Sports Nutrition

If you’re active, you probably want to know about the best natural sports nutrition you can get to fuel your workout. Pharmaca carries a variety of sports nutrition supplements--from vegetable-based proteins to muscle support to electrolyte-replenishing drinks--along with practitioners who are able to advise you on the best supplement for you. We’ll continue to post sports nutrition information from the best sources in the industry, including good diet and exercise recommendation, and keep you updated on the best in natural sports nutrition. At Pharmaca we want to help you keep hydrated, keep nourished and keep well!

  • Top 5 Ways To Recover After Exercise

    Woman stretchingCongratulations! You’ve joined a gym or started a new fitness program. But did you know that what you do after your workout—especially in the first two hours—is almost as important as the exercise itself? Try these techniques to help your body recover more quickly and maximize the impact of your exercise.

    Rehydrate: Water is a simple choice for rehydration, and is fine for low-impact exercise under 45 minutes. But more intense exercise, or exercise performed in hot weather, requires that you replace fluids lost through sweat with electrolytes and sodium. Try Nuun’s U Natural Hydration Goji Berry Green Tea tablets for an easy do-it-yourself sports drink without added sugars.

    Replace Carbohydrates: Glycogen, stored in our muscles, fuels our bodies during exercise. That’s why it’s important to quickly replace lost glycogen during the “carbohydrate window” that occurs within 60 minutes after stopping—when muscles are converting carbohydrate-rich drinks and food into glycogen up to three times faster. In addition to eating carb-rich food, Boulder-based nutrition expert Julie McGinnis recommends L-Glutamine, an amino acid supplement that boosts the production of glycogen and helps us refuel. She likes Jarrow Formulas’ L-Glutamine Powder. TIP: Refueling in the first 15-30 minutes of the carbohydrate window is most effective.

    Add Protein: Along with carbs, protein is needed to repair the micro tears in muscles after workouts, especially weight-bearing exercises like running and weight lifting. Whey, a by-product of cheese production, is a good source of protein and is rich in branch-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which help repair muscles and prevent soreness, says Julie. One serving of Pharmaca’s Grass-Fed Whey Protein Powder Drink is a quick, tasty way to get 15 g of protein. Fat-free chocolate milk is another good choice for protein and carb replacement, say researchers, since a 16 oz serving has about 15 g of protein and twice the carbs of plain milk. Vegetarians and vegans can turn to spirulina, an algae-based complete protein. (Find it in Health Force Nutritionals’ Spirulina Manna). TIP: Most experts recommend 10-20 g of protein after a workout.

    Treat sore muscles: Stretching for 15 minutes after your workout can prevent soreness, but in those times when you know you’ve done too much, topical treatments or warm baths can also help, Julie tells us. Arnica relieves pain and stiffness, and speeds recovery of bruises; Boericke & Tafel’s Arniflora Arnica Gel with 8% tincture of arnica Montana rubbed on four times a day will help reduce inflammation and pain. Warm baths are another good choice for soothing aches; Kneipp’s Arnica Joint & Muscle Mineral Bath Salts combine arnica, pine and thermal salts to relieve soreness.

    Take a break: As good as it feels to find your groove with your exercise program, it’s important to take a break to let muscles repair. Fitness coaches say that after 8-12 weeks, take a week off. That doesn’t mean going back to couch-potato status—instead, transition to a less intense exercise to keep you moving and flexible, like yoga, dancing or walking. You’ll come back to your favorite exercise renewed.

  • On-The-Go Nutrition

    Woman smiling in fieldWant to start your day with a little extra nutrient boost? Pharmaca offers a variety of nutritional supplements that are easy to slip into a smoothie or add to your favorite juice. Here are a few to consider—and why.

    Muscles, blood, skin, hair, nails, heart, brain and internal organs all use protein as their primary building material. Collagen, a special type of protein, is important for strong arteries, tendons, ligaments, teeth and connective tissues. A diet rich in protein can also help produce dopamine and norepinephrine, two powerful brain chemical neurotransmitters that keep you alert and mentally powerful.

