Sunday, September 4, 2011

Real Food Cheater

Grocery Gal does Chocolate milk?!  
I am currently in my sports nutrition rotation at UH athletics.  I am super duper lucky because there are only 13 full time collegiate sports dietitians and I get to work with one of them!  I was really excited to work with athletes because we didn’t have a sports nutrition class at Bastyr.  It turns out, athletes are a wonderful group to work with.  They are super motivated and pretty much do anything you tell them to.  Complete opposite of working with weight loss or diabetes.  I am learning so much from this rotation for the student athletes AND for myself! Since I am training for the women’s ½ marathon in Austin, all this info is going to come in handy in the next few weeks for me to get me through my long training runs.  I always knew that if you eat poorly it would impact your performance, but I never realized how important WHEN and WHAT you eat are to your ability to gain muscle and endurance! 

Another example of a great post workout snack, fresh mango with cottage cheese.
Here is a little run down of some of the cool stuff I have learned so far… While you are working out you are in “break down” mode, your body is breaking down glycogen (stored carbohydrates) and muscle protein to use for energy.  When you finish, you switch into “building mode”, and for the next 30 minutes your muscles are like sponges, ready to soak up nutrients so they can start the rebuilding process.  This is called the “anabolic window”.  It’s best to get about 10-20 grams of protein and 30-60 grams of carbs in right away after your workout!  This was news to me.

The dietitian at UH supplies fresh fruit and chocolate milk for the athletes after their workouts.  It is the perfect recovery fuel!  Chocolate milk has an ideal balance of protein, quickly digesting carbohydrates, and electrolytes for a post a work drink.  Add a piece of fruit and you have met your carb quota to begin your recovery fueling…genius! Additionally, chocolate milk helps contribute to rehydration post workout. 

Here is what I was doing before on my running days:

5:45 am- stumble out of bed and into my running shoes.  Slam water for the next 15 minutes.

6:00- run for up to 2 hours, drinking water all the while. (I bought a Nathan hydration belt and I love it!)

Upon returning from my run I would drink more water and shower.  I would usually eat oatmeal or something within the next 2 hours.  (Not that hungry after running in 90 degree heat.)

Here is my better more fantastic nutrition plan:

5:45 am- stumble out of bed and into my running shoes.  Sip water and have a small piece of fruit for pre run energy!

6:00- run for up to 2 hours, drinking water all the while.  If I am running longer than 6 miles, I have options, fill 2 bottles on my hydration belt with double diluted Vega sport and have some fruit snacks at about mile 6.  OR go just water and have 3 cliff shot blocks or a shot gel.

Return from run and have a shot of espresso and chocolate milk over ice and a handful of crackers or a piece of fruit immediately!  Now shower and dink around for a while, then breakfast when I am ready, within about 2 hours.
Fueling during the run

Nutrition is just as important as what you are actually doing for your workout.  If you don’t eat right, all the effort that you put into training can be lost because your muscles and liver can’t properly restore.   I realize that “fruit snacks”,  “chocolate milk” and “energy gels” aren’t “real food” but your body needs quick digesting carbs after and during your workout so as long as you are using these foods properly (only after or during working out and not while you are sitting around on your tush watching Biggest Loser, you’ll be just fine!)

Anyone else have a “fueling plan?” I’d LOVE to hear what works for you! 

Read more about Sports Nutrition at: 


  1. Really interesting to see how to refuel after a workout. So I should be doing some of this after a body pump class, specifically chocolate milk and a piece of fruit?

  2. I can't believe you are running for 2 hours! Incredible - I love the chocolate milk idea - good nutrition and delicious....