Let's talk about nutrition – What are some of the way you fuel up for a race

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by evelynodoherty evelynodoherty 11 months ago.

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  • #56077

    Nutrition is a huge part of endurance training, racing and going on longer paddles. What are some of the favorite products or supplements you use – whether in your hydration pack or eaten – to give you energy on the water?

  • #56192

    I like this topic! I am no nutritionist but I like to eat healthy. My nutrition doesn’t change much from race days to off days. Watermelon is a big part of race days!

    I start everyday with a cup of coffee either Dr. danger coffee or Laird’s coffee with turmeric power, mushroom powder and collagen. I blend my coffer because it release the oils of the turmeric. Turmeric is great for inflammatory and the mushroom is great for energy. The collagen is a great source of protein.

    I leave the last sip of coffee in the blender to make a smoothie with. Lots of fruits and spirulina. Spirulina is a great detoxification supplement.

    Throughout the day I munch on fruits. The Smoothie normally holds me for most of the day.

    before I exercise/race I eat a bunch of watermelon. Instead of consuming a pre-work out drink full of who-knows, a water melon does the same. Watermelon has a component called l-citrulline. L-Citrukkine is the cleanest material you can get in terms of building out the nitric oxide production in your body.

    Dinner is 75% veggies and 25% protein. My diet consists of very little carbs. I am on a hybrid diet of a bunch of different diet-fabs. Keto, plant base, high omega food like fish, low carb. I think it works for me.

  • #56317

    Learning about Nutrition and how food affects the body is a huge passion of mine! I believe excellent nutrition is key for overall health and optimal athletic performance. Like Captainsharkbait, I too am no nutritionist. Great content by the way! Watermelon rocks! I’m an Ob-Gyn ER nurse who loves to Standup paddle and live a healthy lifestyle. I’m fairly new to the stand up paddle racing scene and community with my very first race 2 summers ago. Then I was hooked. It’s been REC racing since then and I’m getting ready to step it up a notch thanks to the encouragement from this most awesome SUP community! Although I am not new to athletic competition, I feel like I am, as it’s been a long while since my high school and college days of running. With that being said, prepping nutritionally for the racing scene is completely different for me now. The ever changing science and nutritional knowledge I’ve gained has led me to have a whole different way of nourishing myself. This is a positive change for sure. Gone are the days of pasta dinners the night before a race or fueling up on power bars, high sugar snacks and frequent meals. In fact, my nutritional approach now is quite the opposite.
    Over the recent years I’ve done a lot of my own nutritional research which has led me to progressively fine tune what foods work for me in terms of my overall health, strength and athletic performance. Paying close attention to how certain foods resonate with me (or not) has transformed me to a be both physically and mentally healthier than I’ve ever been. I believe that consistency is key. I believe, by nourishing oneself with healthy foods, staying hydrated with water and getting adequate sleep on a regular basis is the foundation to build upon when it comes to preparing for a race. I will share with you what I hope to be the short of the long version of my personal nutritional habits and routines that I have found works best for me in terms gaining optimal health and physical strength.
    The broad nutritional approach that I take in order to achieve optimal health and fitness is by way of staying hydrated with water, eating as low sugar, whole foods and organic whenever possible- without crossing that line of feeling overwhelmed or over stressed by doing so, of course. That’s a fine line to balance. In terms of macronutrients (fats, protein and carbs), I personally feel best on a higher HEALTHY fat, adequate protein and lower carb diet. My healthy fat sources include coconut oil, olive oil, grass-fed butter, avocados and some various nuts and seeds. Healthy protein sources come from sustainably wild caught fish, grass-fed meats, pasture raised chickens and eggs. The majority of my carb intake comes from non starchy vegetables including organic green leafy veggies, summer squash, night shades, and cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts. My starchy carbs include root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, beets and carrots. I like to eat my carbs later in the day as it promotes better sleep at night and overall optimal energy for the next day (aka Carb backloading). Adhering to a higher fat and lower carb diet allows me to go longer periods in between meals without feeling hungry while maintaining good and even energy levels. Healthy fats being my primary source of energy by way of ketosis allows me to sustain longer sessions of physical activity without having to replenish my energy stores with high carb sugary snacks. This also helps maintain a stable blood sugar throughout the day. Conversely, back in my running days, when I was a “sugar burner” with my primary fuel source coming from glucose, I needed to refuel more frequently with sports drinks and quick digesting high sugar snacks. This leads to insulin spikes and more erratic blood glucose levels. There is a lot of information and studies out there regarding this fat adaptive state, known as “ketosis” (Ketogenic dieting). I personally cycle in and out of ketosis and intermittent fasting. I’m a huge fan of intermittent fasting. I typically eat within an 8 hour window and fast for 12 hours which includes my night time sleep. Fasting gives the body a break from digestive processes while allowing more energy to be focused on other vital metabolic processes such as cellular damage repair. So about coffee?? I love LOVE coffee!
    Here is my typical day when it comes to how I fuel my body towards optimal health, physical strength and endurance:
    Every Morning upon awakening:
    *A pinch of sea salt chased by 24 oz water with 1Tbs apple cider vinegar (great for gut and overall health, the benefits are endless). The minerals in the sea salt help drive the water into the cells where it should go. This is where “true” hydration is achieved. I’ve learned through research that most of us are sodium depleted, therefore while still drinking “adequate” amounts of water, it quickly passes through our kidneys without getting absorbed into our cells. As we all know, drinking caffeinated beverages further dehydrate cells. I do my best to match ounce for ounce my water intake to that of my coffee, plus more water. The risks of dehydration is especially common among athletes as we lose a lot of water and electrolytes through sweating.
    * After my “inner bath” of water is when I jump right into my conditioning & strengthening w/o routine- always in a nutritionally fasted state.
    * Then it’s a cup of homemade bone broth (amazing for gut health. I’ll let you google search all the benefits on that one).
    * Then it’s COFFEE TIME! My most favorite time. I switch it up between organic Kicking Horse 454 and Lairds Coffee (1/2 regular 1/2 decaf) french pressed then whipped up with full fat coconut milk, collagen protein, turmeric and a dash of cinnamon. Turmeric for its anti-inflammatory benefits and Cinnamon for blood glucose regulation. I’ll typically consume 16-24oz over 1-2 hours. If I know that I will not be eating until much later in the day, I will add extra fat to my coffee such as coconut oil or coconut butter (manna).