    Protein powders are available from a variety of sources: whey protein is the most bioavailable and easily absorbed by your body; egg protein is great if you can't tolerate dairy products; vegan proteins, such as those from peas, hemp or chia, are complete and bioavailable, and many are organically grown.

    Green Foods
    Powdered greens contain the highest concentrations of easily digested nutrients, vitamins and minerals. They may also contain beneficial substances like proteins, phytochemicals and good bacteria, all of which can protect against disease and illness while they detoxify and energize key organs.

    Greens such as seaweed are also excellent blood purifiers, alkalinizing the body and helping reduce the burden of environmental toxins.

    Fiber is essential for a variety of processes, but one of its most important roles is to promote regular, rapid elimination, which can relieve constipation, improve symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and even decrease your risk of colon cancer.

    Other benefits: Fiber contains oligosaccharides, which feed the friendly bacteria in the gut (called "prebiotics") to enhance digestion and improve nutrient absorption. Fiber is also great at regulating blood sugar.

  • Mix it up! Simple Smoothie Recipes

    SmoothiesIf you know that powdered proteins and greens are a good addition to your diet, here’s a little inspiration from our practitioners and Team Members about tasty ways to incorporate them. And if you can't decide which protein powder to choose, check out our handy guide to choosing a protein powder.

    The Organic Smoothie
    This one requires a serious blender to be able to chop the nuts to make a"milk"...but it also makes it super fresh! From Lauren B., Team Member/Smoothie Fanatic, Boulder.

    1 serving Jarrow Formulas Organic Whey Protein
    1 serving Barleans Organic Greens
    1 cup Organic Blueberries
    1/4 cup Organic Almonds
    1 cup Water

    The Nutritional Oils Smoothie
    This one provides not only protein, but antioxidants, fatty acids, fiber and more. "Smoothies are great for getting in as many nutrients as you can!" says Cat P., Herbalist and Nutritionist, Boulder. Here's her favorite way to mix it all up.

    1 serving grass-fed Whey Protein (Recommended: Reserveage Organics, in Chocolate or Vanilla)
    1 cup Strawberries and/or Blueberries
    1 cup Coconut Milk
    1 serving Udo's 7 Sources Oil

    The Tastes-Like-Dessert Smoothie
    If you're looking for a sweet treat that still packs in some serious protein, try this tasty concoction. From Jenny S., Herbalist, Boulder.

    1 Banana
    1-2 tbsp Peanut or Almond Butter
    1 serving Protein Powder (any kind)
    1/2 cup Chocolate milk of choice (dairy, rice, soy)

    The All-in-One Smoothie
    This hearty smoothie is filled with a variety of nutritional powders—and fiber from chia—for a powerful punch. From Jenny S., Herbalist, Boulder.

    1 cup Berries (Recommended: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or blackberries)
    1 Banana
    1 cup Coconut Milk
    1 heaping tbsp Healthforce Nutritionals Warrior Food (Jenny likes vanilla)
    1 heaping tsp Healthforce Nutritionals Vitamineral Green
    1 tbsp Chia Seeds
    Enough water to cover ingredients

    Optional add-ins

    Pomegranate juice – for extra antioxidants
    Maple syrup – to add a little sweetness
    Chia seeds – extra fiber (Note: If you add chia seeds, make sure you consume the smoothie right away; chia seeds have a tendency to congeal and can ruin the smoothie's texture if left too long.)

  • How to Choose a Protein Powder

    MenopauseHotFlashes5-ArticleProtein is vital to our health. Muscles, blood, skin, hair, nails, heart, brain and internal organs all use protein as their primary building material. Collagen, a special type of protein, is important for strong arteries, tendons, ligaments, teeth and connective tissues. A diet rich in protein can also help produce dopamine and norepinephrine, two powerful brain chemical neurotransmitters that keep you alert and mentally powerful.

    According to the USDA, adult men and women should get at least .37 g of protein per lb of body weight per day (e.g., a 150 lb. person would need 55.5 g/day); more if you’re doing regular exercise.

