Essential Sports Nutrition


Pumpkin Pecan Maple Oatmeal

Deep into winter, it's time to spice-up your plain bowl of oatmeal with this delicious recipe filled with pumpkin, pecans and maple syrup. 

 Pumpkin Pecan Maple Oatmeal
By Joey Mock, RD, LD, CLT


  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 ¾ cups soy, almond, or low fat cow's milk
  • ¼ cup canned pure pumpkin
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped pecans
  • Pure maple syrup, to taste

  1. Combine oats and milk in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer, continuing to stir, about 4 minutes.
  3. Stir in pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Continue to simmer about 1 minute until heated through.
  4. Top with pecans and a drizzle of maple syrup and serve immediately.
  5. Enjoy!
Adapted from: Damn Delicious Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal recipe


Hydration and Performance

The first step to optimizing performance is mastering your daily hydration needs to maintain proper body functions. Fluids are critical to optimal health. They replenish what has been lost through normal physiological processes, such as respiration, sweating and urination. To optimize cardiovascular and thermoregulatory functions, it's important to subscribe to a comprehensive fluid-replacement program. Identify the best beverages to consume and plan your fluid intake - frequency and volume - around and during exercise. 

To help simplify this confusing topic, I highly suggest to listen to the Purple Patch Fitness Podcast with Andy Blow from Precision Hydration.  Matt and Andy go into the specifics of hydration and why athletes should pay more attention to hydration needs on a daily basis and during training. 

If you are like most athletes and desire specific guidelines and strategies for optimizing hydration intake, I feel you'll really find my book Essential Sports Nutrition practical and useful. Within the book, I provide several sport specific strategies on how to hydrate (and fuel) for better results.

I start the book by discussing fluid and electrolytes and how to identify dehydration (and overhydration) symptoms. I then discussing fluid balance - specifically fluid loss and fluid intake. With so many different types of fluids -from coffee and tea to sport drinks - I discuss several different types of drinks and the pros and cons. Within part two of the book, I spend three chapters discussing how to best hydrate (and fuel) before exercise, during and after exercise, on rest days and during competition. Respective to every type of workout or competition scenario, I give specific guidelines to help you fine-tune your hydration and fueling strategies. 

To fully understand and apply sport nutrition concepts, it's important to have a great understanding of exercise science, exercise physiology and sport nutrition. I feel Andy and Matt did an exceptional job dissecting this complicated topic and I hope my book can serve as a comprehensive - yet easy-to-read guide - to help you optimize your performance and maintain optimal health.

If you already have my book, THANK YOU! Because most online consumers are influenced by reviews when purchasing a product, after you read my book, it would be great if you could leave a review on Amazon. Click HERE and scroll down to Review this product. 


In pursuit of race weight

With January behind us, there's a good chance that you are getting a bit more serious with your training and diet. Motivation is high, all with hopes that this will be the season when you reach your BIG performance goals.

With an extreme drive to succeed, you may be looking for the many ways that you can optimize performance.

Body composition has and will always play a role in performance. Many athletes are on a never-ending pursuit to achieve the perfect weight for race day. However, being lighter isn't always better.

I've touched on this topic many times in the past but I don't think it can be discussed too much. In a media-driven world, body image has become an obsession among athletes - particularly how you compare your body image to the body image that you see on others. In today's "visual" society, it's not hard to compare how you look to other people. This may cause you to question your looks and lose confidence in your abilities. With this comes a strong desire to look for ways to "fix" yourself - often in hopes of becoming a better athlete (or to "look" more like an athlete).

Whereas you would think that athletes would be obsessed with eating "enough" to perform consistently well in training in an effort to become strong, fit and healthy enough to tolerate the demands of racing, athletes are often anxiously worried about eating "too much". However, lighter isn't always better.

Sadly, for many athletes, the attempt of reaching "race weight" becomes detrimental to health and performance. When an athlete is trying to train for an endurance event while attempting to lose weight/lean-up, it can be rather difficult to adapt to training and recover properly from workouts. This is why far too many athletes fail to improve performance when attempting to intentionally reach "race weight" and often become sick, injured or burnt out. And for those who are able to change body composition from increasing the training load and restricting calories, it's rare to see an athlete become a better athlete in the long-term. Overtime, they become the opposite - weak and fragile. In other words, just because you reach race weight, this doesn't mean you have achieved the fitness level necessary to perform to your physical, emotional and mental capabilities on race day.

I'm a firm believer that if you fuel and nourish your body properly throughout the year, your body can adapt to every phase of training and you'll arrive to your races with a fit, strong and healthy body. This idea of unintentional weight loss means not trying to proactively lose weight through restricting calories, watching every morsel of food that goes into your body, eliminating carbs (or food groups) and performing fasted training sessions. Understanding the changing demands of your training as you progress throughout the year, your nutrition should also change. There are going to be times when you need more calories and carbohydrates to support the energy demands of your training. If you restrict calories and carbohydrates, you'll eat too little to support your overall training load and your body will become compromised. Then there are times when you are burning a mix of carbohydrates and fat and overall energy expenditure is rather low. This doesn't mean that you should avoid carbohydrates and follow a low calorie diet but instead, you need to be mindful of what and how you are eating.

By matching your nutrient intake to the demands of training, you can maintain the quality of your training so you can optimize performance for race day. As you improve your sport-specific fitness through consistent training, your body will adapt by oxidizing fuel more efficiently. Naturally, your body composition will change - without extreme measures. Remember, sport isn't about body image. It's about performance. Every athlete has an optional body weight that allows for optimal performance. How you need to look to perform at your best may differ than how you think you need to look.


The Ventum makeover

When Karel learned about the custom paint work of Mike Furtek of Kcycle Design in early 2018, he couldn't pass up the opportunity of a receiving a complimentary custom paint job on his Ventum. Karel's bike was flashy and certainly stood out in a crowd.

With a new season approaching, Karel wanted a makeover on his bike. Something a bit more his style - black. This time around, Karel paid for the paint (a special and very specific type of paint) and let Mike go to work, creating another incredible design. Once again, Mike created a masterpiece and a one-of-a-kind bike. The pictures don't really capture the details of the deep shiny black paint. Mike did an incredible job hand painting this bike.

Karel also has a new handlebar setup by 51 Speedshop, along with his Dash Cycles aero combo, Alto Cycling wheels and new 4iiii dual-side powermeter.

Saturday was Karel's first time since November (IMFL) outside on his Ventum and he was riding happy for all 3.5 hours. Having a hand painted bike is certainly a luxury but seeing that bikes are kinda like art, it's only fitting that Karel has a bike that looks like an expensive painting. Karel is over the moon excited about his Ventum makeover.