Nutrition Case Study: The Fourth Discipline

Case Study #1: Marie

Marie has always known how to make healthy food choices. Having completed four previous Iron-distance races, Marie contacted me with an interest in losing weight, along with a desire to break a few personal records along the way.

Upon review of her previous nutrition and dietary intake, I noticed that there were many things Marie was doing perfectly. However, the timing of her recovery fuel and midday snacks were greatly limiting her ability to both replenish muscle glycogen and lose unwanted body weight. With just a few changes to her already "clean" diet, Marie noticed a fifteen-pound weight loss, and felt dramatically better in her workouts, simply by focusing more attention on appropriately fueling them, before, during and after.

Both Marie and her husband were training for an upcoming Ironman. After one particularly long ride, Marie returned home to immediately consume the proper recovery fuel and meal that I had planned for her. Her husband, however, chose to snack on whatever was convenient at that moment.

The next morning, when heading out for their long run, Marie felt wonderfully recovered, energized, and ready to go. Her husband, on the other hand, was concerned that he was getting sick, because Marie felt so much better than he did, despite their having completed the same workout, just the day before.

Fortunately, Marie's husband was just fine. He had not taken the same detailed approach as Marie, to his recovery fueling and its timing.

This is a significant opportunity for recovery, with the repletion of muscle glycogen, which must not be overlooked. At The Core Diet we emphasize the importance of a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio, in a recovery fuel, and Endurox R4 fits this bill perfectly. Ideally, this is consumed immediately upon finishing a workout or race, or, at the very least, within 30 minutes after completion. But, why wait? The sooner the better.

With consistent integration into her training, Marie not only felt amazing after her workouts and looked better than ever before, she also began to reap huge rewards on race day. She rewrote her personal record book, and crushed projected goal times, like she never dreamed possible. Marie went on to qualify for the 2012 Boston Marathon, and smoked her husband in practically every race along the way.

Could all of this have been the result of a renewed focus on her workout fueling? Absolutely. Proper fueling before (with a carbohydrate-based snack), during (with fuel like Powerbar), and after workouts (with recovery mixes like Endurox) led to increased quality in Marie's training, which translated directly into race day speed.

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