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    Blog — Diet

    Eat to win: secrets of success

    What does it take to fuel your engine like a champion? If you’d like get the 'real deal' on nurturing success and live a day in an athlete’s shoes (and food pantry), read on… Here’s a sneak peak at some feeding rituals that allow fellow sport enthusiasts to savour the benefits of an athletic lifestyle and sound nutrition!




    • When asked about the must-haves in the fridge and lunch box, our panel of interviewees responded (in order of importance) : greek yogurt, oatmeal and bagels, bananas and dried mangoes, veggies and rice crackers with hummus and tofu dip, fish, peanut butter and maple syrup, caffeine (!), dark chocolate and fruit chews (!!). What are your favorite items at the grocery store?

    • In sharing advice with regards to eating/exercise, the group suggested: not being fearful of eating to give the body what it needs to excel, breaking down barriers and going beyond the limits we may set for ourselves (nothing is impossible…) and considering consulting a professional dietitian get tips to support training and everyday life. Are you optimizing your chances for success?


    • As for tracking down credible and user-friendly information on sports nutrition, this select sample of clients recommended: going straight to the source and finding a dietitian to team up with, websites (www.active.com, www.ironman.com), magazines (Triathlon Magazine Canada), amongst other sources. What are your favorites?
    • In order to give in to their guilty pleasures without giving up and keeping hunger under control, these gurus tend to: make sure not to skip meals nor snacks and keep to a tight routine, treat themselves only after events (as a reward!), have nutritious foods at arm’s reach, consume foods in moderation, maintain adequate hydration… Readers: do you have any tips to share?


    • Finally, with regards to sports supplements, the athletes gave 5 stars to the following products : bars (Clif, PowerBar and Kronobar were the favorites), protein powder (Vega came in first), chews (Clif and Power Bar were worthy of their attention), gels (Honey Stinger was the first choice) and brews (such as First Endurance EFS). Check out the wide selection of sports nutrition products on athleti.ca!

    Let yourself get carried away in the health-nut craze: it’s worth a taste! You’ll feel better and optimize your performance. Every bit and each bite matters, your body should be treated as a temple. Eating sensibly is contagious, spread the word!!! 

    *Special thanks to Bruno Langevin, Marc Bonds and Jimmy Gosselin for their insight, their time and trust as well as their inspiring stories.


    www.carolineallen.ca

    3 Steps to Recovery

    Many of you are getting ready for D-day, the event that you wouldn’t want to miss for anything in the world. You train hard, putting in time and effort, and thus you deserve to reap the rewards. Nutrition plays a huge part both in your success and your health. It’s known that you are what you eat and this is true not only during exercise but between bouts of physical activity. Follow these 3R’s to keep going without running low on fuel or hitting any roadblocks!

    1. Rethink everyday meals and snacks to make sure they offer their fair share of nutritive carbohydrates (such as couscous, whole-wheat pasta, multigrain bread, fresh fruits with edible peels) and quality protein (lean meats and poultry, low-fat dairy or soy products, fish and seafood, eggs and legumes). Although carb-loading can be useful prior to race day, carb-depletion is never a good idea, causing fatigue and muscle wasting. As for protein, endurance athletes (meat-lovers and vegetarians alike) need to take in adequate amounts of precious amino acids for tissue repair and immune function.

    2. Reduce the oxidative stress and acidic burden caused by exertion (without meaning to take away from the benefits of working out…). Exercise increases the need for certain vitamins (C and the B family), minerals (iron and zinc particularly) and electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium) as these nutrients are lost in sweat and urine. Also, levels of acidity rise (corresponding to a drop in pH…) with effort, which can cause bone loss and other minor ills in the long run. Checking labels and ingredient lists is a smart way to load up on antioxidants and alkaline foods, either in edible or supplement form.

    3. Refrain from consuming too much alcohol (a predictable statement!), fat and fiber (this one may come as a surprise?!), as these can become a nuisance to athletes. The first substance will not only blur physical and mental alertness but also slow lipolysis (the use and burning of body fat for energy) and contributes empty calories. A second possible offender is fat, especially if predominant in the diet, which slows digestion and affects weight management. Finally, too much fiber (although important for digestion/ elimination) overstimulates the intestinal tract and causes bloating, cramping and diarrhea.

    Once this is tried and tested, there’s one last rule of thumb : Repeat! If the formula feels right and the shoe fits, all that’s left to do is go out and play. Cheers to a great training season!!!