How Do I Keep My Body Fueled With The Proper Nutrition?
Training for a triathlon can be hard work. One of the most important aspects to keep in mind is how you fuel your body with the proper nutrition.
As many of you know a car requires gasoline to run, you also have a choice of gasoline grades to use depending on the performance you want out of your car. Likewise, your body requires fuel for energy, and just as there are different grades of gasoline, there are different types of foods to fuel your body.
The timing, type, combination, and consistency of foods you eat can greatly influence your energy levels throughout your day!
To maintain my energy level, I strive to fuel my body consistently throughout the day. I have found that eating three meals each day in addition to two or three between-meal snacks provides my body with adequate energy necessary for my training.
I have noticed that this eating style helps reduce tendency to overeat since I know that I will be fueling my body again in a few hours. The type of food I choose is also important for optimizing my energy level.
For example, when eating carbohydrates, make the majority of them high quality: whole grains, fruit, vegetables and beans. I have personally found that limiting grains has been helpful to reducing inflammation.
I also found the best way to keep my energy level stable is to eat a combination of high-quality carbohydrates with a lean protein source or heart healthy fat.
Smoothies and protein shakes make great between-meal snacks, they provide the body with many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants! Every day I make sure to drink at least one protein shake. I choose to use Ortho Molecular – Lifecore Complete because it is free from classic allergens, such as gluten, soy, dairy, and does not contain fructose or any genetically-modified foods.
In just one serving this protein shake provides 20 grams of high-quality protein, sourced from organic brown rice, peas, and potato proteins. This protein shake provides low-impact carbohydrates balanced with fiber, protein and healthy fats, like olive oil, to fuel the body and maintain optimal health.
Olive oil has been shown to not only support heart health and healthy regulation of cholesterol levels, but the omega-3 rich oil helps support satiety as well. Researchers have found that olive oil consumption has a direct impact on blood sugar levels — reducing the amount of glucose absorbed from the blood into the liver cells.
Along with the protein shake, I like to switch between at least 2 different smoothies every day. My favorite one is the green detox smoothie made with either our Deeper Green Blend Powder (by Ortho Molecular) OR I will use Kale, Chard and Spinach.
I mix that with some sliced ginger root-sliced, half of a lemon, and sometimes I even add a small amount of additional fruit and liquid cayenne or green tea extract to put a twist on this delicious smoothie.
This detox smoothie helps with improvements in health, energy and mental clarity by increasing the intake of daily vegetables, and fruits that contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
The other smoothie I enjoy every week is what I like to call the brain cure smoothie by Dr. Kelly Brogan! It is loaded with healthy fats, lecithin, protein, and antioxidants. Research has found healthy fats are a good source of energy for athletic events that last longer than 20 minutes.
To make this smoothie, I mix a half cup of frozen organic cherries (you can substitute them with berries) with 8 oz. of either fermented coconut water, coconut water, or filtered water. Then I mix that with 3 tablespoons of collagen hydrolysate that acts as a protein base, 1 tablespoon of sprouted nut butter or sun butter, 3 pastured egg yolks, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, 1-2 tablespoons of ghee, and 1-2 tablespoons of raw cocoa powder. I found that this smoothie is great to help improve your mood, memory, and/or depression.
I encourage you to think about how you are fueling your body and how it makes you feel. If you tend to skip meals or wait longer than four hours to fuel your body, there is an increased likelihood that you will reach that uncomfortable point when you feel ravenous.
If you reach this stage, you are more likely to grab the most convenient food available, which is usually a candy bar, chips or other high calorie, less nutritious food. If you are not currently eating a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack, experiment by eating one for a few days and monitor your energy. By fueling your body with a combination of high-quality carbohydrate- and protein-rich foods, you will notice an improvement in how you feel!
Credits: David Menner, D.C. and Katelyn Adamek, LMT, CWC