Athletes Voice

Nutrition Q & A

Sports Nutritional Questions Answered by Secret-Traininguae from the school of thought of ‘Tim Lawson’

Sports Nutrition is complicated and also very personal. Why do some things work for one athlete and not for the other? Everybody’s body works slightly different and there are so many variables: your own metabolic rate, your normal eating habits, how sensitive are your intestines, food allergies etc etc

With this in mind and coupled with the fact that there are different schools of thought amongst the sports nutritionists about the nitty gritty, our advocated nutritional approaches might not suit everybody in all situations. What we can promise you though is that our answers will be based on well researched knowledge and are not merely here to promote the sales of certain products.

If we don’t know an answer, we ask Tim and if we still don’t know it we will tell you so...

Feel free to send your questions to our email address and we will personally respond to you by email. If appropriate and with your permission we will post your question and our answer on this page.

We would love to hear from you!!

David & Rianca and The Sported Team

How do I balance intake of solids and liquids during an ironman?

You need enough liquids and electrolytes to prevent dehydration, having said this you should expect a 2-4% drop in weight by the finish line, so your aim is never to drink enough to maintain starting body weight.   You need fuel in the form of carbohydrates.  Whether this comes in the shape of solids, or liquids, or most likely a mixture of both is totally up to you.  Aim for a carb intake of 90g per hour, this is a lot more then a lot of athletes think they need.  So do your math and write out a plan with exactly what you are going to eat and drink, look at the ingredients and calculate how many carbs per hour your plan will give you.  Be specific for all stages starting in the warmup, not neglecting opportunities at the swim lineup and transitions.  You will be able to fuel more on the bike then the run, so make sure you use that leg of the race.  Bon appetite!  

If I want a stronger energy drink can I just put more scoops in my bottle?

Do you mean with ‘stronger’ higher in carbohydrates?  This depends on two things. If the drink also contains electrolytes then the prescribed amount will provide you with the right electrolyte balance, it is normally safe to make it a little stronger, however increasing by too much might make the concentration of electrolytes so high that it could have the opposite effect i.e. it might draw liquids from your body towards your intestines where the strong electrolyte mix sits.  

If your energy mix consists of just carbs in theory you can make it as strong as you want, however your body won’t be able to digest/absorb much more then 90g of carbohydrates per hour.  What type of carbohydrates are in your drink also matters as some are more easy to digest as others.  High fructose levels are often the cause of GI distress (Gastro Intestinal).  Equally simple sugars like glucose and Sucrose although quickly absorbed in lower doses are less well tolerated in high doses then more complex mixes with Maltodextrin and sticky rice starch.  Not everybody is the same, so practice with different types and strengths and perhaps slowly increase the amount of carbs if experimenting and try it out whilst training…what works for your training buddy might not work for you!