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Apex Fuel Right FREE Nutrition Assessment (Everyday Nutrition & Sports Nutrition) - Apex Nutrition

Apex Fuel Right FREE Nutrition Assessment (Everyday Nutrition & Sports Nutrition)

Do you “Fuel Right?” How are you doing with everyday nutrition? Is it moving you towards your goals for weight, wellness, disease prevention and energy? And how about performance/training nutrition? Are you meeting performance goals, feeling great during your workouts, recovering well, and improving? Supplements? Do you know which are important to endurance athletes?

While there’s certainly no “one best” way of eating (there are many really good ones), or a one-size-fits-all nutrition plan, there are tried and true healthy habits that can help you meet your goals for both everyday eating and performance. Give this FREE analysis a try, and get detailed feedback in various aspects of nutrition. This is not your typical “fitness magazine” or quick no-value nutrition quiz. This is the real stuff. My real recommendations, in detail. Set aside 20-25 minutes, because it will take some time. And, it’s my hope, that when you’re done, you’ll have some feedback and clarity on how to move forward with everyday nutrition, performance nutrition, supplements, & lifestyle to meet your goals. And, I believe a Fuel Right plan can certainly help if you need it. Download your Fuel Right Race Light Plan TODAY!

The sections include:

Daily Eating for Energy & Wellness

Eating Pattern:

Most people don’t think about their “eating pattern,” but I have found it to have a HUGE influence on an athlete’s daily energy, performance in training, and success with race weight. For example, a common pattern I see is to severely undereat during the day, whether by skipping meals (due to training or not), skimping on training fuel, or both, despite the fact that most activity is done during the day. If training occurs in the late afternoon or evening, it’s done in a state of fatigue. Then, the “starving athlete” overeats dinner and dessert, trying to fight cravings and hunger. As you can see, this pattern of eating, to undereat during the day and overeat at night, impacts everything. In fact, it can be a lose – lose: poor performance, suboptimal energy, and no fat loss. On the other hand, you can use a healthy eating pattern to reduce the amount of calories that are stored instead of burned and even encourage your metabolism to burn a bit faster – while feeling great & gaining strength. Which best describes your current eating pattern (choose one)?

Eat very little during the daytime and overeat in the evening.

You can do better than this! Your eating pattern would be greatly improved with consistent fuel during the day and lighter food intake in the evening. By eating most of your calories during the evening, you are setting yourself up for increased fat storage and low daily energy levels. Also, you are likely sabotaging your metabolism which makes it very difficult to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. What’s more, you are likely diminishing your training fuel and recovery. For the best metabolism and performance, try eating 3 small meals per day and optionally, 2-3 small moderate-carb snacks per day. This style of eating 1) provides the opportunities to get in needed nutrients (like fiber, calcium, etc), 2) improves metabolism and energy levels, 3) sets you up for solid training and recovery and 4) reduces the risk of being overly hungry at eating too much at once. You’ll also want to add training nutrition when needed – see below.


Skip breakfast, eat 2 meals per day with or without snacks between.

You can do better than this! In fact, you can make big improvements by adding breakfast and keeping most of your caloric intake earlier in the day. What’s more, you are likely diminishing your training fuel and recovery. For the best metabolism and performance, try eating 3 small meals per day and optionally, 2-3 small moderate-carb snacks per day. This style of eating 1) provides the opportunities to get in needed nutrients (like fiber, calcium, etc), 2) improves metabolism and energy levels, 3) sets you up for solid training and recovery and 4) reduces the risk of being overly hungry at eating too much at once. You’ll also want to add training nutrition when needed – see below.


Eat 3 meals (including breakfast), little or no snacks.

Your eating pattern is fine (unless skipping snacks allows you to become overly hungry for meals and overeat). For the best metabolism, try to keep all meals and snacks small. You can try eating 3 small meals per day and optionally, 2-3 small low-carb snacks per day. This style of eating 1) provides the opportunities to get in needed nutrients (like fiber, calcium, etc), 2) improves metabolism and energy levels, and 3) reduces the risk of being overly hungry at eating too much at once. Furthermore, more fuel during the day and lighter food intake in the evening may decrease your fat storage, improve your metabolism, and improve your daily energy levels.


Eat 3 meals per day (including breakfast), eat uncontrolled amounts of snacks between meals.

It’s a good start, but you are potentially impairing your metabolism because you are never giving your body a chance to go without food or drink. This usually means a constant flow of insulin (which promotes fat storage). For optimal metabolism, try eating 3 small meals per day and optionally, 2-3 small low-carb snacks per day. This style of eating 1) provides the opportunities to get in needed nutrients (like fiber, calcium, etc), 2) improves metabolism and energy levels, and 3) reduces the risk of being overly hungry at eating too much at once. On the other hand, uncontrolled snacking sets you up for fat-storage and chronic overeating.


Eat 3 meals per day + 2-3 portion-controlled snacks.

Your eating pattern is great. Since you eat a consistent breakfast and consistent, intentional snacks between meals, you are likely giving your body good energy and maintaining a healthy metabolism. To maintain optimal metabolism, try eating 3 small meals per day and optionally, 2-3 small low-carb snacks per day. This style of eating 1) provides the opportunities to get in needed nutrients (like fiber, calcium, etc), 2) improves metabolism and energy levels, and 3) reduces the risk of being overly hungry at eating too much at once. Furthermore, more fuel during the day and lighter food intake in the evening may decrease your overall fat storage. Also remember to add training nutrition when needed – see below.

The Foods You Choose

I know, I know…most everyone simply wants to know “How many calories???” But, I don’t start there. After establishing goals, it’s very important to distinguish foods that will uphold your health, daily energy, and weight goals, and those that will drag you down and sabotage your body. This has little to do with calories. It has everything to do with the quality of your food and from where it comes.

So, during an average day, how many of the foods you eat come out of a box, package, restaurant vs. single-ingredient whole foods (such as yams, fruits, vegetables, beans, etc)?

Most every food, at every meal comes out of a box, package, or restaurant kitchen.

There’s no easy way around this – you are likely eating a whole bunch of ingredients and foods that will drag your body down in terms of inflammation, imbalanced blood sugars, fatigue, and health. I know, it’s tough. Most packaged foods (with the exception of a few great products) are laden with inflammatory fats, quick-action carbs (often chemically-altered ones), isolated proteins void of minerals, and more. Restaurants are typically more interested in foods tasting good than in your heart health, so they can be very high in detrimental fats and sodium. A couple things can help. First, I recommend doing your best to make more and more of your foods yourself, and pick single-ingredients foods as much as possible. Second, I recommend being very choosy about processed, packaged foods, and learning how to make the best choices within them. A Fuel Right Race Light will certainly help in both areas!


At least fifty percent of the foods in my meals and snacks contain foods out of a box, package, or restaurant kitchen.

Fifty percent is certainly not horrible, but you will vastly improve the nutrition quality of your foods as you make more yourself, and include single ingredient foods (an apple rather than an “apple granola bar” for example). When you eat packaged foods, you are likely eating a whole bunch of ingredients and foods that will drag your body down in terms of inflammation, imbalanced blood sugars, fatigue, and health. I know, it’s tough. Most packaged foods (with the exception of a few great products) are laden with inflammatory fats, quick-action carbs (often chemically-altered ones), isolated proteins void of minerals, and more. Restaurants are typically more interested in foods tasting good than in your heart health, so they can be very high in detrimental fats and sodium. Keep working on it! First, I recommend doing your best to make more and more of your foods yourself, and pick single-ingredients foods as much as possible. Second, I recommend being very choosy about processed, packaged foods, and learning how to make the best choices within them. A Fuel Right Race Light will certainly help in both areas!


Very few, maybe 25% of the foods I eat come out of a box, package, or restaurant kitchen.

This is a great start, and the more and more you make your foods yourself and choose whole, single ingredient foods, the better your foods will be for your body! Unfortunately, when you eat processed foods, you are likely eating a whole bunch of ingredients and foods that will drag your body down in terms of inflammation, imbalanced blood sugars, fatigue, and health. In fact, with the exception of a few great products, most are laden with inflammatory fats, quick-action carbs (often chemically-altered ones), isolated proteins void of minerals, and more. Restaurants are typically more interested in foods tasting good than in your heart health, so they can be very high in detrimental fats and sodium. So, it’s great that you’re not eating very many…but, there is still room for improvement as you work to closer to 10%. A couple things can help. First, I recommend doing your best to make more and more of your foods yourself, and pick single-ingredients foods as much as possible. Second, I recommend being very choosey about processed, packaged foods, and learning how to make the best choices within them. A Fuel Right Race Light will certainly help in both areas!


While I do eat some foods box, package, or restaurant kitchen, I am very choosy about them, always checking ingredient lists to make sure the ingredients themselves are healthy, and always watching out for detrimental ones.

