Sports Nutrition: Out With Some Old

Lately I’ve been talking with athletes about sports nutrition myths, misconceptions, updates, and a little of “we still don’t know much conclusively about that [insert topic du jour] in the field of sports nutrition research.”

But as we start a new year and a fresh season of training and competition, I wanted to assemble a quick list of some “Out with the Old” tidbits related to athlete fueling. Kind of like speed dating (although I have never tried that so it’s only in my imagination from the airline magazines), I’m just going to whiz through these without giving you the Epic behind the scenes Saga level of detail. Perhaps annoying to some of you, but it’s to get you thinking.

So, in no particular order… here you go.

  1. Don’t pop an energy gel or simple sugar source right before your race (or training).

  2. You don’t always need to practice a low-fat, low-fiber food plan in the week (or few days) before your big event.

  3. “More is not always better” for calories, fluids, caffeine, electrolytes and so on.

  4. Your stomach doesn’t shut down during racing if you don’t feed it every 5 to 10 minutes.

  5. Getting all of your calorie needs in liquid form is not necessarily The Best (even though some coaches and sports nutrition companies insist there is no other optimal way to fuel and hydrate).

  6. The 3- to 5-day carb loading strategy prior to your race is long gone.

  7. “Drink only when you feel thirsty” or “Drink before you’re thirsty” both can be WAY BAAAAAD.

  8. Exercise associated muscle cramping can be related to inadequate hydration and electrolyte intake, but it’s not the only possible cause or contributor.

  9. Female athletes do not have the same hourly calorie needs as male athletes.

  10. We don’t all metabolize caffeine at the same rate (some of us are “fast caffeine metabolizers”). Your dose and timing of caffeine may need to be adjusted if ain’t working for ya.

  11. Puking and the porta potty tour are not “part of playing the game.” Don’t accept it as modus operandi.

  12. “Find what works for you” is now “Save time and work with a Sport Dietitian who can guide you.”

Did anything pique your interest?

Let me know!

Back to the Mechanic’s garage,