    Choosing your protein

    In addition to protein from your meals, supplementary protein powders can be a good way to ensure your body is getting the fuel it needs. The following are the most commonly available types of protein powder.

    Whey protein is best if you can tolerate dairy products, since it is the most bioavailable and easily absorbed by your body.
    Try: Reserveage Organics Grass-Fed Whey Protein

    Turn to egg protein if you’re allergic to milk or dairy products or are lactose intolerant.
    Try: Jay Robb Egg White Protein

    Vegan proteins, such as those from peas, hemp or chia, are a good alternative for those who prefer to avoid animal products. Vegan proteins are complete and bioavailable, and many are organically grown.
    Try: Vega One All-In-One Nutritional Shake

    Beyond smoothies

    Try these innovative ways to incorporate protein powder into your meals!

    • Bake it into high-fiber muffins
    • Combine it with plain Greek yogurt and fresh fruit
    • Mix into your morning oatmeal
    • Blend with your favorite soups

    What's your favorite way to get protein?

  • Ask the Trainer: How Do I Maintain Motivation?

    By Allen Gardner

    Allen is in his second year as a professional triathlete and trains out of Boulder, Colo. Pharmaca sponsors Allen, 26, who competes in 12-14 triathlons around the country each year.

    Motivation (noun): Initiating and maintaining a path of goals over a given period of time. It’s the key to waking up in the morning, it’s the drive to be successful and it’s the one thing that keeps people going. It’s easy to have the initial excitement that comes with a new workout goal or seeing progress. The hard part is maintaining motivation.

    When it comes to fitness, New Year’s is the most common time for goal setting and has the highest membership enrollment and usage at health clubs. When February rolls around, however, usage drops more than 20 percent and continues to drop over the next few months.

    The people that are most likely to drop their membership are the ones with no tangible goals. They often want to lose weight or gain muscle, but can’t offer a real reason why they do. Goals in fitness need to be concrete and have well thought out reasoning behind them. Why are you training? What are you training for?

    When creating a fitness goal, I recommend filling in the blanks below:

    My training goal is to _________________. I want to achieve this goal because it will  ________________.


    • Goal: Weight Loss
    • How much: 10 pounds
    • Why: I will be able to play with my kids more, have more energy, and will feel more confident about myself
    • Time Frame: Four months
    • Benchmarks: Monthly weigh-ins
    • How I will achieve my goal: With the help of a personal trainer and a healthy eating nutrition plan.

    So the question is, how do you stop yourself from becoming one of those gym-avoiding statistics? With concrete goals and a support team (trainer, nutritionist, family and friends) you’ll have better odds of making it.

    Some other ideas:

    • Find a friend to work out with you—since you’re much more likely to keep up with your workout if someone’s keeping you accountable
    • Set realistic goals—don’t go overboard and burn yourself out (or worse, hurt yourself!)
    • Get into a routine—knowing that Monday’s reserved for weight lifting and Saturday mornings for bike rides helps relieve the stress of trying to find the time to workout
    • Keep track of your progress—so you can see your encouraging results! Try apps like Nike+ or My Fitness Pal.

    I personally view motivation and success as one in the same—motivation is what leads to success. In Richard St. John’s 2006 TED talk he described the path of success in the following eight words: Passion, Work, Focus, Persist, Ideas, Good, Push, Serve. Keeping these concepts in mind may offer help in maintaining a high level of motivation.

    But don’t forget that YOU must take responsibility for your goals and plan to achieve them. And remember why you’re doing it. Self doubt is normal, but you can easily overcome it with written, tangible and reachable goals.

  • Race Day: 70.3 miles

    By Allen Gardner

    Allen is in his second year as a professional triathlete and trains out of Boulder, Colo. Pharmaca sponsors Allen, 26, who competes in 12-14 triathlons around the country each year.  

