Sunday, November 4, 2007

Eat Like an Athlete: Part 2 (Daily diet routine)

I have had a couple of people ask for more specifics on the nutrition info from the running clinic. There was a TON of information and I would be happy to hit the highlights but remember that I am by no means, an expert on this stuff. Credit goes to Dr. Deborah Shulman of Fort Collins, CO.

On Saturday we talked about the glycemic index which basically is a measure of how much a carbohydrate will raise blood sugar which stimulates insulin which causes sugar to leave the blood stream and be stored in the muscles as glycogen or as fat. You do not want to have high insulin levels pre-exercise because then your body can't metabolize or break down fats. Basically it makes you feel blah. (FYI, protein powders spike insulin.) But immediately after exercise, you do want the insulin stimulated. This helps to rebuild muscles (protein) and increase the ability of the body to store glycogen. (Now is the time for the protein powder or recovery drink with protein in it.)

Next we talked about food groups. Which we all already know about. Eat lots of vegetables and fruits, get all the calcium and protein you need, and get 2-3 servings of *good* fats each day.

Her philosophy is called Dr. Ds Diet Routine. It is all based on how food affects the brain. For me, the take away message was eat real, minimally processed foods with carbs every 3-4 hours. I happen to run first thing in the morning and she suggested that we start on an empty stomach because your blood sugar should be alright. (Not for everyone but did apply to me.) If working out longer than 90 minutes, about 25-30 minutes in, take some sports drink. And then always eat within 30 minutes of finishing your workout. So here is the schedule that was worked out for me, following her guidelines.

Time wake up: 6:00 am
exercise: 6:15 am
breakfast: 7:30 am

Breakfast should be high fiber carbohydrates and should be within 2 hours of waking. Suggestions are one whole grain serving (40 g carbohydrates) and 1 milk. Fruit (not juice) and a source of fat are optional. She really tried to steer us away from smoothies for breakfast because it spikes insulin but if it is being used as a recovery practice I am sure that would be different. She also said... "if you are not hungry for breakfast, eat it anyway."

Snack: 10:30 am (3 hours after breakfast)
Lunch time: 12:00 pm (+1-2 hours after light snack or +3-4 hour after breakfast)

1.5-2 servings (3-4 oz) protein servings, 1-2 grains, 1 milk, 1-2 vegetable

Lunch should be emphasis on higher protein and vegetables. Also include a grain and milk source. Lower carbs. The reasons behind this are that protein increases alertness during the afternoon. This helps to reduce that blah feeling you get about 3 in the afternoon. The protein also helps to control your appetite later in the day. Always a good thing. Also, since you need three servings of veggies this is a good time to get one of them. Unfortunately, the amount of vegetables on a sandwich isn't enough to count usually.

Snack: 3:00 pm (+3 hours after lunch or 1.5-2 hours before exercise)

This snack should be low glycemic carbs, about 20-30 g of healthy carbs. This would be like fruit, trail mix, 1/2 a sandwich, etc.

Exercise: 5:30 pm
Dinner: 7:30 pm (2+ hours before bed)

The emphasis at dinner time is carbs and 2 servings of veggies. This meal should be small to medium in size. The carbs will help you sleep. It seems like a lot to me but 1/2 to 3/4 of the meal should be vegetables. Milk or fruit could be added to round out the days nutrition. Although you are eating carbs at this meal, you don't want to go to bed with high blood sugar, so eat at least 2 hours before.

One thing that was good to hear was that salsa counts as a vegetable so you can smother enchiladas or burritos! Usually athletes can manage the amount of sodium this brings on.

A couple of other side notes (if you have actually made it thus far) are...
*coffee is okay in moderation
*soda is not ok in any amount, not diet, not regular
*water is more important than anyone gives it credit for but you should not chug it, drink 6-8 oz at a time so as not to dilute your blood
*juice is high in sugar so it is not something you should grab first

This is the overview on daily diet stuff. The next post will be about the recovery practices that we learned about as well as race day nutrition which we didn't go into quite as much because it is so individualized.

PS! What do you all think about the new look? Hard to read, better, worse, still up for debate as I get used to it. Expect more changes.


TRI-ROB said...

I LOVE the new look! Honestly... the previous format was DREARY!

Something I noticed is the distinct lack of Ding Dongs, Ho Ho's, and Hostess Fruit Pies in the whole eating like an athlete thing. I'm thuroughly disappointed.

Di aka "Mrs Bigun" said...

wow!! lots of changes, not only does you new blog look Beee Yooo Tee Full but so does the new eating habits! The food all looks great!! Looks like it's as tasty as it is healthy.

Danielle in Iowa said...

So I am a bit of a Diet Dr. Pepper addict. I work on it and go through phases where I don't drink it, but I always come back to it. One of my strategies has been to replace my afternoon pop with seltzer water (since I like the bubbles), but then I think I read somewhere that it is the carbonation that bad for your bones - do you know if this is true?

peabody said...
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Bigun said... I'm really hungry!

kt said...
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Peter said...

Ohhh...those pics of breakfast and lunch make me hungry. My favorite kinds of food, even though I am tri-fatty.