GREAT job! Most everyone relies on packaged foods every now and then, but it’s great that it’s seldom and high quality ones in your diet. Unfortunately, most processed foods contain a whole bunch of ingredients that will drag a body down in terms of inflammation, imbalanced blood sugars, fatigue, and health. In fact, with the exception of a few great products, most are laden with inflammatory fats, quick-action carbs (often chemically-altered ones), isolated proteins void of minerals, and more. Restaurants are typically more interested in foods tasting good than in your heart health, so they can be very high in detrimental fats and sodium. So, it’s great that you’ve taken a proactive approach to foods choices from the earth and from your kitchen vs. from a factory or restaurant. Keep doing your best to make more and more of your foods yourself, and pick single-ingredients foods as much as possible. And, continue to be extra choosy about processed, packaged foods, and learning how to make the best choices within them. Even with your good foundation, a Fuel Right Race Light may help you with more variety, tips recipes, and tools!

Race Weight / Weight Goals

Healthy eating is healthy eating regardless of your weight goals. However, if you are trying to lose weight, get to a healthy weight, or even go beyond this to a race weight, we can tighten up Daily Nutrition, while still getting in full Training Nutrition, to accomplish this goal. It will still be healthy eating, but just more strategic. It won’t rely on processed diet foods. It won’t be too far off from what others in your family can eat. With Fuel Right Race Light (FRRL), I work with those who want to lose weight, gain power, perform better, and still get to eat regular foods. Which best describes your goals:

I would like to lose 30+ pounds.

First off, you can do it! I’ve seen it accomplished many times in my career, and while it’s not easy, it most certainly can be done. It will take work, though – no way around it. With a FRRL plan, you’ll focus on moderating carbohydrates and most often reaching for whole-food, single ingredient ones in daily nutrition. You’ll work on eating adequately during the day, choosing delicious whole-food carbs, proteins, and healthy fats, and then “light at night” eating at most dinners (again, less carbs with a focus on vegetables & protein). You’ll still be able to eat most any food you like each day, with a throw-away treat calorie allotment and 2 cheat meals per week. And again, we’ll add in any needed training nutrition. But the focus will be on foods that fuel your body, provide great energy, promote health, and absolutely help you lose fat. What’s more, we’ll work on lifestyle habits that boost your metabolism and will help you stay lean, for life! It won’t be “all about” the number on the scale – we’ll aim for fitness, strength, and a healthy lean weight while you conquer your goals and plan your new adventures. Strength to weight is king. There’s no “blah” to this lifestyle. If you’re ready, you can make it happen. And, you can start right now!


I would like to lose 15-29 pounds.

You’ve set a great goal, a life-changing one, and you can absolutely do it. No matter what habits have been in the past, you can look forward to creating new, healthy habits in their place. With a FRRL plan, you’ll focus on moderating carbohydrates and most often reaching for whole-food, single ingredient ones in daily nutrition. You’ll work on eating adequately during the day, choosing delicious whole-food carbs, proteins, and healthy fats, and then “light at night” eating at most dinners (again, less carbs with a focus on vegetables & protein). You’ll still be able to eat most any food you like each day, with a throw-away treat calorie allotment and 2 cheat meals per week. And again, we’ll add in any needed training nutrition. But the focus will be on foods that fuel your body, provide great energy, promote health, and absolutely help you lose fat. What’s more, we’ll work on lifestyle habits that boost your metabolism and will help you stay lean, for life! It won’t be “all about” the number on the scale – we’ll aim for fitness, strength, and a healthy lean weight while you conquer your goals and plan your new adventures. Strength to weight is king. There’s no “blah” to this lifestyle. If you’re ready, you can make it happen. And, you can start right now!


I would like to lose 6-19 pounds.

You’re so close to your weight goals, but sometimes, the closer you are,

the more diligent you have to be. Oftentimes, weight can creep up each year that you age,

and unless you do something proactive about it, you’ll find yourself 10-20 lbs overweight.

But, no longer. You’ve set an awesome goal, and it can absolutely impact your entire life and risk for chronic disease – as well, as simply your confidence, quality of life, and happiness. With a FRRL plan, you’ll focus on moderating carbohydrates and most often reaching for whole-food ones. You’ll work on eating adequately during the day, choosing delicious whole-food carbs, proteins, and healthy fats, and then “light at night” eating at most dinners (again, less carbs with a focus on vegetables & protein). You’ll still be able to eat most any food you like each day, with a throw-away treat calorie allotment and 2 cheat meals per week. But the focus will be on foods that fuel your body, provide great energy, promote health, and absolutely help you lose fat. What’s more, we’ll work on lifestyle habits that boost your metabolism and will help you stay lean, for life! It won’t be “all about” the number on the scale – we’ll aim for fitness, strength, and a healthy lean weight while you conquer your goals and plan your new adventures. There’s no “blah” to this lifestyle. If you’re ready, you can make it happen. And, you can start right now!


I would like to lose those last 15 stubborn pounds.

You’re oh-so-close – let’s get these last stubborn pounds! Oftentimes, the closer you are, the more diligent you have to be. Your body may even fight you a bit. But by simply recognizing a few habits that are sabotaging your weight/fat loss, you can lose those last pounds! With a FRRL plan, you’ll focus on moderating carbohydrates and most often reaching for whole-food, single ingredient ones in daily nutrition. You’ll work on eating adequately during the day, choosing delicious whole-food carbs, proteins, and healthy fats, and then “light at night” eating at most dinners (again, less carbs with a focus on vegetables & protein). You’ll still be able to eat most any food you like each day, with a throw-away treat calorie allotment and 2 cheat meals per week. And again, we’ll add in any needed training nutrition. But the focus will be on foods that fuel your body, provide great energy, promote health, and absolutely help you lose fat. What’s more, we’ll work on lifestyle habits that boost your metabolism and will help you stay lean, for life! It won’t be “all about” the number on the scale – we’ll aim for fitness, strength, and a healthy lean weight while you conquer your goals and plan your new adventures. Strength to weight is king. There’s no “blah” to this lifestyle. If you’re ready, you can make it happen. And, you can start right now!

I'm at a healthy weight, but would like to see if I can get a bit lighter, to my race weight goal.

Although I never set out for it to be my specialty, race-weight-while-improving-health-and-performance have become my niche. You see, getting to race weight can be great, or it can be DISASTROUS. Many times, the over-training-syndrome athletes I work with were trying to reach race weight. So, let’s avoid that. Instead, we’ll do it the smart way. We’ll omit the thing you don’t need, supplement with the specific nutrients you do, and never skimp on training nutrition or recovery. In fact, with a FRRL plan, you’ll focus on moderating carbohydrates and most often reaching for whole-food, single ingredient ones in daily nutrition. You’ll work on eating adequately during the day, choosing delicious whole-food carbs, proteins, and healthy fats, and then “light at night” eating at most dinners (again, less carbs with a focus on vegetables & protein). You’ll still be able to eat most any food you like each day, with a throw-away treat calorie allotment and 2 cheat meals per week. And again, we’ll add in any needed training nutrition. But the focus will be on foods that fuel your body, provide great energy, promote health, and absolutely help you lose fat. What’s more, we’ll work on lifestyle habits that boost your metabolism and will help you stay lean, for life! Strength to weight is king…so a plan that loses strength and health is worthless. There’s no “blah” to this lifestyle or plan. If you’re ready, you can make it happen. And, you can start right now!


I am happy with my current weight, but would like to focus on eating healthier, improving health, toning up and/or losing fat while gaining muscle, or maintaining my lean weight for life.

These are great goals. No matter your weight, a goal to become healthier, stronger, and fitter always fits. In fact, the focus of each FRRL plan *is* health, wellness, and performance. We’re not looking for skinny, we’re looking for fit & healthy & strong. Your plan will be based on real, nourishing whole foods and never “diet” junk. You’ll learn which foods promote wellness, are anti-inflammatory, boost metabolism, and help your body stay strong and lean year after year. You can conquer your goals and plan your new adventures. You can improve strength recovery, and endurance. Your plan will give you new ideas and tips to keep the motivation up. There’s no “blah” to this lifestyle. If you’re ready, you can make it happen. And, you can start right now!

Keep Going! Macronutrients in Daily Nutrition (excluding Training Nutrition)

Carbohydrates and Fiber

Carbohydrates are a very important nutrient that provides energy, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Choosing the right types of carbohydrates in the correct portions is a key to healthy eating and healthy blood sugars (especially if you are trying to lose fat). More than that, making sure you get enough fiber can decrease the amount of calories that are stored rather than burned and plays a vital rule in overall weight maintenance and health.

However, it’s not all good news for Daily Nutrition carbohydrates. In my experience, they have the most impact on weight gain, loss, and balance. And, unfortunately, many athletes see carbs as their all-you-can-eat-buffet nutrient.

Of course, on the other hand, carbohydrates are the foundation calorie source for training nutrition. It’s crucially important to keep Daily Nutrition & Training Nutrition separate. We’ll discuss this more below.

Carbohydrate Amounts in Daily Nutrition :

Carbohydrates that significantly affect blood sugars come from grains and grain products (wheat, rice, rye, etc and flours made from them), starchy vegetables (potatoes, yams, corn, peas, etc.), fruits & fruit juices, milk & yogurt, and sugar (or any baked good/product made with sugar. Which best describes your carbohydrate intake over the course of a day?