    Race Day feels just like a test in school. You study and prepare, and in that moment you are asked to perform at your highest level of academic ability. All the studying in the past is what it is—you know what you know and it’s time to achieve. I go about racing in the same manner. All of my countless hours of training are tested in one day, one moment.

    So here’s what happens on race day—from thoughts to food to race prep.

    4:30am. Race time is at 6:30am, so that means waking up early. My thoughts turn to breakfast. The fuel I get from my breakfast is not what will be fueling me for the race—it’s more of a comfort food to relax the mind and body. The food I ate the days and night before is what will dictate how well I do from a fuel standpoint.


    2 packets of brown sugar oatmeal
    2 slices of toast
    1 egg
    Large glass of milk (preferably chocolate)

    5-5:15am. Arrive at race.

    I plan to arrive around an hour and thirty minutes ahead of race time. This allows me to be relaxed when going through my transition bag, setting up transition, using the bathroom and mentally preparing myself. I do a few mental dry runs while looking at my transition to ensure everything is in the right place.

    5:45am. Begin warm up. What goes into my warm up is dependent on what the conditions and officials allow us to do, so I have a set of pre-race warm ups for all circumstances. Ideally I like to swim intervals before the race, especially the longer distance races.

    At some point during this 45-minute time frame I stop and do a mental check. I envision what I’d like to achieve during each stage of the race. I try to envision things that could go wrong and what the plan would be if they do. I make sure that my goals are set way before I begin the race, because once I’m at the starting line, everything is left behind.

    6:30am. Race begins. Each race has its own variables, so I have to be prepared to race each race on its own, to be able to adjust and go with the flow in order to achieve my goals. My race strategy at this point is simple: Swim front pack, hit the bike hard and hang on the run.

    Food is my biggest concern on the bike. Listed below is my typical intake while riding.

    • 3 gel flasks (approx. 200 calories each)
    • 1 energy bar (300 calories)
    • 1 electrolyte drink
    • 1 bottle of water
    • 2 salt tablets
    • Water at aid stations when available

    If nutrition is done properly while I’m on my bike, I shouldn’t need too much else on my run. That being said, I’ll still need a gel flask and any available water at aid stations during the run.

    Of course, my food/hydration choices can be affected by altitude, humidity, temperature and other weather conditions.  But if everything is done properly, my race should be the performance that I had planned to achieve.

    After the race. Recovery is just as important as the pre-race. Ideally I take a nap afterwards, or just relax. Later on in the evening I’ll go on a bike ride for an hour or so to open the legs up. The post-race ride keeps my legs from tightening up or getting stiff.

    Dinner. I eat whatever I want—typically burgers, fries and ice cream! And as always, I don’t forget to enjoy and celebrate my achievement.

    Photo of Allen Gardner by Sean Hagwell

  • A Day in the Life of a Pro Triathlete

    By Allen Gardner

    Allen is in his second year as a professional triathlete and trains out of Boulder, Colo. Pharmaca recently agreed to sponsor Allen, 26, who competes in 12-14 triathlons around the country each year. You can hear him speak next month at our North Broadway and Table Mesa stores in Boulder (check back for dates and details).

    First, let me give you a brief overview of my training week—then I’ll talk about one of the days I consider the most challenging. During a given week I’ll train 25 or more hours (unless it’s a race week, when it may be slightly less). My training “blocks” are arranged around races, where one block comes to a close as I approach a race and the next starts the day after the race.

    I spend an additional 10 hours a week on recovery techniques such as massage, acupuncture, ice baths, stretching, myofascial release (i.e. foam rollers), etc. I also coach swimming at a local club for about 15 hours per week.

    Training at this level takes complete devotion to my task, whether it’s training, recovery, sleeping, nutrition, racing, etc. Each one adds something to the others. I can’t train fully if I’m not getting enough sleep, fueling my body with the right nutrition or recovering fully. Lack of attention to any of this will inevitably affect my racing.

    Add all that to a thing called life! Racing for a living requires me to keep it all in perspective, and being mindful of the life around me has kept my training and racing in its proper place. It is a privilege for me to race and I feel blessed every day that I have the opportunity to train and enjoy the sport I love.

