Saturday, December 06, 2008

My Everyday Nutritional Tips

So many times I have been asked about nutrition during races, training and in general. As you can probably tell from other posts I have a huge interest in all areas of cycling performance and read widely but food is one thing I keep close to my heart.

Firstly, everyone is different, what I have settled on has been built up from reading many books, papers, blog entries and forum posts over the last few years and then using that knowledge and finding out what works for me. There are many many (conflicting) theories on nutrition and more specifically sports nutrition. The Paleo Diet people want you to eat lots of protein and (healthy) fat, the China Study says to eat no animal based protein while most of the endurance based literature screams a high carbohydrate diet. Me, I'm not fully convinced by it all but I have a few general rules that goes across all (or at least most) diets.

  • Drink lots of water (okay, Joe Friel has some things to say about this)
  • Eat unprocessed foods (your shopping cart should be huge each week)
  • Make everything from 'scratch'
  • Have 4-5 types of fruit available always and snack on it (I usually have oranges, apples, bananas, kiwis, frozen berries, melon and pears available)
  • Always buy the leanest meat possible (I tend to eat red meat rarely, it makes me feel slugish the following day – chicken and fish seems to work fine with me)
  • Organic, free range, GM Free – buy into the buzz words
  • IF, I am buying something processed, make sure that I know (and can buy in the same store) everything in the ingredient list
  • Stay away from nasty chemicals, E numbers
  • Eat low GI foods in general, high GI foods for 1-2 hours after training
  • If you are going to treat yourself with some 'bad' food – make sure it is of the highest quality
  • Have a look at the labels on the foods you eat and the servings you take – not to calorie count, but to have an understanding of what you are taking in. (You would not believe how innocent 1,000 calorie desserts can look – that is about half of the energy needs of an average male!)
These are a few of the books that have influenced my current diet.

The GI Diet: The Easy, Healthy Way to Permanent Weight Loss
Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes
The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
The Paleo Diet for Athletes
The Metabolic Typing Diet

1 comment:

trio said...

Nutrition is an interesting topic, I have books that contradict each other nicely. I read an interesting report recently that suggests a high fat diet for endurance atheletes, obviously good fats - shame as I love chocolate. As that can be utilised in endurance racing and training.