I eat a lot of carbohydrates, and many of them are sugary (desserts, soda, sweet tea, etc) and/or made with refined flours (white bread, pasta, cereals, etc).

Unfortunately, your carbohydrate intake is likely too high, and if you’re trying to lose fat, it’s likely sabotaging you! In fact, it may be causing further damage in your body by requiring too much insulin (a hormone that “deals with” high blood sugar) too often. While whole-food and especially single-ingredient carbs can be a healthy part of daytime meals and snacks, they should not make up the majority of the meal. What’s more, refined and processed carbs should only be consumed as a seldom treat or when engaging in serious athletics/training for 90+ minutes at a time. I recommend you improve your carb choices and decrease your portions. In addition, consider decreasing or omitting carbs at most dinners, at a time of day when you simply don’t need the quick-energy, can reduce carb-intake and help promote fat and weight loss. If you’d like help, a Fuel Right Race Light plan will make this easy!


I include these carbohydrates at every meal and snack, and they make up more than 50% of my meals.

Your carbohydrate intake may be a little high, especially if you are trying to lose weight. While whole-food and especially single-ingredient carbs can be a healthy part of daytime meals and snacks, they should not make up the majority of the meal. What’s more, decreasing or omitting carbs at most dinners, at a time of day when you simply don’t need the quick-energy, can reduce carb-intake and help promote fat and weight loss. We’ll still use carbs in training nutrition, and form a smart strategy for them in Daily Nutrition with Fuel Right Race Light.


I include carbs at all meals, but only a small amount compared to my proteins, vegetables, and healthy fats.

As long as your carb choices are not refined (white, processed) carbs, and are mostly single-ingredient, your carb intake is great. However, if you are trying to lose weight, decreasing or omitting carbs at most dinners at a time of day when you simply don’t need the quick-energy can reduce carb-intake and help promote fat and weight loss. We’ll still use carbs in training nutrition, and form a smart strategy for them in Daily Nutrition with Fuel Right Race Light.


I eat carbs at most meals, but I am picky in choosing high fiber, whole, single ingredient healthy ones at least 95% of the time.

Since your carb choices are not refined (white, processed) carbs, and are mostly single-ingredient, your carb intake is likely fine. However, if you are trying to lose weight, decreasing or omitting carbs at most dinners at a time of day when you simply don’t need the quick-energy can reduce carb-intake and help promote fat and weight loss. We’ll still use carbs in training nutrition, and form a smart strategy for them in Daily Nutrition with Fuel Right Race Light.


I follow a low-carb diet.

For many people a low-carb diet is a good option, and as long as your thyroid is healthy, you’re consuming a variety of non-starchy vegetables, and your diet is whole-food based, this may work for you. I’ve seen a couple hinderances of a low-carb or keto diet with athletes – usually with those who perform at high intensity or high altitude. It can be quite restrictive, and is not my choice for myself of my clients – but again, some athletes do great on it. If you worry about long term thyroid function or have low energy levels, or would just like to have a bit more freedom with eating, I would recommend exploring a moderate-carb option, such as what you’ll find in a FRRL meal plan. It’s adjustable to different carb levels, focuses on whole-food carb sources during daytime meals and snacks, and omits carbs at dinner with loads of non-starchy vegetables and proteins! It still uses carbs in training nutrition (when needed), and forms a smart strategy for them.

Vegetables:

If there’s one thing I know, it’s that our diets should be full of non-starchy vegetables! The more colors, the better! The deeper and more vibrant the colors, the better! How are you doing in this area? What best describes your vegetable intake? (FYI: 1 serving is considered to be about 1 cup of fresh, or 1/2 cup cooked)

I eat an average of 1 or less servings of vegetables per day.

Welp, there’s nowhere to go but up! By adding vegetables to your diet on a consistent basis, you can give your body amazing antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, detoxifying nutrients, and more. In fact, if you are trying to lose weight, vegetables should be your best friends. They can fill you up with nutrients and volume, for very little calories. And even if you don’t “love” them, you can likely find a couple you enjoy enough to have each day. Look for a variety of vibrant colors, and add them to at least 2 meals and 1 snack per day. And if you’re really serious, considering covering 50% of your dinner plate with vegetables each night…


I eat 2-3 servings per day.

This is a great start! Now, consider pushing it just a bit more to 4 servings per day. By including vegetables in your diet on a consistent basis, you are giving your body amazing antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, detoxifying nutrients, and more. In fact, if you are trying to lose weight, vegetables should be your best friends. They can fill you up with nutrients and volume, for very little calories. Look for a variety of vibrant colors…these are an indication of different nutrients in them. And if you’re really serious, considering covering 50% of your dinner plate with vegetables each night…


I eat 4+ servings of vegetables per day.

You are a rock star. Seriously. By including vegetables in your diet on a consistent basis, you are giving your body amazing antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, detoxifying nutrients, and more. In fact, if you are trying to lose weight, vegetables should be your best friends. They can fill you up with nutrients and volume, for very little calories. Look for a variety of vibrant colors…these are an indication of different nutrients in them. And if you’re really serious (and I know that you are), considering covering 50% of your dinner plate with vegetables each night… Keep on rockin’ those veggies!

Sugars:

Sugar intake has a significant effect on metabolism as it is digested very quickly and usually requires an increase in insulin secretion from the pancreas. This can lead to insulin resistance, a dysfunctional metabolism, fat storage, imbalanced blood sugars, and difficulty losing weight. When carbs, especially white starches and sugars, are overeaten or eaten at the wrong times, the extra blood glucose circulating in the body, and subsequent insulin, is harmful. Of note, an athlete can “use” sugar at specific times to fuel your body without detriment – to see how your body uses these sugars for performance, see this video. While sugar can be part of a small treat every day, it should be eaten with caution. It’s important to realize that foods marketed as “healthy,” low-fat, or fat-free often have increased sugar. Even a healthy diet that includes all the “right” nutrients can be ruined with too much daily nutrition sugar. What are the primary sources of sugar in your diet excluding training nutrition (choose all that apply):

Table sugar - added to foods.

Table sugar, like all other sources of refined carbohydrates, works its way through your digestive track very quickly, is absorbed 100% by your intestines, is carried by your bloodstream to your liver where it is packaged as blood glucose, and re-enters your bloodstream until insulin causes your cells to let it in for storage. Once insulin acts, any excess sugar that you’ve consumed is stored (increasing fat). Most all food, except fiber, goes through a similar process…the problem with refined sugar is the speed at which the process occurs and the need for insulin to reduce sugar in the blood. Since it is very quick, your body’s normal amount of “basal” insulin is not usually enough and your pancreas must send out an extra shot of insulin to help. The more insulin needed, the more glucose stored. A small amount of sugar is not necessarily too detrimental, but if your day includes sources of sugar (or refined grains, which act in the same way) throughout, your blood sugar and subsequent need for insulin will cause a roller coaster of energy levels and an increase in fat storage. The more insulin your body requires, the more insulin-resistant cells can becomes (which, in turn, sets you up for more insulin secretion). For people more sensitive to refined carbohydrates, it can mean low energy levels, headaches, light-headedness, or otherwise “crash” after a refined carbohydrate source is eaten – this is not how you want to spend your day! Keep your refined sugar intake minimal.

Dessert Foods - such as baked goods, candy, ice-cream, popsicles, etc. with sugar.

Treats made with sugar, like all other sources of refined carbohydrates, work their way through your digestive track very quickly, are absorbed 100% by your intestines, are carried by your bloodstream to your liver where they are packaged as blood glucose, and re-enter your bloodstream until insulin causes your cells to let it in for storage. Once insulin acts, any excess sugar that you’ve consumed is stored (increasing fat). Most all food, except fiber, goes through a similar process…the problem with refined sugar is the speed at which the process occurs and the need for insulin to deal with high blood sugars. Since it is very quick, your body’s normal amount of “basal” insulin is not usually enough and your pancreas must send out an extra shot of insulin to help. The more insulin needed, the more glucose stored. A small, controlled treat (no more than one per day) is not necessarily too detrimental, but if your day includes sources of sugar (or refined grains, which act in the same way) throughout, your blood sugar and subsequent need for insulin will cause a roller coaster of energy levels and an increase in fat storage. The more insulin your body requires, the more insulin resistant cells can becomes (which, in turn, sets you up for more insulin secretion).For people more sensitive to refined carbohydrates, it can mean low energy levels, headaches, light-headedness, or otherwise “crash” after a refined carbohydrate source is eaten – this is not how you want to spend your day! Keep your dessert intake minimal.

Juice, sodas, sweetened tea, dessert coffees (such as mochas), hot chocolate, sports drinks (when not training).