    Afternoon- usually between 2-4pm
    * A daily dose of Kombucha always!
    * My main meal is always sautéed (in coconut oil) a massive heap of green leafy veggies, other various veggies, herbs and spices with a couple of eggs or another protein source, usually some sort of seafood on the side and raw hulled sunflower seeds. More water.
    *Depending on my activity level, I’ll snack on fresh coconut pieces, sunflower seeds or an avocado. More water.
    * If I’m hungry later in the evening and feel that I have more of a caloric need depending on my activity level that day or I have a race the next day, I’ll eat again- usually a super green salad, avocado, sunflower seeds and a smaller portion of a protein source along with boiled or baked sweet potatoes. More water.
    * Sleep, my biggest challenge! I strive for at least 7-8 hours of good quality sleep, but unfortunately get about 6 on average. I’m a true work in progress. More water.

    ***Race day: I’ll up my starchy carb intake the couple of nights prior. Always my morning water and coffee routine a couple of hours before race start. About an hour before race start, its typically a high fat snack such as 1/2 of an avocado with sea salt and/or fresh coconut pieces. Continuously sipping on water leading up to the race start.

    ***I highly recommend Mark Sisson’s book,
    Primal Endurance- I listened to the audio version. It’s fantastic!
    Mark is “an American fitness author and blogger, and a former distance runner, triathlete and Ironman competitor. Sisson finished 4th in the February 1982 Ironman World Championship.” He is also an avid Paddle Boarder!

    I am so grateful to have this opportunity to participate in this forum. I look forward to hearing about other people’s tips, tricks and personal nutritional and fitness routines. Until then, Peace and keep on paddling!

  • #56419

    Rachel, I really appreciate you detail and tips here. I’ve begun a new Apple Cider Vinegar regime as a result here. It’s funny how I float away from things that are beneficial for me and then get roped back in by the advice of others. Thank you for that.

    PH vs. Alkaline balance. Such a great topic of conversation.

    I’m in the middle of my high season here in the Hamptons and need to really focus on hydration and nutrition to keep my energy level up. That, and a good multi vitamin. Seven hours on the water a day can zap you. Keep the good comments coming! I’m listening 😉

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