Coach Michael fuels you up for racing

Obstacle Race Magazine Interview with Michael Cohen
Obstacle Race Magazine

Coach Michael fuels you up for racing

By Michael Cohen

Issue 6 Nov/Dec 2014

You are what you eat, as Gillian McKeith would say! And she is 100% right. Every item of food that you eat has a nutritional and fuel value depending on how it is grown/produced; what it is treated with; how it is processed and ultimately how your body digests it.

So lets get down to the nitty gritty of how much nutritional value you get from your food, and whether it is giving you the best quality fuel for your OCR racing.

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Free Nutrition Calculator

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Win a FREE nutritional calculator and nutrient chart so you can research you foods, nutrients and even calculate your needs with a sports activity calculator. PLUS a FREE 30 minute diet analysis.

To enter the draw to win a free OCR race training plan complete the form below. The draw will take place on 30th November 2014. Continue reading

10 tips on eating ‘plant-strong’ for athletic performance

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Here’s Jen climbing, as always pushing the boundaries!

Here is a post from our resident Nutrition writer Jen.

Certain nutritional strategies go a long way in terms of recovery, adaptation and improvement, yet many athletes are at a loss on where to start. While formulating a performance boosting diet can be daunting task for vegetarians, I assure you that with a few minor alterations, you’ll be ready to pursue success. Here are 10 tips to set you on your way!

1. Carbs

Low carb diets (3-15% calorie intake) consistently are shown to reduce both high-intensity and endurance performance. They are crucial for enhancing glycogen stores and as a result, boost recovery between workouts. Luckily most of the tastiest foods are filled with carbs; bananas and sweet potatoes are my go to foods while I’m training. Continue reading

Eating for Performance part 2 – What about protein?

tough mudder runner

Here is part 2 of the post on Eating for Performance from our resident Nutrition writer Jen. To read part 1 click here.

From the ancient Greek coaches of Olympians to today’s elite athletes, protein has been considered a key nutrient for success. The mentality was more protein equals more muscle growth and therefore more strength. For the same duration, the controversy over its importance has also been present. Protein and amino acid supplement have become a billion dollar industry. Strength/speed/power athletes were recommended 1.2–1.7g/kg per day while endurance athletes 1.2–1.4g/day; these recommendations are higher than the US recommended daily allowance, which is 0.8g/kg.

Despite the growing protein supplement industry, surveys of westernized athletes consuming adequate calories consistently show sufficient protein intakes with diet alone. Furthermore, excess protein can be detrimental to performance by replacing carbohydrates in the diet, resulting in less stored glycogen. This is heightened even more while on a calorie restricted diet. If muscle growth is a goal, as opposed to better performance, higher protein intake may be beneficial; however there is minimal convincing research showing that high protein intakes (e.g. 2-3g/kg) are necessary. Continue reading

Eating for performance

runner jumping over log

Here is a post from our resident Nutrition writer Jen.

Certain nutritional strategies can really support performance, recovery, and adaptation. Despite that, many athletes and coaches remain poorly aware of the role of nutrition while training and competing. Out of the athletes who are aware, many are unsure of what and when to eat to support their efforts. This article will be a guide for athletes and coaches alike on how to eat for performance, with a summarized guide at the end.

I’m sure many of you have heard of glycogen; what is it and why is it important during training and competition? Glycogen is stored in our muscles and ultimately provides glucose, an essential fuel, during exercise. Low muscle glycogen levels are consistently shown to reduce high-intensity performance and the time to fatigue. Restoring glycogen is therefore fundamental for recovery, especially when on a high training load. So how do we max out our glycogen stores and eat for performance? Before we dive into that question, let’s first explore what determines glycogen levels. Continue reading

3 Eggs a Day: 70% of the time, it works every time.

by Joe DiStefano of Spartan Coaches

Eggs have been perhaps the most debated food of our time. In fact, I distinctly remember the lecture labeling them as the number one food my father was to stop eating after having a heart attack, along with their partner in crime, red meat.

The influence of the Paleo Diet revolution has really shifted many of us towards going more Pro-egg, so I am hoping to provide perhaps the necessary capstone insight to clear the air…at least for some of us.

Research out of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Connecticut explains that 70% of the population are “hypo-responders” to dietary cholesterol. In other words, 70% of us Spartans could eat all the cholesterol we want and see little to no change in blood cholesterol levels or heart disease risk. AROO!!! Continue reading

Female Athletes and Amenorrhea

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By Jen our Resident Nutrition Writer

Women are becoming more and more involved in competitive sports and intense workout regimes, but with this rise, amenorrhea (loss of menses for at least 3 months) is also increasing. Amenorrhea from athletics can be due to a number of things such as a high physical demand, low body fat, and negative calorie balance. While some quickly say, “it’s a blessing,” that statement is a far cry from the truth; amenorrhea is associated with serious reductions in heart, reproductive, and bone health.

Being an athlete in a low body-weight driven sport, I know how hard finding the right balance can be. Furthermore, there is far too little information about the effects of excessive exercise and low body fat on female health out there, probably because our society typically praises thin and fit women. With that said, this article will be a resource for those struggling with amenorrhea as well as an eye opener for the rest. Continue reading

Why YOU Should Eat Chocolate! Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone!!

Here is a post from our resident Nutrition writer Jen.

266703_10150321092842254_5708646_o“My Easter weekend was pretty eventful! My parents came down for brunch Friday; good to see them and my sister! It’s been a while since I’ve been home, I think I’m starting to feel a little homesick (after 5 years of university :p). Perfect timing since I’ll be home soon enough! After my trip to Kentucky I’ll be spending 2 week there while I do a fish ecology field course :). Where to next? I have no idea! (kind of frightening :p). This weekend I also worked, climbed and am trying to get through a Game of Thrones marathon before the new episode tonight! Anyone else fans? Continue reading

Should I eat before training

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This post was inspired buy an unfortunate situation that a new student experienced in training this morning when he started to feel nausea / sick and a bit faint after 40 minutes into training. So here is the advice about eating and training.

This morning we had a warm-up jog, then through the woodland trails we were side stepping, bear crawling, crab crawling and frog leaping. Then it was onto log lifting. By this time we had been working ourselves hard which included churning our stomachs, and then for him the nausea started to kick in! Continue reading

Are you getting enough sleep?

indoor climbing

Here’s another picture of me taken by my friend Dan!

Sleep is a vital factor towards our well-being, but within the last 50 years Americans have reported a 1.5-2 hour reduction in sleep per night. Modern life continuously devalues sleep; our increasingly busy lifestyles are leading to widespread sleep deficiencies. At the same time; obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases have sky rocketed. Are you one of those people who are always tired? Is your life just too busy to fit in a good night’s sleep? Continue reading