My least favorite thing to think about: Nutrition

Sander posted a comment on yesterday’s post that referred to a very good article on nutrition from world rowing.  I really appreciated the advice, and  wanted to make sure I could refer to it in the future, so I’m linking to it here.

Fueling the Sponge

I have made slight changes to the way that I eat to try to improve performance.  The biggest was doing endurance sessions in a fasted state because of some stuff I read that high blood sugar levels would lead to preferential use of CHO metabolism versus fat metabolism. Essentially it would push the cross over point between CHO and Fat metabolism to a lower training power, and potentially higher lactate levels for a specific power.

Beyond that, I try to eat a reasonably healthy diet, but I really like some stuff that is bad for me.  Sweets, red meat, salt  all the bad stuff.

I’ve read some material about very low carbohydrate diets and “Fat Fueled athletes”, but they seem to be a bit too much of a lifestyle commitment for me.

This is an area that is rich in controversy and replete with opinions, both informed and uninformed.  But this article seems simple and reasonable.



5 thoughts on “My least favorite thing to think about: Nutrition

  1. Siim Land says:

    I would definately recommend a LCHF nutritional program. Once you get past the adaptation phase you’ll have more readily available energy at all times. The wall becomes almost non-existent. This is especially truth to endurance sports. I am more power and strength oriented yet still can attest to the benefits of being more prone to fat metabolism. Read books like “The Science Of Low Carb Performance” by Stephen Phiney and Jeff Volek. It will change your performance and your life aswell.


    • gregsmith01748 says:

      So, this in a nutshell, this is the reason that I tend to not post that much about nutrition. I know that many people have had good results adopting specific programs like LCHF or Paleo and there are some very interesting books and articles about these programs. There is even some beginnings of good quality referred research about it specifically for ultra-endurance athletics. I have two problems with adopting these programs.

      First, there is no good research about the long term effects of using these diets for years or decades, so I am not sure whether there could be negative consequences. This needs to be balanced with the thought that any diet is going to have different risks and benefits. I’m not trying to knock LCHF as dangerous, just that there isn’t a ton of research on long term effect.

      The second issue is the real crux of it. I like to eat a “normal” diet. I know that I can adapt to rigid diets and have done it in the past (Atkins, South Beach, Volumetrics), but it makes me one of “those people” who are a pain to be around on pizza night, or who are asking for gluten free vodka. It also means that I would be either trying to eat a copletely different diet from my wife or trying to get her to adopt some plan that she has no interest in.

      So, I respect your opinion and I appreciate you making the comment. I’m sure LCHF is working great for you and for others. I want to try to communicate that me not taking the advice that you’ve share is a conscious decision that I have made. It’s kind of a “sports/life balance” issue for me.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. sanderroosendaal says:

    Somehow I cannot react to your reaction to Siim but I am on the same page. Look up the presentations on the world site. The recommendations are much more traditional but they are from nutritionists working with successful national teams.
    Greetings from Chinese restaurant in Brussels. Not even sure what I ordered in terms of carbs but it sure looks and tastes good

    Liked by 1 person

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