Sugary drinks (yes, even including 100% juice), like all other sources of refined carbohydrates, work their way through your digestive track very quickly, are absorbed 100% by your intestines, are carried by your bloodstream to your liver where they are packaged as blood glucose, and re-enter your bloodstream until insulin causes your cells to let it in for storage (from mouth to bloodstream can take as little as 15 minutes!). Once insulin acts, any excess sugar that you’ve consumed is stored (usually as fat). Most all food, except fiber, goes through a similar process…the problem with refined sugar is the speed at which the process occurs. Since it is very quick, your body’s normal amount of “basal” insulin is not usually enough and your pancreas must send out an extra shot of insulin to help. The more insulin needed, the more glucose stored. A small amount of 100% juice (4 oz./day) may have some health benefits, but consuming more than this tips the balance to where the bad outweighs the good (whole fruit is a much better choice because it contains natural sugars + fiber!). If your day includes sources of sugar (or refined grains, which act in the same way) throughout, your blood sugar and subsequent need for insulin will cause a roller coaster of energy levels and an increase in fat storage. The more insulin your body requires, the more insulin resistant cells can becomes (which, in turn, sets you up for more insulin secretion). For people more sensitive to refined carbohydrates, it can mean low energy levels, headaches, light-headedness, or otherwise “crash” after a refined carbohydrate source is eaten – this is not how you want to spend your day!


Of note, sports drinks are completely appropriate for athletes when training >90 minutes at one time – if consumed immediately before, during, or immediately after training the sugar is burned for energy or used to replenish glycogen stores (if not in excess). What’s more, these carbs, and the electrolytes in sports drinks are the preferred fuel and necessary for health and optimal performance.


Fruit - Fresh, Frozen, Canned, or Pureed (applesauce)

Fresh and Frozen fruit (without added sugars) is a great source of whole-food carbohydrates. Yes, it still contains natural sugars. However, since it is in whole form, it also contains fiber (similar to how whole grains contain starch + bran fiber). When compared to juice, it is a much better choice – for example, an orange contains 5-7 grams fiber, orange juice contains 0. Whole fruits are also great sources of vitamins, antioxidants, and phytochemicals (disease preventing/fighting components), which all work best together in whole form. Canned fruits, because they usually contain added sugar and/or juice are not good choices. Pureed fruits, such as applesauce, are good choices if they do not contain added sugar and have 2-5 gm fiber. If you are carbohydrate sensitive, or have been diagnosed with Pre-Diabetes, Diabetes, or Hypoglycemia, it is imperative to control your portion of whole fresh or frozen fruit (to just 1 serving at a time – 1 cup chopped, 1 baseball size, or 1/2 banana) and add a protein source.

Sugar substitutes: Stevia, Sucralose (Splenda) and/or products that contain them.

If you use products with sucralose under the assumption that it is not harmful, you may still be risking your health. While sucralose itself has inconsistent safety results in studies, it is often accompanied by acesulfame potassium in products, which may not be safe. Overall, stevia seems to be safe on the surface, but it usually takes years before we see detriment with sugar substitutes including impaired glucose metabolism, altered gut health and more. I would rather see a client keep all “sweet” foods minimal, and occasional have a treat with real sugar rather than a dependence on artificially sweetened foods. Plan your meals ans snacks to be satisfying throughout the day and if you’d like, include one small treat.

Sugar substitutes: Aspartame or saccharin and/or products that contain it.

Aspartame and saccharin have been found to be detrimental to health in many studies. While some of the studies have been poorly designed and not reputable, others have been well-designed and provided evidence of harm. At a minimum, they can alter glucose metabolism and gut health – and may do much more damage. I would rather see a client keep all “sweet” foods minimal, and occasional have a treat with real sugar rather than a dependence on artificially sweetened foods. Plan your meals ans snacks to be satisfying throughout the day and if you’d like, include one small treat.

I do not use any sugar sources listed.

Avoiding sources of sugar can definitely do a body good! If you avoid fruit, just make sure you are loading up on vegetables (all the good nutrients of fruits without the sugars!). If you’re consuming sugar substitutes in place of sugar (uh-oh), you are possibly increasing your risk of altered glucose metabolism, gut health, and brain health – not worth the risk in my opinion (see above)! So, it’s great that you avoid sugar. But, make sure you get nutrients from adequate vegetable intake (5-8 servings per day) and avoid harmful substitutes.

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There’s more…Protein & Fats

Protein Intake Throughout your Meals & Snacks

There’s a few good reasons that your meals should be balanced with protein throughout the day. For one, protein plays important roles in the body, including cell repair and rebuilding, hormone balance, immune support, and carbohydrate metabolism. And as *whole foods*, which is what we want, many good protein sources provide other nutrients, like minerals, omega-3 fats, and more, that are difficult to find elsewhere. What best describes your protein intake throughout the day?

I eat a protein source, vegetarian or from an animal product, at every meal.

Great! Healthy protein sources can balance out a meal, help you avoid eating too many carbs, fill you up, and provide nutrients. I recommend that most women eat ~80 grams protein per day (no need to count grams, just balance your meals with protein), and men, 90-100 grams per day. When choosing animal products, I recommend fish and seafood, lean meats, yogurt (if you tolerate it and like it), and eggs. Good vegetarian options include quinoa, beans and legumes, chia and hemp seeds, nuts and seeds, intact grains like oats, and more. Remember, athletes often need more and should add protein after most training. Keep getting in good protein!

I eat a protein source, vegetarian or from an animal product, at 2 of 3 meals.

Good – this is enough for many adults. However, if you find that your low-protein meal doesn’t fill you up, or is overloaded with a bunch of carbohydrate foods, consider swapping one out for protein! Healthy protein sources can balance out a meal, help you avoid eating too many carbs, fill you up, and provide nutrients. I recommend that most women eat ~80 grams protein per day (no need to count grams, just balance your meals with protein), and men, 90-100 grams per day. When choosing animal products, I recommend fish and seafood, lean meats, yogurt (if you tolerate it and like it), and eggs. Good vegetarian options include, quinoa, beans and legumes, chia and hemp seeds, nuts and seeds, intact grains like oats, and more. Remember, athletes often need more and should add protein after most training. Keep getting in good protein!

I only eat about one protein source once per day, or less.

Generally, when I see protein from animal products once per day, or a vegetarian diet without a good protein source at every meal, I see eating habits in trouble! Most of the time, this means too many carbs at meals, which overload the body with blood sugar and results in the need for more and more insulin (see the carb section – this is detrimental to health). Also, you may find that you need to eat more, because you are hungry more often without protein. Healthy protein sources can balance out a meal, help you avoid eating too many carbs, fill you up, and provide nutrients. I recommend that most women eat ~80 grams protein per day (no need to count grams, just balance your meals with protein), and men, 90-100 grams per day. When choosing animal products, I recommend fish and seafood, lean meats, yogurt (if you tolerate it and like it), and eggs. Good vegetarian options include, quinoa, beans and legumes, chia and hemp seeds, nuts and seeds, intact grains like oats, and more. Remember, athletes often need more and should add protein after most training. Work to get in good protein throughout eat day – a Fit & Strong plan will make it easy!

Fats

I’ll be honest – fats are confusing. Sorting through healthy and unhealthy fats, which ones are best for cooking, which ones are fine in wholefoods but more harmful as oils, and which detrimental ones are lurking in almost all processed foods is daunting. Some fats, such as omega-3 fats and those used in Mediterranean Diets, improve cholesterol levels, reduce risk of disease, and improve health. Other, natural fats, contribute to hormone balance, good brain function and mood, and adequate vitamin and mineral absorption. In fact, some types of fats may even increase your metabolic rate by increasing fat cell breakdown and use. On the other hand, “processed” fats typically wreak havoc on our cells and our health, causing our bodies to swing towards inflammatory processes and chronic disease. Use this portion of the analysis to find out what the fats you use are doing in your body. What type (s) of fat do you consume (as ingredients or in the kitchen), and use to cook and/or bake (choose all that applies)?

Olive Oil.

Olive Oil, especially extra-virgin, is one of the best fats you can use at a low temperature (mostly because of the polyphenols it contains, not the fats). Especially when used without heating (on cooked or raw vegetables, on bread, as an ingredient, etc) it can increase metabolic rate by increasing fat cell breakdown. It may also reduce bad cholesterol, increase good cholesterol, reduce heart disease, reduce blood pressure, reduce breast cancer, improve blood sugar control in people with Diabetes, prevent bone loss, reduce belly fat accumulation and insulin insensitivity, and reduce risk for other degenerative diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, asthma, colon cancer, and arthritis. It has anti-inflammatory properties, helps reduce free-radical damage, and supports gut health. Of note, it is a good idea to keep it as less than 300 degrees F, as the fatty acids can become oxidized and harmful, nutrients are lost, and it will reach it’s smoke point above this temperature (all oils can release harmful fumes above their specific smoke point). It’s best for low-heat cooking or as a dressing on raw or already cooked foods.

If you’re trying to lose weight, it is also best to keep the portion controlled, as it is calorie-dense and can add up fast! A Fit & Strong Plan can help you pick the best oils & control portions.

Avocado Oil.

