Essential Sports Nutrition


Ironman is on NBC this Saturday

Don't Miss It!!!
Every year I say "this was the best one yet." As I wipe away my tears and tell Karel that I can't wait to get back to Kona, I remain speechless for several minutes just trying to comprehend all of the amazing stories that come from the broadcast of the Ironman World Championships.
I am one of the many people who was so inspired from watching the World Championship that I said to myself "I want to do that one day". I remember watching my first Ironman World Championship in Dec. 2005 as I was studying for my Graduate exit exams. It was so amazing and I just didn't understand how someone could actually race for that long and still smile at the finish.

Do you have any Kona-party plans for Sat?
After you watch the show, I can't wait to hear your thoughts of the show.
In addition to all of the amazing stories, here's the story I'm most looking forward to hearing about....

I Hope you enjoy the show..I'm sure we will all be inspired.

Kona preview



Broadcast Highlights Top Professional and Age Group Athletes from Around the World Competing in Sport’s Most Grueling Endurance Event

(Tampa, Fla.) Dec. 3, 2009 – The 2009 Ford Ironman World Championship broadcast will air, for the 19th consecutive year on NBC, Dec. 19, 2009, from 4:30 – 6 p.m. ET (check local listings). The telecast will highlight the physical and emotional journey taken by athletes during the renowned 140.6-mile triathlon. Veteran sports commentator and narrator Al Trautwig will provide the voiceover.

Athletes profiled in the Emmy-Award-winning program range from professionals including three-time Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington of Great Britain to physically challenged athletes, military veterans, retired professionals and weight loss success stories.

In its 31st year, the Ford Ironman World Championship start cannon sounded on Oct. 10, 2009. Nearly 1,700 of the world’s fittest athletes braved the harsh elements of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, in an attempt to earn the title of “Ironman.” Temperatures on event day reached 90 degrees Fahrenheit and higher at certain times on the bike and run portions. Athletes ranging in age from 20 to 80 years competed in the 2.4-mile Pacific Ocean swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile marathon in a classic battle of human motivation versus sweltering heat and mental and physical fatigue.

“Each year we look to inspire our viewers with the raw power and competitive nature of the professional athletes along with the impressive stories of courage and determination demonstrated by all participants,” said Peter Henning, vice president of television production for Ironman. “The course might not change year to year, but the drama continues to intensify.”

The broadcast captures the emotion of the day and features head-to-head competition among the top male and female professionals. The program documents Australia's Craig Alexander as he adds a second consecutive Ironman World Championship title to his resume and Wellington, who secures her third – breaking the course record of Ironman great, Paula Newby-Fraser of Zimbabwe – with an overall time of 8 hrs., 54 min., 2 sec. The program also highlights the 17-hour challenges of several unique professional and age group athletes who define the meaning of inspiration and bring to life the “Anything is Possible” mentality.

Featured athletes include:

• Decorated professional and 2009 top American finisher Chris Lieto, the former surfer and college water polo player with three top-10 finishes at the Ironman World Championship
• Matt Hoover, season two winner of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” who gave it his best to be an official Ironman finisher, but crossed the finish line mere minutes after the midnight cut-off time
• Rudy Garcia-Tolson, a double-amputee with numerous world records, who completed an impressive swim but narrowly missed the cut-off after biking the 112-mile course
• Four-time Lymphoma survivor and heart transplant recipient Kyle Garlett, who was not able to complete the challenging swim within the allotted timeframe
• Mike Adamle, a former professional football running back and well-known national and Chicago-area sportscaster, who tested his strength and drive for the second time in Kailua-Kona

Further program details and information on the Ironman and Ironman 70.3 Event Series can be found by visiting: For media-related questions, please contact Blair LaHaye at / (813) 868-5929 or Jessica Weidensall at / (813) 868-5914.

About Ironman
World Triathlon Corporation, owner and organizer of Ironman and Ironman 70.3 branded-events, is a Florida-based company recognized for athletic excellence, performance and quality products. With the addition of the Ironman 70.3 Series, Ironman now has more than 60 qualifying events worldwide. Supported by partners that include Ford Motor Company, PowerBar, Timex and Gatorade, Ironman is the No.1 user-based sports brand in the world. Ironman has been a respected name in triathlon since its inception in 1978 and is regarded as the world’s most challenging endurance event. Millions may remember moments in Ironman history such as Julie Moss’ crawl to the finish line in 1982, which was showcased on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. Each year, more than 150,000 athletes compete for slots in the Ford Ironman World Championship held every October in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, and the Foster Grant Ironman World Championship 70.3 held every November in Clearwater, Fla. The Ironman brand has been featured in a range of media outlets to include NBC, CNN Headline News, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, People, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times and USA Today.



Are advertisements too much of a good thing?
I just heard about this commercial which was posted on and the NYC Health department website on Monday.
NYC campaign ad

Although this commercial is recent, NYC has gone to great lengths in trying to create a greener and healthier city.
I found a great press release from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on August 31, 2009
Press release

I'd love to hear what you think about this ad.
Do you think we should have more of them on TV?
Do you think American's will find the commercial disgusting or informative...or both?

