Thursday, February 4, 2010

Nutrition Secrets: Brown Rice, Ben & Jerry's and IPA's?

Training for endurance sport competition requires special attention to one's diet. I am the last person to claim to have a 'perfect' diet, but when I start training more, I tend to try and eat for performance, focusing on eating foods that give me more energy for my training and recovery.

One of my favorite things to eat during higher volume training are starchy carbs like rice and pastas. I have a pretty high metabolism and that, combined with 12+ hours a week of additional calorie burn through exercise really tends to keep me lean, hovering at a 'race weight' between 167-172 lbs. I crave carbs and eat a fair amount of them daily. I tend to be a 'grazer' during the day and like a larger full meal at night.

A coffee drinker, I like to start the day with a pot of coffee (JUST KIDDING!!!). A few cups usually suffice, and we like the Trader Joes French roast or Pete's Major Dickason's roast. I also have a Bruegger's 'unlimited coffee' card that allows me to hit my local Brueggers Bagel shop for 'free' (not really, the card cost me around $120). I also like having bagels with cream cheese for breakfast, oatmeal, breakfast sandwiches (egg, cheese, etc.) and scrambled eggs. No... not all at once usually, unless I'm REALLY hungry and it's going to be a LONG day of training! :)

The rest of the day, I graze. I like snacking on nuts and dried cranberries (almonds, cashews, etc... another Trader Joe's item), energy bars, apples and perhaps an Amy's Organic Enchilada meal around lunch time. I also love chocolate, so a few pieces of some 'fine' chocolate are usually around the house somewhere... that with a glass of whole milk - the secret to riding your bike faster! (just kidding!)

For dinner, and after the training for the day is over, I'm usually very hungry. My wife is a great cook , so several nights a week she prepares dinner for me and the little ones. She does some great stuff with pasta and salad. A big pot of cold whole grain brown rice is often in the fridge for addition 'carb loading' ... I like the Lundberg brand. And on some nights, my favorite, steak (medium) with a plain baked potato is on the menu! Ahh, the simple pleasures of life. I forgot to mention the 'occasional' IPA or glass (or two) of red wine with dinner, but I'll refrain from telling more as I don't want to be accused of condoning the use of alcohol by competitive endurance athletes over the age of 21. :)

Oh yes, I DO take in some calories during longer training efforts, just in case any Sports Nutritionists out there were ready to pounce on me. :) Do the Cherry Twizzlers and Starbursts count as ergogenic aids?

When the night is over and before bed, especially when my training volumes are large and weight is hard to keep on my 6 ft frame, I like to eat some Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. New York Super Fudge Chunk is my favorite, but I'm not too picky and have been known to 'slum it' for Phishfood or Chocolate Fudge Brownie. :)

Finally, I'm always mindful of my overall hydration levels when training loads are high. I try to hydrate throughout the day and 'top it off' at night with that IPA... er, I mean, an extra glass of water! :)

Train smart and eat well,
Coach Troy


  1. You gotta love a sport that allows you to eat like a mad man, all in the name of fuel and recovery!

  2. Your lucky you have such a high metabolism. I'm just the opposite, all I have to do is look at food and I gain weight (almost.) I train hard and eat little and I still don't lose weight. If I ate Ben & Jerry's ice cream I'd probably bloat up.

  3. OK, Coach Troy, as a sports dietitian and college instructor, I'll give you an A- on your diet. You're doing a great job with the carbs (the low carb diet has finally gone away, thank God) and snacking on healthy stuff but...well....that IPA thing (root beer, right?) has got to go. You can do about diet Sprite mixed with apple juice? Or cherry-flavored pomegranate juice mixed with Sprite (if you need carbonation). But no one eats perfectly and the nice thing about endurance training is that we can get away with fudgin' the diet a bit (no pun intended - ha). And I do hope you were kidding about whole milk!

  4. Cindy, Thanks for the A-. Good thing I didn't mention the pop tarts or ocassional chocolate expresso brownie from starbucks too or else I might have gotten a failing grade! :)

  5. And its a good thing you haven't seen my doing a Spinerval workout cause I'm sure I'd get a failing grade too!