Avocado oil, like olive oil, is a great choice! It is high in monounsaturated fats, omega-9s, and may reduce bad cholesterol, increase good cholesterol, reduce heart disease, reduce blood pressure, reduce breast cancer, improve blood sugar control in people with Diabetes, prevent bone loss, reduce belly fat accumulation and insulin insensitivity, and reduce risk for other degenerative diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, asthma, colon cancer, and arthritis. And, unlike olive oil, it can be used at a higher heat for cooking and baking. If you’re trying to lose weight, it is also best to keep the portion controlled, as it is calorie-dense and can add up fast! A Fit & Strong Plan can help you pick the best fats & control portions.

Peanut, Sunflower, or other Nut/Seed Oil.

Nut and seeds oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids, and unfortunately compete with the omega-3 fatty acids we get from fish and a few other foods – this is not a good thing. In fact, these oils can tip the balance in our bodies toward more inflammation and more chronic disease. I do not recommend them. Of course, this can be a huge source of confusing since small amounts of nuts and seeds are great for us…why then, not the oils? It’s important to remember that once we isolate and/or concentrate a nutrient from a whole food, it’s a whole new ballgame and we have to be very careful. Walnut oil, in which the fat has been pressed from the whole food walnut, becomes a different food than the walnut, which also contains protein, fiber, and other nutrients. When eaten as a whole food, the other nutrients affect the absorption and metabolism of individual nutrients, you get less each specific nutrient, and you don’t often get the same degree of effect of each individual nutrient. So I recommending avoiding nut and seed oils, and a Fit & Strong Plan will certainly help you do so while choosing health-benefiting ones!

Canola Oil, Corn Oil, Vegetable Oil.

Vegetables oils, canola, and corn are also high-omega-6 oils (like nut and seed oils). And unfortunately, they compete with the omega-3 fatty acids we get from fish, flax, and chia (as well as a few other foods) – this is not a good thing. In fact, these oils can tip the balance in our bodies toward more inflammation and more chronic disease. *If* any of these oils are to be used, it is canola, which also contains some omega-3s along with it’s omega-6s…and while still too high, the omega-6s are less than the other choices within this and the nut/seed oil group. But, it’s still not as good as olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil. Overall, I recommending avoiding these vegetables (or only using canola occasionally). A Fit & Strong Plan will certainly help you avoid the negative oils while choosing health-benefiting ones!

Soybean Oil (If you're consuming any processed foods, including commercial salad dressing, you're eating soybean oil)

Put down the bottle of commercial salad dressing and walk away – soybean oil should be avoided like the plague. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done as it is literally lurking in almost every processed food. It’s a cheap fat source, concentrated with omega-6s (which compete with healthful omega-3s), and nothing to offer nutritionally. In fact, like other highly concentrated omega-6 oils, it can tip the balance in our bodies toward more inflammation and more chronic disease. Again, this is different than eating a whole soybean – which when eaten as a whole food, is affected by the other nutrients in terms of absorption and metabolism of individual nutrients. Avoid soybean oil – a Fit & Strong Plan will certainly help you do so while choosing health-benefiting ones!

Coconut Oil.

Yes, coconut oil is a saturated fat. As you’ll see below I do not believe most saturated fats are harmful to you (especially in the midst of a healthy diet and healthy weight), and I believe coconut oil has positive nutritional value to offer. Most of coconut oil’s saturated fats are medium chain triglycerides, and these have beneficial attributes for metabolism and health! In fact, many recent studies show a direct increase in resting metabolic rate, a decrease in insulin resistance, and an improvement in cholesterol with regular extra virgin coconut oil use. Of course, it important to stay far away from any partially hydrogenated coconut oils (often used in processed snack foods) and refined/bleached/deodorized coconut oil. And, I don’t recommend going out of your way to glop it on everything – instead, simply use it in place of other oils that don’t have as much to offer, especially when you need high heat. If you’re trying to lose weight, it is also best to keep the portion controlled, as it is calorie-dense and can add up fast! A Fit & Strong Plan can help you pick the best fats & control portions.

Butter or Other Animal Fats including bacon grease, or fats on meats.

Although I don’t recommend over-eating butter and animal fats, or going out of your way to add them to every food, I believe they are fine in moderation and cooking. In fact, I recommend butter to anyone over margarine (even those that don’t contain hydrogenated oils). However, animal fats are not as good for you as olive oil, avocado oil or organic coconut oil. When you can use these instead, do! Olive oil can be used as a dressing on vegetables and grains and in low-temp cooking, and avocado and coconut can be used at higher temps. So, use butter when needed, but choose the others first. And if you’re trying to lose weight, it is best to keep any of them portion controlled, as they calorie-dense and can add up fast! A Fit & Strong Plan can help you pick the best fats & control portions.

Margarine - Regular & those without Hydrogenated Oils.

Initially, margarines were created to replace butter when it was decided that butter’s saturated fats were detrimental to heart health. However, in order to make margarine, food scientists had to chemically alter the bonds of vegetable oil by adding hydrogen and create trans bonds from cis bonds (a little chemistry for ya). As a result, they created trans-fats, which are now known to be more detrimental to your heart health than the saturated fat they were trying to replace! Furthermore, they may even influence the insulin sensitivity of your cells, which directly impacts your metabolism. The bottom line: neither transfat-containing-margarine nor it’s hydrogenated-oil-free counterparts are great choices. Choose a natural oil instead, such as olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, or on occasion, butter. Look in the ingredients list, and avoid “hydrogenated oils” like the plague – a Fit & Strong Plan will certainly help you do so while choosing health-benefiting ones!

I avoid adding fats to my foods.

Although you may be operating under the assumption that avoiding all fats is a good thing, you’re missing out on an opportunity to give your body needed nutrients. Some fats, like the monounsaturated ones found in olive oil, help your body prevent many chronic diseases! When eaten unheated, it may actually reduce bad cholesterol, increase good cholesterol, reduce heart disease, reduce blood pressure, reduce breast cancer, improve blood sugar control in people with Diabetes, prevent bone loss, reduce belly fat accumulation and insulin insensitivity, and reduce risk for other degenerative diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, asthma, colon cancer, and arthritis. It has anti-inflammatory properties, helps reduce free-radical damage, supports gut health, and may help you lose fat. What’s more, fat-soluble vitamins require fats to be absorbed and metabolized. Healthy fats are an important part of nutrition – don’t avoid them, just choose wisely. And, they add a lot of flavor & texture to meals. Keep in mind, if you’re trying to lose weight it is best to keep any of them portion controlled, as they calorie-dense and can add up fast! A Fit & Strong Plan can help you pick the best fats & control portions.

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Hydration & Alcohol

Fluids and Hydration

Day in, day out hydration is important. Unfortunately, many adults do not get enough daily fluid and are in a chronic stage of low-grade dehydration. This can lead to headaches, digestion issues and constipation, and fatigue. What’s more, sometimes people overeat when they are actually thirsty (and not really hungry). Your body is made up of mostly water and drinking enough will help you fight off food cravings, flush your body, and keep you regular. It also has a direct impact on exercise. Unsweetened teas and water are good fluids throughout the day. Which best describes your daily intake of these fluids?

0-32 oz. of fluids per day (the size of 2 large glasses).

Your fluid intake is very low – most adults need ~48-64 oz. per day plus ~20-32 oz. per hour of exercise (during and after). I recommend adding healthy fluids throughout the day and making sure to hydrate well during and after exercise. What’s more, if you’re trying to lose weight, 80-100 oz. per day can help you fight hunger and cravings. A FRRL plan will help you do it, and show you the metabolism benefits!

33-64 oz. of fluids per day (the size of 2-4 large glasses).

Your fluid intake is just slightly low. Most adults need ~48-64 oz. per day plus ~20-32 oz. per hour of exercise (during and after). I recommend adding healthy fluids throughout the day and making sure to hydrate well during and after exercise. What’s more, if you’re trying to lose weight, 80-100 oz. per day can help you fight hunger and cravings. A FRRL plan will help you do it, and show you the metabolism benefits!

64-80 oz. of fluids per day (the size of 4-5 large glasses).

Your fluid intake looks good. Most adults need ~~48-64 oz. per day plus ~20-32 oz. per hour of exercise (during and after). I recommend continuing to drink healthy fluids throughout the day and making sure to hydrate well during and after exercise. What’s more, if you’re trying to lose weight, 80-100 oz. per day can help you fight hunger and cravings. A FRRL plan will help you do it, and show you the metabolism benefits!

Alcohol

While not inherently bad for your health, and potentially offering some benefits, alcohol can be a small part of healthy diets, as long as it’s not consumed in too great of amounts at once. There is some evidence that large consumption of alcohol is associated with some gastrointestinal cancers. And, there’s no doubt that the alcohol itself adds non-nourishing calories to our diets, and possibly extra calories from rich foods eaten while consuming it. On an average week, how many alcoholic drinks do you consume?

0-2 drinks per week.



Your alcohol intake is fine. You do not take in too many calories from alcohol nor are you likely causing damage to your liver from it. However, make sure any alcohol you do drink is not high-calorie sugary ones (unless part of your “cheat meal”). If you’re looking to alcohol to potentially raise your good “HDL” cholesterol, it’s not likely with your intake. This is no problem, though, since you can raise it with cardiovascular exercise


1-2 drinks at a time, 1-3 times per week.

