Monday, June 14, 2010

Hammer Nutrition

I recently attended a West Sound Triathlon Club meeting where Brian Frank, owner and co-founder of Hammer Nutrition spoke on endurance nutrition needs and guidelines.   His talk was aimed at those of us that train for events lasting more than 2 hours and really closer to 3 hours in duration or greater.  This could include triathletes, marathoner runners and century cyclists. 

I am providing a general overview (from my notes) as to the highlights of the discussion.  I am not making any judgements to the truth behind his statements or opinions, nor am I assuming I have perceived his information 100% correctly, as he intended it to be perceived.  It is just information.

Brian's discussion was broken down into three main talking points, highlighted below and discussed in greater detail to follow:

  1. Fluid
  2. Calories
  3. Electrolytes

We, as a whole, live in a state of dehydration.  Then right before an event, we pack in the fluids.  Our body has adjusted to the dehydrated state and now doesn't know what to do with the excess water - it is confused.  We should effectively hydrate always.  RULE OF THUMB:  1/2 of your body weight in ounces each day - throughout the day (don't drink more than 20-24 oz. in any one hour).  Also, know how much you have been drinking.


As a whole, we tend to over consume on calories.  If we are following a training schedule that allows for a period of tapering, there should be no need to 'carb' load prior to a race event.  The reduction in activity and training will provide adequate calorie or a deposit into a carb bank to aid on event day.  Carb loading the evening before an event will only make you 'full' and will make for a potential stomach/GI concern, which is never good on race day.

We need to figure out how many calories our bodies need to sustain energy levels throughout training and competition.  That number should be the least amount one can consume, any more than that is unnecessary.  The number should be no more than 200 calories/hour MAX.  For triathletes, those calories are consumed on the bike and during the run.  Need to keep in mind that you will not want to feel full as you are coming off the bike and moving into the run - monitor those calories carefully.  When running, our bodies process fewer calories - about a third fewer than on the bike. 


On average, we consume over 8,500 mg of sodium each day.  Our bodies only need 1,800 - 2,400 mg of sodium daily.  Therefore, our bodies can not process sodium correctly and have adjusted to high sodium nature most of us have.  It was noted that if you are serious about performance - CHANGE DIET! 

Be honest with sodium.  If you operate in a low sodium state and were fast prior to the race you can replace sodium.  Sweat = high sodium diet.  Don't be afraid of replacing if managed. 

How do we know if we have too much = SWELLING.


To ensure that our bodies are burning fat energy vs. glycogen (muscle) energy, it is a good idea to train and start races on an EMPTY stomach - for any event, short (sprint tri) or long.  There is no need to eat.  It takes three hours to digest - plan from there.   Not a bad idea to take in 100 calories (gel) as you enter water for the swim and then once on the bike fuel up as your caloric needs require.

Summarized by Elisa

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Elisa- great info. Interesting on starting empty for a race though. Hmmmm.... things to think about.