    Tuesday: Track day

    There are three days each week that are the most challenging—not necessarily due to time, but to the overall effort I have to put forth. Tuesday is one of those days.

    The day begins at 6:25am. Breakfast is light, but packed with what I need—a bowl of oatmeal, toast, some type of fruit and my favorite, chocolate milk. I try to eat no less than one hour from the workout to let my body digest the calories.

    7am. I hop on the bike and head to a local high school for my track workout. Riding to the track is a good warm up for me and lets the body slowly get to its “happy place.” It gives me 30 minutes or so to think about the workout and breathe deep, so that when I began running, I am relaxed and ready to do the work.

    8am. Track work begins. Workouts are different each Tuesday, but there is one common theme: they hurt. Running is my weakness in comparison to the other two sports, so yes, track days are challenging, and yes, I love them! Over about an hour and a half, I run 11 miles, including a variety of distances at different paces.

    9:50am. Ice bath time! After a hard track workout, Boulder Creek and its icy waters call my name. Depending on the temperature, I’ll soak for 8-15 minutes. It helps decrease inflammation and relaxes the muscles, so that Wednesday my legs have the power to perform another day.

    10:15am. Swim…straight…for 30 minutes. Following the track and ice bath I go to the pool and swim for 30 minutes, getting in about 2,500 yards. The purpose is to keep my stroke intact from Monday’s to Wednesday’s swim workouts, relax the body from the previous workout and most importantly, relax the mind. Prior to the swim I drink a Mix1 nutritional shake for the extra calories to get me through my 30 minutes of swimming.

    11 am. Breakfast number two: My favorite time of the day! On the menu, pretty much every day, are:

    • Three large chocolate pancakes
    • Three eggs
    • Two sausages
    • One avocado
    • Fruit
    • Large glass of chocolate milk

    Noon. After breakfast number two it’s time for a short nap. I’m tired, full of food and to be honest, I don’t really need any extra motivation to sleep—it’s all there.

    1:30pm. Playtime on the bicycle. To round out the training day, I spend an hour or so riding my bike. Nothing too strenuous, just enjoying the scenery.

    2pm. Lunchtime. My food for lunch varies, but it’s always around 900 calories.

    2:45pm. Complete work for my sponsors.

    5:30pm. Evening swim coaching. My first group is middle school-aged kids that compete year round. I enjoy teaching them everything I have learned from training, and watching them apply it during practice or at meets is very rewarding.

    6:30pm. Next up is the masters group. These adults come from many backgrounds, from just learning to swim to post-college swimmers, all of whom are looking for a great time and an even better workout.

    7:45pm. Dinnertime. Again, it varies in food type, and ranges from 1,500-2,000 calories. The calories I’m taking in for dinner are my fuel source for the coming days workouts, so this is definitely an important meal. (I also snack in between meals, but I left out those times of the day because you probably don’t want to read about every time I eat!)

    9:30pm. Bed time.

    That’s pretty much a “normal” Tuesday.  Next I'll be talking about my other two challenging days: cycling and swimming workouts.

    Photo of Allen Gardner by Nicholas Steinwachs 

  • Healthy Hydration for Hot Summer Days

    Good hydration isn’t just about drinking lots of water—especially when you’re out in the hot summer sun. Even if you get your requisite 64 oz of water a day, exercising in the heat require the right minerals and electrolytes to keep your body moving.

    To determine whether you’re dehydrated, the simplest rule of thumb is to check the color of your urine—it should be a light straw color or lighter.

    “I’m a big proponent of hydrating before you exercise,” says Dr. Andrew Datti, naturopath at our north Boulder location. “Shoot for a liter before, a liter or two on the way, and a liter on the way back.” He also recommends drinking mineral water or natural spring water, which will naturally have more nutrients and electrolytes than filtered or tap water.

    So what are some other ways to keep from dehydrating and losing electrolytes? Dr. Rebecca Phillips, DC, from our Albuquerque location, says to make sure you’re packing along the right kind of snacks that can replenish the nutrients and sugars your body is burning off.