In terms of health, your alcohol intake is likely fine. However, in terms of weight loss, you could be slowly or stalling your progress even with just this amount. As long as you’re meeting your goals, it’s likely okay to continue the 1-2 non-sweet alcoholic drinks a few times per week. But if you’re not seeing progress, this is a good place to make changes, even if that means just dropping your consumption by 50%. If you’re looking to alcohol to potentially raise your good “HDL” cholesterol, you may or may not see results. This is no problem, though, since you can raise it with cardiovascular exercise.


1 drink at a time, 5-7 times per week.

In terms of health, your alcohol intake is likely fine. However, in terms of weight loss, you could be slowly or stalling your progress even with just this amount. As long as you’re meeting your goals, it’s likely okay to continue the 1-2 non-sweet alcoholic drinks a few times per week. But if you’re not seeing progress, this is a good place to make changes, even if that means just dropping your consumption by 50%. If you’re looking to alcohol to potentially raise your good “HDL” cholesterol, you may or may not see results. This is no problem, though, since you can raise it with cardiovascular exercise


3+ drinks at a time, 1-3 times per week.

Your alcohol intake is slightly high for one sitting. You may take in enough calories to sabotage any weight loss efforts and you may be at risk of damaging your liver. Your intake would be improved by cutting this amount down to 2 or less drinks at one time in terms of health, and even less than this if looking to lose weight. If you’re looking to alcohol to potentially raise your good “HDL” cholesterol, you may or may not see results. This is no problem, though, since you can raise it with cardiovascular exercise.


5+ drinks at a time, 1+ times per week.

You are definitely drinking too much at once…and there may be health consequences. First, you are consuming a ton of non-nutritive calories in the alcohol, and most times, people eat calorie-dense foods while drinking. In addition, high alcohol consumption can make your metabolism plunge in terms of fat loss for up to 72 hours while you’re liver tries to “deal with” the alcohol. Speaking of your liver, this amount of alcohol puts you at risk of damaging your liver, your digestive tract, and increases your risk of cancer. Your intake would be improved by cutting this amount down to 2 or less drinks at one time. If you’re looking to alcohol to potentially raise your good “HDL” cholesterol, you may or may not see results. This is no problem, though, since you can raise it with cardiovascular exercise.


I don't drink at all.



Obviously, your alcohol intake is fine! You are avoiding consuming too many alcohol calories from the drinks or foods associated with them, and obviously not causing any damage to your liver. The benefits you are “missing” out on are easily made up in a healthy lifestyle. For example, while alcohol may raise good “HDL” cholesterol, exercise works even better!

Training Nutrition

Training Nutrition refers to what you eat and/or drink immediately before, during, and immediately after training. The whole purpose of it is to improve performance, improve how you feel while you perform, improve health while you perform, and to replenish the glycogen you’ve used afterwards so that you can continue to improve in subsequent trainings.

We covered “race weight / weight goals” above so that you can decide your main goals with training nutrition. If your main goal is to improve as an athlete, you should use Training Nutrition to its fullest. If your main goal is to lose fat, you’ll have to back off Training Nutrition, just slightly, so that you’re not getting in too many carbohydrates (still most of your calorie and carb deficit for weight loss should come from Daily Nutrition). If you want to lose fat while improving as an athlete, I recommend using Training Nutrition to its fullest and really “tightening” up with Daily Nutrition.

Pre-Training Fuel

What best describes your training fuel strategy 15-60 minutes before training?:

No Strategy.

You’re missing a great opportunity to improve your performance and stamina by not consistently including a pre-training fuel strategy. It’s important to give your body the nutrients it can use immediately before any meaningful training or competition. To start, make sure you are well hydrated. You can usually drink regularly up to 1 hour before training, and then continue to sip (with full filling your bladder) until 15-30 minutes beforehand (make sure to use the restroom before you hit the road). Additionally, your body can use some quick acting carbs. If it’s 30-60 minutes before your workout, eat a small amount of carbohydrates that are easy-to-digest (dates, banana, 1/2 bagel with honey, cookie, Clif Bar, etc). If it’s only 15 minutes beforehand (in staging if racing), eat something quicker like a gel packet or dates. As far as meals with healthy “whole foods” before training: These should be eaten 2-3 hours out to give your body ample time for digestion so that you can actually use the nutrients for energy and so that you don’t run a high risk of stomach issues – you can experiment with liquid nutrition, like a smoothie, 60-90 minutes before. If your main goal is to lose fat, simply use an easy to digest “normal” snack 60 to 90 minutes out instead of an extra “pre-training snack. But, skimping on training nutrition does not directly lead to fat loss/weight loss even though it may lead to “fat oxidation,” (see this video) – don’t be fooled.”

Nothing. I choose to not eat/drink to avoid stomach issues, feeling heavy, etc.

You’re missing a great opportunity to improve your performance and stamina by not consistently including a pre-training fuel strategy. It’s important to give your body the nutrients it can use immediately before any meaningful training or competition. To start, make sure you are well hydrated. You can usually drink regularly up to 1 hour before training, and then continue to sip (with full filling your bladder) until 15-30 minutes beforehand (make sure to use the restroom before you hit the road). Additionally, your body can use some quick acting carbs. If it’s 30-60 minutes before your workout, eat a small amount of carbohydrates that are easy-to-digest (dates, banana, 1/2 bagel with honey, cookie, Clif Bar, etc). If it’s only 15 minutes beforehand (in staging if racing), eat something quicker like a gel packet or dates. As far as meals with healthy “whole foods” before training: These should be eaten 2-3 hours out to give your body ample time for digestion so that you can actually use the nutrients for energy and so that you don’t run a high risk of stomach issues – you can experiment with liquid nutrition, like a smoothie, 60-90 minutes before. If your main goal is to lose fat, simply use an easy to digest “normal” snack 60 to 90 minutes out instead of an extra “pre-training snack. But, skimping on training nutrition does not directly lead to fat loss/weight loss even though it may lead to “fat oxidation,” (see this video) – don’t be fooled.”

Eat a regular meal or snack with carbohydrates, proteins, fats, etc.

Depending on the snack, this may work, or it may be too “whole-food” or high fiber to help. If the latter, you’re potentially missing a great opportunity to improve your performance and stamina by not giving your body the right nutrients within your pre-training fuel strategy. Meals with healthy “whole foods” before training should be consumed 2-3 hours out to give your body ample time for digestion so that you can actually use the nutrients for energy and so that you don’t run a high risk of stomach issues. It’s important to give your body the nutrients it can use immediately before any meaningful training or competition. To start, make sure you are well hydrated. You can usually drink regularly up to 1 hour before training, and then continue to sip (with full filling your bladder) until 15-30 minutes beforehand (make sure to use the restroom before you hit the road). Additionally, your body can use some quick acting carbs. If it’s 30-60 minutes before your workout, eat a small amount of carbohydrates that are easy-to-digest (dates, banana, 1/2 bagel with honey, cookie, Clif Bar, etc). If it’s only 15 minutes beforehand (in staging if racing), eat something quicker like a gel packet or dates. As far as meals with healthy “whole foods” before training: These should be eaten 2-3 hours out to give your body ample time for digestion so that you can actually use the nutrients for energy and so that you don’t run a high risk of stomach issues – you can experiment with liquid nutrition, like a smoothie, 60-90 minutes before. If your main goal is to lose fat, simply use an easy to digest “normal” snack 60 to 90 minutes out instead of an extra “pre-training snack. But, skimping on training nutrition does not directly lead to fat loss/weight loss even though it may lead to “fat oxidation,” (see this video) – don’t be fooled.”

Eat healthy, whole-food, high-fiber snack.

You’re potentially missing a great opportunity to improve your performance and stamina by not giving your body the right nutrients within your pre-training fuel strategy. Meals with healthy “whole foods” and especially those high in fiber should be consumed 2-3 hours out to give your body ample time for digestion so that you can actually use the nutrients for energy and so that you don’t run a high risk of stomach issues. It’s important to give your body the nutrients it can use immediately before any meaningful training or competition. To start, make sure you are well hydrated. You can usually drink regularly up to 1 hour before training, and then continue to sip (with full filling your bladder) until 15-30 minutes beforehand (make sure to use the restroom before you hit the road). Additionally, your body can use some quick acting carbs. If it’s 30-60 minutes before your workout, eat a small amount of carbohydrates that are easy-to-digest (dates, banana, 1/2 bagel with honey, cookie, Clif Bar, etc). If it’s only 15 minutes beforehand (in staging if racing), eat something quicker like a gel packet or dates. As far as meals with healthy “whole foods” before training: These should be eaten 2-3 hours out to give your body ample time for digestion so that you can actually use the nutrients for energy and so that you don’t run a high risk of stomach issues – you can experiment with liquid nutrition, like a smoothie, 60-90 minutes before. If your main goal is to lose fat, simply use an easy to digest “normal” snack 60 to 90 minutes out instead of an extra “pre-training snack. But, skimping on training nutrition does not directly lead to fat loss/weight loss even though it may lead to “fat oxidation,” (see this video) – don’t be fooled.”