If advertisements really work, how do you feel about these ads?

red bull
If you start drinking Red Bull, will you be able to surf like this?

Smart for life cookies
Would you be able to maintain your current exercise routine, train for a race and/or live a normal life on this cookie diet?

How did I ever live without this? And it is free!!! Only kidding. For many people, this commercial may seem like the missing link in a failing weight loss plan. For athletes, this commercial may be the trick to getting that lean body that is desired for the upcoming season. Do you think this commercial is misleading? Perhaps, too good to be true?

Or how about this one?

So to the every-day individual, seeking weight loss or a consistent exercise routine, perhaps the commercials I posted may seem believable. But what about for athletes? Perhaps as multisport athletes we understand that for performance gains, a cookie diet is not realistic. Regular soda may be an occasional treat to a dedicated
triathlete but I could see how a Red Bull commercial could be a bit more captivating. Let's take a look at this commercial:

Gatorade: Chris Legh
Any Ironman triathlon commercial can be inspiring. We all know that Gatorade is the primary sport drink for the majority of athletic races in the US. While I believe that Hammer Nutrition offers the best products to support performance gains, I am sure I am not alone in thinking that there are a lot of better products available to consumers besides Gatorade...yet, to the non-triathlete and newbie fitness enthusiast, this commercial may be so motivating that the consumer may feel that Gatorade is the only sport drink to fuel workouts.

So maybe ads aren't your thing. Maybe you think that these commercials are just entertaining and you would never buy-in to something so silly.
I did a quick google search for sports nutrition supplements on triathlon-related websites. Here's what I found;
*I picked products that I believe are most common among athletes
Optygen HP
First endurance Multi
First endurance pre-race
Hammer anti-fatigue caps
Hammer Endurolytes
Hammer Endurance Aminos
Sport Legs
Sports Quest Motivator
Sports Quest Vantage VO2 Max
Sports Quest Recover
Base Performance Salt
Base Performance Aminos
Base Performance Multi
Whey Protein
EAS HMB caps
EAS phosphagen elite
EAS endurathon

These are just a few. It does seem a bit silly that there are so many products available to consumers. I must say, there are very few products backed by the FDA and really, it is a bit too easy to create products that may/may not work.
As for the products I listed, you've probably seen the ads in magazines or at least, heard about most of them. I was just wondering if you use any of these supplements or if you know of people using these supplements? How do you feel about supplements? Do you use any supplements?
As you know, I am a believer in supplements when they are necessary. I'd love to hear your thoughts :)


Starbucks-inspired Lemon Poppyseed Loaf

Here you go Amanda ( I hope you enjoy your super-healthy Lemon Poppyseed Loaf w/ icing. Also, this is for my friend Stephanie and her hubby Sean who LOVE the boxed version of lemon poppyseed cakes.

Here's what I needed to modify:

Starbucks Iced Lemon Loaf
Nutrition breakdown:
Calories: 500
Fat: 23grams
Saturated fat: 12g
Cholesterol: 120mg
Sodium: 380g
Carbs: 69g
Fiber: 1g
Sugars: 48g
Protein: 6g

I am not a baker. I have no culinary background. And, I still need a lot of work in trying to modify recipes. We all know that when you have a modification to a recipe and you truely want it to be a healthier option and not one that is full of fat, rather than sugar, sugar rather than fat, sweeteners rather than sugar or artificial ingredients rather than the real isn't going to taste the same. If you want to make adjustments to your diet you need to compromise. If once a month you go to Starbucks and get a sweet big deal. However, if it is ever Sat. after your long workout than you may be compromising your workouts and your weight loss/maintenance endeavors. I always say "if you eat healthy most of the time you don't have to worry about the rest of the time".
I try to use products that are as natural as possible so I avoid using sugar sweeteners. However, if you add a little Stevia to this recipe you will likely have a sweeter loaf, which may be to your liking. Also, the cake is probably a lot heavier than normal because I added soy and wheat flour and only used a bit of brown sugar (as opposed to 1 cup white sugar in most recipes). I also added flax seeds, and 1 whole egg to add some healthy fats and added applesauce to omit oil.
So, even though I made a healthier version of this loaf, when's the perfect time to indulge in this modification?
I think a slice of this loaf would be perfect after a 90 minute or more workout because it has a great combination of carbs, protein and fat. Of course, if you aren't working out for 90 minutes or more, it is perfectly fine to have this treat after any workout. I suggest having on of the following post-workout quality protein snacks, within 45 min of finishing your workout, with a slice of your lemon poppyseed loaf:
*8 ounces of low fat or greek yogurt
*1 scoop whey protein (80-120 calories, at least 18g protein) mixed with 6 ounces skim milk and 6 ounces of water
*8 ounces skim or soy milk
*1/3 cup fat free or low fat cottage cheese
*4 egg whites and 1/2 egg yoke