    Dr. Phillips cites a study done on hikers in the Grand Canyon, who exercised in 120 degree heat. She says that those that drank just Gatorade didn’t get very far; the group that just drank water fared slightly better; but the group that ate two salty crackers along with each 8 oz of water didn’t overheat.

    The key is in allowing your body to sweat, which requires salt. As such, Dr. Phillips recommends turning to salty chips or soda crackers when you start feeling wilted, extra sensitive to the heat, or are losing good judgment.

    “If you’re legs start getting tired, then you need other electrolytes: sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium,” she says. She recommends Oxylent Multivitamins, which come in single-serve packets that are easy to stash in a daypack and add to your water bottle. “Those nutrients will allow your muscles to work again and revive you for awhile.”

    “When you ‘hit the wall,’ meaning you start becoming dizzy or your balance is off, that’s one indicator that you’ve used up your glycogen stores and your blood sugar is dropping,” says Dr. Datti. That’s when it’s good to have sugar on hand, along with with protein—try our Pharmaca brand Mighty Omega-3 Mix, which features chocolate, almonds, cranberries, walnuts and blueberries.

    If your blood sugar drop is really extreme and you start sweating profusely and feeling shaky, it can help to have some liquid sugar on hand, such as orange juice, coconut water, or even beer, says Dr. Phillips. Dr. Datti agrees that coconut water can be a great way to replace electrolytes and get some natural sugar.

    Pick up hydration and snacks for your next outing at a Pharmaca near you.

  • Shape up with better sports nutrition

    Proper nutrition is vital for athletes at all stages of activity. Whether you’re already heavy into a routine or just getting started, congratulations! Activity can benefit you mentally, physically and emotionally. Here are some nutrition and supplementation recommendations to keep your body feeling strong and healthy throughout your workouts.

    Since athletes use more energy, their bodies naturally need more nutrition (and calories). Here are some basic rules of thumb for eating while active:

    • Get adequate protein: Adequate, regular consumption of protein is necessary because it is not readily stored by the body for later use. It’s especially important to consume protein just after exercise, in order to rebuild and repair muscle. Note: Increased protein intake comes with an increased demand for hydration, so make sure you’re drinking plenty of water along with it.
    • Go for healthy carbohydrates: Carbs are the most efficient fuel for the body and are essential for athleticism. Complex carbohydrates are broken down and stored as glycogen in the liver and skeletal muscles. The body converts the glycogen to glucose, providing sustained energy during an athletic event. Good sources of carbs for athletes are colorful fruits (blueberries, strawberries, bananas, apricots, plums, oranges, plums and prunes), vegetables (sweet potatoes, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, eggplant, carrots), grains (brown rice, millet, oats) and legumes (lentils, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, black beans).
    • Maintain good hydration: Athletic performance can sap your fluid levels, so rehydrate with plenty of liquids and electrolytes before, during and particularly after exercise.

    Though it’s always best to get nutrients through a healthy, balanced diet, these supplements can assist in building and preparing the body for workouts—as well as for post-workout recovery.

    • A good multivitamin is necessary to ensure you’re getting essential vitamins and minerals to nourish your muscles.
    • Vitamin C can help to reduce pain and speed muscle recovery after exercise. Try taking 500-1,000 mg before and after your workout.
    • Electrolytes can boost performance and replace lost electrolytes. Since the body actively loses electrolytes through sweating, it’s most important to drink your electrolytes during and after your exercise regimen.
    • Eleuthero helps strengthen immune function. Power Adapt by Natura is an excellent blend of herbs, including eleuthero and medicinal mushrooms, that supplies the body with energy and overall stamina. This can be taken every day while you are working out regularly.
    • Cordyceps is very supportive of lung oxygenation and core energy while mitigating stress. This medicinal mushroom is another great one to take on a daily basis.
    • Magnesium helps to reduce muscle cramping and may improve performance. Take magnesium before and after your work out.
    • Protein powder can help increase performance and rebuild muscle. Pharmaca offers protein powder from a variety of sources, including whey, egg white and vegetables such as pea, hemp or soy.
    • Proteolytic enzymes, such as bromelain, help to control inflammation, swelling and sprains. Try Jarrow Formulas’ Bromelain or Pharmaca’s Turmeric & Bromelain. These may be taken on a daily basis or following an injury to assist the body with repair.
    • Zyflamend by New Chapter is an herbal blend that works to balance and promote the body’s natural, healthy inflammation process, and is a great alternative to ibuprofen. If you suffer from chronic pain or inflammation this can be a good addition to your daily supplement regimen.
    • Arnica, both internally and externally, can help to reduce inflammation and is best taken immediately following an injury or painful event.