Eat an easy-to-digest meal or snack, using carb-based-foods I tolerate well.

This is a good choices. It’s important to give your body the nutrients it can use immediately before any meaningful training or competition. To start, make sure you are well hydrated. You can usually drink regularly up to 1 hour before training, and then continue to sip (with full filling your bladder) until 30 or 15 minutes out (make sure to use the restroom before you hit the road). Additionally, your body can use some quick acting carbs. If it’s 30-60 minutes out, eat a small amount of carbohydrates that are easy-to-digest (banana, 1/2 bagel with honey, Clif Bar, etc). If it’s only 15 minutes out or so, eat something quicker like a gel packet. If your main goal is to lose fat, simply use an easy to digest “normal” snack 60 to 90 minutes out instead of an extra “pre-training snack.”

During-Training Fuel

Which best describes your training fuel strategy for sessions that last longer than 90 minutes (choose all that apply)?:

No Strategy.

Oops – you’re missing a great opportunity to improve your performance and stamina by not consistently including a during-training fuel strategy. It’s important to give your body the nutrients it can use during any meaningful training or competition. Here’s what it can use: easy-to-digest fluids, carbs, and lytes – these can be whole-food but not high fiber or hard-to-digest (think sports drink and dates, cookies, energy balls, energy bars, etc). If longer than 4 hours, you may also benefit from more substantial foods every 2-3 hours, depending on how intense the training/racing. This can be something like a 1/2 sandwich, 1/2 bagel, sweet potatoes, boiled potatoes, energy bar, etc. Since “quick carbs” can hit your blood stream within 15 minutes of when they are consumed, they can give your body an efficient energy source as long as you consume them in a steady manner. And, since you lose fluid and lytes as you train, and they have a direct effect on your performance, it’s crucial to replenish them as you go. Lastly, l-glutlamine and BCAAs can also be helpful for longer duration training or racing (although I’m not a fan of protein powders or protein added to sports drinks in this case). Most whole proteins and fats take longer to digest, have little effect on energy (although for super long duration like 24-hours, you need all the different nutrients you can get), and will increase your risk of stomach issues. If your main goal is fat loss, you can stick to just fluids and lytes up to 2 hours or for low-intensity workouts, , but you won’t feel as good as you would or training as well without the carbs. For more information on including electrolytes and carbs with fluids, download and read my Hydration Report. Give your body what it needs and you’ll train better, feel better, and not have to worry about adverse stomach issues.


I don't drink or eat during training unless it is longer in duration, 2+ hours.

For some athletes, this works fine. For others – either those who are really pushing themselves or those who want to improve your performance during-training-nutrition will help for any moderate-high intensity training >=90 minutes. It’s important to give your body the nutrients it can use. Here’s what it can use: easy-to-digest fluids, carbs, and lytes – these can be whole-food but not high fiber or hard-to-digest (think sports drink and dates, cookies, energy balls, energy bars, etc). If longer than 4 hours, you may also benefit from more substantial foods every 2-3 hours, depending on how intense the training/racing. This can be something like a 1/2 sandwich, 1/2 bagel, sweet potatoes, boiled potatoes, energy bar, etc. Since “quick carbs” can hit your blood stream within 15 minutes of when they are consumed, they can give your body an efficient energy source as long as you consume them in a steady manner. And, since you lose fluid and lytes as you train, and they have a direct effect on your performance, it’s crucial to replenish them as you go. Lastly, l-glutlamine and BCAAs can also be helpful for longer duration training or racing (although I’m not a fan of protein powders or protein added to sports drinks in this case). Most whole proteins and fats take longer to digest, have little effect on energy (although for super long duration like 24-hours, you need all the different nutrients you can get), and will increase your risk of stomach issues. If your main goal is fat loss, you can stick to just fluids and lytes up to 2 hours or for low-intensity workouts, , but you won’t feel as good as you would or training as well without the carbs. For more information on including electrolytes and carbs with fluids, download and read my Hydration Report. Give your body what it needs and you’ll train better, feel better, and not have to worry about adverse stomach issues.


Just water.

You’re missing a great opportunity to improve your performance and stamina by not consistently including a during-training fuel strategy. It’s important to give your body the nutrients it can use during any meaningful training or competition. Here’s what it can use: easy-to-digest fluids, carbs, and lytes – these can be whole-food but not high fiber or hard-to-digest (think sports drink and dates, cookies, energy balls, energy bars, etc). If longer than 4 hours, you may also benefit from more substantial foods every 2-3 hours, depending on how intense the training/racing. This can be something like a 1/2 sandwich, 1/2 bagel, sweet potatoes, boiled potatoes, energy bar, etc. Since “quick carbs” can hit your blood stream within 15 minutes of when they are consumed, they can give your body an efficient energy source as long as you consume them in a steady manner. And, since you lose fluid and lytes as you train, and they have a direct effect on your performance, it’s crucial to replenish them as you go. Lastly, l-glutlamine and BCAAs can also be helpful for longer duration training or racing (although I’m not a fan of protein powders or protein added to sports drinks in this case). Most whole proteins and fats take longer to digest, have little effect on energy (although for super long duration like 24-hours, you need all the different nutrients you can get), and will increase your risk of stomach issues. If your main goal is fat loss, you can stick to just fluids and lytes up to 2 hours or for low-intensity workouts, , but you won’t feel as good as you would or training as well without the carbs. For more information on including electrolytes and carbs with fluids, download and read my Hydration Report. Give your body what it needs and you’ll train better, feel better, and not have to worry about adverse stomach issues.


Low-calorie/low-carb drink with electrolytes.

Oops – you’re missing a great opportunity to improve your performance and stamina by not consistently including a during-training fuel strategy. It’s important to give your body the nutrients it can use during any meaningful training or competition. Here’s what it can use: easy-to-digest fluids, carbs, and lytes – these can be whole-food but not high fiber or hard-to-digest (think sports drink and dates, cookies, energy balls, energy bars, etc). If longer than 4 hours, you may also benefit from more substantial foods every 2-3 hours, depending on how intense the training/racing. This can be something like a 1/2 sandwich, 1/2 bagel, sweet potatoes, boiled potatoes, energy bar, etc. Since “quick carbs” can hit your blood stream within 15 minutes of when they are consumed, they can give your body an efficient energy source as long as you consume them in a steady manner. And, since you lose fluid and lytes as you train, and they have a direct effect on your performance, it’s crucial to replenish them as you go. Lastly, l-glutlamine and BCAAs can also be helpful for longer duration training or racing (although I’m not a fan of protein powders or protein added to sports drinks in this case). Most whole proteins and fats take longer to digest, have little effect on energy (although for super long duration like 24-hours, you need all the different nutrients you can get), and will increase your risk of stomach issues. If your main goal is fat loss, you can stick to just fluids and lytes up to 2 hours or for low-intensity workouts, , but you won’t feel as good as you would or training as well without the carbs. For more information on including electrolytes and carbs with fluids, download and read my Hydration Report. Give your body what it needs and you’ll train better, feel better, and not have to worry about adverse stomach issues.


Sports drinks (with electrolytes & carbs) and gels.

Great choice – you are taking advantage of your opportunity to improve your performance and stamina by consistently including a during-training fuel strategy. Oops – you’re missing a great opportunity to improve your performance and stamina by not consistently including a during-training fuel strategy. It’s important to give your body the nutrients it can use during any meaningful training or competition. Here’s what it can use: easy-to-digest fluids, carbs, and lytes – these can be whole-food but not high fiber or hard-to-digest (think sports drink and dates, cookies, energy balls, energy bars, etc). If longer than 4 hours, you may also benefit from more substantial foods every 2-3 hours, depending on how intense the training/racing. This can be something like a 1/2 sandwich, 1/2 bagel, sweet potatoes, boiled potatoes, energy bar, etc. Since “quick carbs” can hit your blood stream within 15 minutes of when they are consumed, they can give your body an efficient energy source as long as you consume them in a steady manner. And, since you lose fluid and lytes as you train, and they have a direct effect on your performance, it’s crucial to replenish them as you go. Lastly, l-glutlamine and BCAAs can also be helpful for longer duration training or racing (although I’m not a fan of protein powders or protein added to sports drinks in this case). Most whole proteins and fats take longer to digest, have little effect on energy (although for super long duration like 24-hours, you need all the different nutrients you can get), and will increase your risk of stomach issues. If your main goal is fat loss, you can stick to just fluids and lytes up to 2 hours or for low-intensity workouts, , but you won’t feel as good as you would or training as well without the carbs. For more information on including electrolytes and carbs with fluids, download and read my Hydration Report. Give your body what it needs and you’ll train better, feel better, and not have to worry about adverse stomach issues.


Any foods including nuts, trail mix, beef jerky, etc.

