NEWSLETTER #13 - MARCH 2012

 

Next Level Nutrition turns one!

You may have noticed that this month's e-news has been delayed for a few days, and there's a good reason for that. Because it was on this day one year ago Next Level Nutrition officially launched, becoming Australia's first and only online sports nutrition consultancy. And in that year I've now worked with clients in every state and territory of Australia! It's been great consulting to people in their homes over the internet - questions about food often result in a quick dash to the pantry to hold up the packet in question to the webcam. You can't do that in a sports medicine clinic!

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But rather than sit back and reflect on a great first year I'm instead pressing ahead with some exciting new improvements that will benefit new and existing clients. I'm preparing to launch a new website in April that will provide a secure, personalised client page. This will allow clients to access their eating plans and resources that they currently receive via email. There'll also be links to exclusive online learning modules, quizzes to test your knowledge, links to sports nutrition articles relevant to your sport as well as recommended recipes and cookbooks. It will be the most comprehensive package of resources available to sports nutrition clients anywhere, all just a mouse click away.

In the meantime there is of course the little matter of Ironman Melbourne, taking place on Sunday 25th March. About 80% of my clients at the moment are triathletes preparing for this event, and most are putting the final touches on their race nutrition plans. If you want a plan in place and haven't done so yet it's pretty much now or never, so head to the website and get in touch to arrange an appointment time ASAP. I'll be there on race day to cheer on those of you that are competing, so best of luck with your final training and tapering.

 

Running the Bicentennial National Trail - Nutrition Planning

You may remember from last month's e-news that I'm working with ultra runner Richard Bowles, planning nutrition for his end-to-end run of the Bicentennial National Trail (BNT) - 5330km in five and a half months. Following a successful launch two weeks ago, I thought I'd share with you the unique challenges that Richard faces on this epic journey.

A  run of this nature involves far more than ensuring Richard gets enough calories, fluid and carbohydrate. Running over 150 marathons day after day means that we're not just planning to optimise Richard's performance in the short term, but ensure that his diet is adequate to meet his general health and wellbeing over the journey. This includes keeping the bowels working as normal, ensuring adequate calcium and iron, the all important protein for recovery from one day to the next and of course maximising variety to prevent mental fatigue and boredom.

Just to add another layer of complexity is the fact that Richard's constantly on the move, so his kitchen has to travel with him. In this case the kitchen is a Maui motorhome, equipped with stove, oven and microwave (when electricity is available). So whilst Richard and his partner Vickie have a few options to choose from, it's certainly not the same as having your usual kitchen drawers full of utensils on hand. This makes it even harder to maximise the variety of foods that are available for Richard and Vickie to eat.

I've drawn up a table below outlining the different nutrition challenges that athletes in different events face, from single day events like an Ironman, multi-day races where competitors carry their own gear, through to the 21 days of the Tour de France. But as you'll see all these pale in comparison to the task that awaits Richard and Vickie.

Event Type Performance Nutrition Needs General Nutrition Needs Other Factors to Consider
Single day endurance event
(eg. marathon or Ironman)
Provide enough carbohydrate to maximise performance

Provide enough fluid to prevent sweat losses impacting on performance
Not a concern over a single day Flavour fatigue - being sick of the same sports foods/drinks over several hours
Multi-day event whilst carrying own supplies
(eg. Marathon des Sables)
Maximum calories for minimum weight
(can't carry enough to optimise performance)

Provide enough fluid to prevent sweat losses impacting on performance

Protein/fluid/carbohydrate post-racing to maximise recovery from one day to the next
Prevent bowel problems from lack of fibre Flavour fatigue - being sick of the same sports foods/drinks over several hours

Convenience - preparing food with minimal equipment available
Multi-week event
(eg. Tour de France)
Provide enough carbs to maximise performance

Provide enough fluid to prevent sweat losses impacting on performance

Protein/fluid/carbohydrate post-racing to maximise recovery from one day to the next
Prevent bowel problems from lack of fibre

Prevent calorie deficit from impacting on health or performance
Flavour fatigue - being sick of the same sports foods, meals and snacks over several days
Multi-month event
(eg. Run The BNT)
Provide enough carbs to maximise performance

Provide enough fluid to prevent sweat losses impacting on performance

Protein/fluid/carbohydrate post-racing to maximise recovery from one day to the next
Prevent bowel problems from lack of fibre

Prevent calorie deficit from impacting on health or performance

Ensure total dietary adequacy to prevent vitamin/mineral deficiencies and optimise health and performance
Flavour fatigue - being sick of the same sports foods, meals and snacks over several months requires great flexibility/variety

Regularly check-in of weight and diet required to ensure health is not compromised

 

Richard begins his journey on Sunday 25th March, the same day as Ironman Melbourne. I'll be checking in with him weekly to make sure his weight is on track and to provide suggestions more variety as the months go by - another advantage of an online sports nutrition clinic! To find out more about the Run The BNT project check out the website: www.runbnt.com.

 

Ironman nutrition - could it make you one hour faster on race day?

Here in Melbourne everyone’s starting to get excited about Ironman Melbourne, which is just a few weeks away. I’ve got several clients fine tuning their preparations for March 25th. So I thought it’ be a good time to look at the influence that nutrition can have on an Ironman performance.

In the past I’ve worked with many clients to improve their Ironman nutrition strategies, and the results have been fantastic. Some have smashed their Personal Bests by well over 30 minutes, and the feedback is usually along the lines of “it was hard to get used to this nutrition strategy, but when I did it made a massive difference”. I then went back through the sports nutrition research literature and decided to look at just how much difference a well executed eating and drinking strategy can make. The end product is this collection of Ironman nutrition strategies, which when executed properly could slash up to ONE HOUR off your Ironman finishing time.

Read More


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GOOD LUCK!
 

Best of luck to those Next Level Nutrition clients participating in events during the month of March:

3rd March - Ironman New Zealand - Ironman Triathlon

9th-12th March - Oceania Continental Mountain Bike Championships - Cross Country Mountain Biking

10th March - Six Foot Track Marathon, Blue Mountains NSW - 45km trail run

10th-12th March - Bike Buller Mountain Bike Festival, Mt Buller VIC - Multi-stage MTB race

11th March - 3 Peaks Cycling Challenge, Vic High Country - 250km cycling event over Tawonga Gap, Falls Creek & Mt Hotham

25th March - Ironman Asia Pacific Championships, Melbourne VIC - Ironman Triathlon

25th March - Run The Bicentennial National Trail, Healsville VIC - Richard Bowles attempt to be the first to run the whole BNT

23rd-25th March - Australian Weightlifting Federation National Club Tournament, Melbourne VIC - Weightlifiting Aus Champs


Regards,


Alan McCubbin

B. Nutr Diet, AN, APD, Accredited Sports Dietitian

Next Level Nutrition

 

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