    Lastly, if you do get injured while exercising, follow the R.I.C.E treatment: Rest your body; Ice your injury every hour; Compress with bandages, tape or a brace; and Elevate your injury.

    Kate Brainard attended Bastyr University’s doctorate program in Naturopathic Medicine. She currently manages Pharmaca’s La Jolla store. 

  • Expert Advice on Sports Nutrition

    Ever wonder what a professional triathlete eats for breakfast? Chocolate chip pancakes, it turns out (among a few other things). Allen Gardner, in his second year as a professional triathlete, trains out of Boulder, Colo. Pharmaca recently agreed to sponsor Allen, 26, who competes in 12-14 triathlons around the country each year.

    We caught up with him in the middle of training for his next event, the Revolution 3 Quassy triathlon happening in Connecticut in early June. Stay tuned for more from Allen, who will be sharing his daily training routine with us in June!

    Note: These nutrition ideas are meant for those doing serious training--not for everyday workouts.  

    What do you eat before training?

    It depends on the length of training. For a five-hour day, I eat a pretty large breakfast. I'm addicted to chocolate chip pancakes! So I eat a substantial amount of those, then two eggs, an avocado, and typically some fruit (a banana, strawberries, etc). If I'm cycling that day, I'll make sure I finish breakfast 30 minutes before I set out; if it's running I make sure I leave an hour between food and workouts, and I'll have a small snack if I get hungry in the meantime.

    I also pay attention to what I eat the day before. Because I train for six hours on Wednesdays, on Tuesday nights I'll eat 2,500-3,000 calories for dinner. I eat a lot of carbs, like a frozen pizza and a sweet potato or two--and vegetables like they're going out of style! They help keep everything regular and they complement the carbs well. In terms of protein, I don't eat much red meat. I prefer fish or chicken. Your body can only break down 25 g of protein at a time, so I won't consume more than that at a time.

    What do you pack with you?  

    On a long training day (3-6 hours), I'll always have a couple electrolyte drinks with me. On a long bike ride I always carry with me three protein bars, about 300 calories apiece. I like to error on the caution side--I always want to have more food than I think I'll need. I'll also always bring a banana and some type of gel as an emergency, if I completely bonk and my sugar levels have dropped.

    What's your first step once you're finished? 

    I judge everything based on the amount of activity I just did. If it's not so substantial, you don't need as much recovery. So if the workout was an hour, I just come back and eat a good lunch--and chocolate milk (a good source of protein and sugar your body may lose during your workout).

    If it's longer than an hour I need something more than chocolate milk, so I'll drink a protein drink immediately after I'm done. Then I eat a lot--veggies and simple, easy-to-digest stuff. Your body's already in some state of trauma, so you don't want to make it work hard to digest something.

    What kind of vitamins and supplements do you take on a regular basis?
    I take glucosamine, fish oil, a good multivitamin, B complex, and vitamin C. I think high quality supplementation is pivotal in training. If you buy the cheap stuff, you're wasting money and you're not getting the most out of the effort you just gave in your workout.

    What about strained or sore muscles? 

    I take an ice bath every day, typically in Boulder Creek! A huge part of my training is weekly massage and acupuncture. That's been the biggest turning point in terms of staying fit and healthy without getting injured.

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