no need to consume simple sugars; instead consume 2 to 3 grams of complex carbohydrates and 1 gram of protein, per every 4.4lbs of body weight, every two hours, until dinner.

Peak performance foods are:

Fruits: Blueberries, cherries, raspberries, plums, kiwi, mango, pineapple, papaya, bananas, tart cherries, grapes, strawberries, apples, melons, and peaches; all in whole, fresh form, not canned.

Vegetables: Broccoli, carrots, kale, tomatoes, peppers, spinach, sweet potatoes, onions, collard greens, Swiss chard, and cabbage.

Whole grains: Steel cut oats, quinoa, barley, and brown rice. Be creful to not overdue these, especially if you are attempting to maintain a certain body weight, as grains make you gain.

Lean protein: Beans, fish, free-range chicken, grass-fed beef, turkey, pork tenderloin, wild game, and whey protein concentrate powder.

Spices: Turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, oregano, basil, and tea.

Fats: Coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado, almond butter, ground flaxseed, wild caught salmon, tuna, cage free organic eggs, and occasionally 70%+ organic dark chocolate.

Dairy: Almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, greek yogurt, and occasionally, cottage cheese. If you experience mucous buildup, omit the cottage cheese.

Now you are ready for your next challenge!

-2012 Debra Meszaros All rights reserved; no duplication without permission
DISCLAIMER: When you read through the diet and lifestyle information, you must know that everything within it is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. I am making no attempt to prescribe any medical treatment. You should not use the information here for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. The products and the claims made about specific products have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. Confirm the safety of any supplements with your M.D., N.D. or pharmacist (healthcare professional). Some information given is solely an opinion, thought and or conclusion based on experiences, trials, tests, assessments or other available sources of information. I do not make any guarantees or promises with regard to results. I may discuss substances that have not been subject to double blind clinical studies or FDA approval or regulation. You assume the responsibility for the decision to take any natural remedy.
You and only you are responsible if you choose to do anything with the information you have read. You do so at your own risk. Use your intelligence to make the decisions that are right for you. Consulting a naturopathic doctor is strongly advised especially if you have any existing disease or condition.