I know how easy it is to enjoy a delicious sweet treat after a long workout because well, your body likely deserves it because you burned a lot of calories. However, if you are enjoying a REAL slice of lemon loaf from Starbucks, your body is likely receiving a ton of sugar and not enough (if any) quality protein.
Quick digesting sugars, following exercise, will stimulate a release of insulin, which helps to regulate protein synthesis post exercise. However, without the presence of quality protein, your body will have difficulty in stimulating protein synthesis and rebuilding damaged tissues. Thus, you did all that training for....???? Please don't say "just so I can eat the Lemon Loaf". Of course, you want to get stronger and faster after a workout and in order to do so, you must properly refuel.
If you are trying to re-fuel post workout with only carbohydrates and/or more calories than necessary, you are likely encouraging a conversion of carbohydrates to fat. While you may have exercised for a prolonged period of time, it is likely that the main source of fuel during your workout was fat and not quick-energy carbohydrates. Thus, as your workout routine continues, you may find yourself maintaining or putting on weight as the weeks go by, rather than maintaining or losing weight as you try to refuel after workouts. By consuming carbohydrates with your post-workout protein snack, you can increase insulin levels thus encouraging an anabolic (muscle growth) response rather than a catabolic response (muscle breakdown).
It is important that you never neglect real foods in a post-workout meal or in pre and post workout snacks. The post-workout carb-protein snack (I like a 3:2 or 2:1 carb: protein ratio for my post-workout snack and a 4:1 carb to protein ratio for my post-workout meal) is simply a way to quickly repair your body while hormones are elevated post workout. After 2 hours of finishing your workout, metabolic sensitivity is decreased, specifically to insulin. If you wait too long to have your post-workout snack your body becomes more resistant to insulin and muscle glycogen recovery and synthesis of new muscle tissue becomes impaired. On the other hand, if you eating high calorie meals immediately after long training your meal may take a long time to digest, especially if it is high in fat or calories. Regardless of when you eat, if your snack or meal does not include quality protein in it, you are likely to overeat after the workout or later in the day, due to shifts in your blood sugar levels.
Although high-glycemic carbohydrates (as opposed to complex carbs) are preferred post-workout with your protein source, it is recommended that you choose complex carbs with your post-workout meal (which will follow your post-workout snack). This will prevent overeating and promote satisfaction with your meal, without consuming more calories than needed. While donuts, cupcakes and muffins may be your ideal post-workout, high-glycemic foods "just because you worked out for x-hours" it is important that you focus on heart-healthy foods when choosing your post-workout high glycemic carbohydrate.
In contrast to sweets, which may be easy to overindulge thus causing you to eat more food than necessary, there are many healthy foods high in the glycemic index, that can be included in your post-workout protein snack:
watermelon, apricots, cantelope, pineapple, raisins, banana, beets, carrots, parsnips, cornmeal, millet grains, rice cakes, corn flakes, special K cereal, Shredded Wheat cereal, Muesli, Cheerios, brown rice, french bread, potatoes and honey.
My #1 quality protein choice is whey protein. I recommend Body Fortress at Wal-mart or Hammer Nutrition Whey protein. Whey Protein contains all nine essential amino acids (your body can't produce them, so they must be obtained in the diet) and has the highest concentration of your Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA's). Whey protein quickly empties from the stomach and quickly absorbes into the bloodstream...faster than any other protein. Whey protein does contain lactose so if you are lactose intolerant, I recommend soy protein (although a lower amount of quality protein). Whey protein has the highest biological value of protein. Biological Value is how well and how quickly your body can actually use the protein you consume. In contrast to peanuts which have a protein rating of 43%, your body is digesting and using 100% of the protein that is in whey protein. Chicken has a rating of 79%, eggs are 88-100% and milk has a rating of 80%. Just a reminder, milk is 20% whey and 80% casein, so although a great recovery drink after an intense 60 min or less workouts, whey protein should be your your recovery drink of choice for the longer workouts.

Well, enough of the educational's your recipe, now get baking!
*I used the Diet Analysis Plus 9.0 program to figure out the nutrition facts for my recipe. I think you will be pleasantly surprised with my modifications and I hope you enjoy the recipe.

Lemon Poppyseed Loaf

1/2 cup cake flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/8 cup soy flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 whole egg
3 egg whites
1 tbsp flax seed
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp. poppyseed
3 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tbsp smart balance butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 large lemon)
1/2 cup applesauce

1 ounce fat free cream cheese
1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp. honey
A pinch of lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, flaxseeds and poppyseeds.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice and honey.
4. At the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.
5. Add the applesauce and mix until batter is smooth.
6. Pour in a non-stick 9x5 baking loaf pan (sprayed with non stick spray) and cook for 35-40 minutes.
7. For icing, mix together fat free cream cheese, lemon zest, juice, brown sugar and honey in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. Spread on warm bread.

Nutrition facts
9 servings
Serving size: 1 inch slice

Calories: 120
Fat: 2.5g
Saturated fat: .6g
Monounsaturated fat: .7g
Polyunsaturated fat: .5g
Carbohydrate: 20g
Fiber: 2g
Cholesterol: 24mg
Sodium: 155mg
Sugar: 5.5g
Protein: 5.3g