It’s good that you’re trying to including fuel, but you may be using the wrong ones if your sessions are less than 3 hours. Oops – you’re missing a great opportunity to improve your performance and stamina by not consistently including a during-training fuel strategy. It’s important to give your body the nutrients it can use during any meaningful training or competition. Here’s what it can use: easy-to-digest fluids, carbs, and lytes – these can be whole-food but not high fiber or hard-to-digest (think sports drink and dates, cookies, energy balls, energy bars, etc). If longer than 4 hours, you may also benefit from more substantial foods every 2-3 hours, depending on how intense the training/racing. This can be something like a 1/2 sandwich, 1/2 bagel, sweet potatoes, boiled potatoes, energy bar, etc. Since “quick carbs” can hit your blood stream within 15 minutes of when they are consumed, they can give your body an efficient energy source as long as you consume them in a steady manner. And, since you lose fluid and lytes as you train, and they have a direct effect on your performance, it’s crucial to replenish them as you go. Lastly, l-glutlamine and BCAAs can also be helpful for longer duration training or racing (although I’m not a fan of protein powders or protein added to sports drinks in this case). Most whole proteins and fats take longer to digest, have little effect on energy (although for super long duration like 24-hours, you need all the different nutrients you can get), and will increase your risk of stomach issues. If your main goal is fat loss, you can stick to just fluids and lytes up to 2 hours or for low-intensity workouts, , but you won’t feel as good as you would or training as well without the carbs. For more information on including electrolytes and carbs with fluids, download and read my Hydration Report. Give your body what it needs and you’ll train better, feel better, and not have to worry about adverse stomach issues.


Quick digesting sports nutrition foods and drinks such as sports drinks, dates, cookies, energy bars, energy balls, honey, Honey Stinger Products, etc.

Great choices as long as you’re also incluidng fliuds and lytes. Oops – you’re missing a great opportunity to improve your performance and stamina by not consistently including a during-training fuel strategy. It’s important to give your body the nutrients it can use during any meaningful training or competition. Here’s what it can use: easy-to-digest fluids, carbs, and lytes – these can be whole-food but not high fiber or hard-to-digest (think sports drink and dates, cookies, energy balls, energy bars, etc). If longer than 4 hours, you may also benefit from more substantial foods every 2-3 hours, depending on how intense the training/racing. This can be something like a 1/2 sandwich, 1/2 bagel, sweet potatoes, boiled potatoes, energy bar, etc. Since “quick carbs” can hit your blood stream within 15 minutes of when they are consumed, they can give your body an efficient energy source as long as you consume them in a steady manner. And, since you lose fluid and lytes as you train, and they have a direct effect on your performance, it’s crucial to replenish them as you go. Lastly, l-glutlamine and BCAAs can also be helpful for longer duration training or racing (although I’m not a fan of protein powders or protein added to sports drinks in this case). Most whole proteins and fats take longer to digest, have little effect on energy (although for super long duration like 24-hours, you need all the different nutrients you can get), and will increase your risk of stomach issues. If your main goal is fat loss, you can stick to just fluids and lytes up to 2 hours or for low-intensity workouts, , but you won’t feel as good as you would or training as well without the carbs. For more information on including electrolytes and carbs with fluids, download and read my Hydration Report. Give your body what it needs and you’ll train better, feel better, and not have to worry about adverse stomach issues.

During-Training Amounts

How much fluid, grams of electrolytes & grams of carbs do you aim for per hour of training when training 60 minutes or more (Choose all that apply)?

No Idea or No Strategy.

Not only do you need to consume carbs, lytes, and fluid, you need to get the right amounts. To start, aim for 16-24 oz. of fluid per hour. I know, this may seem like a lot. If you’re a runner, you can go for 50% of this, 8-12 oz. Then, aim for 40-600 gm carbs per hour for most trainings, or up to 75-90 for endurance. Lastly, aim for 400-800 mg sodium per hour (this is the most important electrolyte, but others may also help: 100-200 mg potassium per hour, 60-80 mg calcium per hour, and 30-40 mg magnesium per hour). This is the 3-Step plan, fluid, carbs, and lytes, and the most important nutrients for optiomal trainign. There are also advanced nutrients – your FRRL plan will lead you through all of these!


Up to 16 oz. fluid.

This is a great start! Not only do you need to consume carbs, lytes, and fluid, you need to get the right amounts. To start, aim for 16-24 oz. of fluid per hour. I know, this may seem like a lot. If you’re a runner, you can go for 50% of this, 8-12 oz. Then, aim for 40-600 gm carbs per hour for most trainings, or up to 75-90 for endurance. Lastly, aim for 400-800 mg sodium per hour (this is the most important electrolyte, but others may also help: 100-200 mg potassium per hour, 60-80 mg calcium per hour, and 30-40 mg magnesium per hour). This is the 3-Step plan, fluid, carbs, and lytes, and the most important nutrients for optiomal trainign. There are also advanced nutrients – your FRRL plan will lead you through all of these!


16 - 32 oz. fluid.

This is a great start, and depending on what type of fluid, may be all you need. Not only do you need to consume carbs, lytes, and fluid, you need to get the right amounts. To start, aim for 16-24 oz. of fluid per hour. I know, this may seem like a lot. If you’re a runner, you can go for 50% of this, 8-12 oz. Then, aim for 40-600 gm carbs per hour for most trainings, or up to 75-90 for endurance. Lastly, aim for 400-800 mg sodium per hour (this is the most important electrolyte, but others may also help: 100-200 mg potassium per hour, 60-80 mg calcium per hour, and 30-40 mg magnesium per hour). This is the 3-Step plan, fluid, carbs, and lytes, and the most important nutrients for optiomal trainign. There are also advanced nutrients – your FRRL plan will lead you through all of these!


Whatever electrolytes come in sports drinks/gels/foods.

This is a great start, but unfortunately, the lytes in commercial products generally fall way below physiological needs. If you’re a serious athlete engaging in intense training and/or high-temp/humidty training, you need a significant intake of electrolytes. Not only do you need to consume carbs, lytes, and fluid, you need to get the right amounts. To start, aim for 16-24 oz. of fluid per hour. I know, this may seem like a lot. If you’re a runner, you can go for 50% of this, 8-12 oz. Then, aim for 40-600 gm carbs per hour for most trainings, or up to 75-90 for endurance. Lastly, aim for 400-800 mg sodium per hour (this is the most important electrolyte, but others may also help: 100-200 mg potassium per hour, 60-80 mg calcium per hour, and 30-40 mg magnesium per hour). This is the 3-Step plan, fluid, carbs, and lytes, and the most important nutrients for optimal training. There are also advanced nutrients – your FRRL plan will lead you through all of these!


Whatever amount of electrolytes come in sodium pills, electrolyte pills, NUUN tablets, S-caps, or Camelbak Elixir (or products like them).

This is a great start, but unfortunately, the lytes in commercial products generally fall way below physiological needs. If you’re a serious athlete engaging in intense training and/or high-temp/humidty training, you need a significant intake of electrolytes. Not only do you need to consume carbs, lytes, and fluid, you need to get the right amounts. To start, aim for 16-24 oz. of fluid per hour. I know, this may seem like a lot. If you’re a runner, you can go for 50% of this, 8-12 oz. Then, aim for 40-600 gm carbs per hour for most trainings, or up to 75-90 for endurance. Lastly, aim for 400-800 mg sodium per hour (this is the most important electrolyte, but others may also help: 100-200 mg potassium per hour, 60-80 mg calcium per hour, and 30-40 mg magnesium per hour). This is the 3-Step plan, fluid, carbs, and lytes, and the most important nutrients for optimal training. There are also advanced nutrients – your FRRL plan will lead you through all of these!


Up to 30 grams carbs per hour.

This is a great start, but you are just a little low on carbs. Not only do you need to consume carbs, lytes, and fluid, you need to get the right amounts. To start, aim for 16-24 oz. of fluid per hour. I know, this may seem like a lot. If you’re a runner, you can go for 50% of this, 8-12 oz. Then, aim for 40-600 gm carbs per hour for most trainings, or up to 75-90 for endurance. Lastly, aim for 400-800 mg sodium per hour (this is the most important electrolyte, but others may also help: 100-200 mg potassium per hour, 60-80 mg calcium per hour, and 30-40 mg magnesium per hour). This is the 3-Step plan, fluid, carbs, and lytes, and the most important nutrients for optimal training. There are also advanced nutrients – your FRRL plan will lead you through all of these!


30+ grams carbs per hour.

This is a great start! Not only do you need to consume carbs, lytes, and fluid, you need to get the right amounts. To start, aim for 16-24 oz. of fluid per hour. I know, this may seem like a lot. If you’re a runner, you can go for 50% of this, 8-12 oz. Then, aim for 40-600 gm carbs per hour for most trainings, or up to 75-90 for endurance. Lastly, aim for 400-800 mg sodium per hour (this is the most important electrolyte, but others may also help: 100-200 mg potassium per hour, 60-80 mg calcium per hour, and 30-40 mg magnesium per hour). This is the 3-Step plan, fluid, carbs, and lytes, and the most important nutrients for optimal training. There are also advanced nutrients – your FRRL plan will lead you through all of these!

16+ oz. fluid, ~60+ grams carbs, and various electrolytes per hour.

This is a great start…and you may be getting most all you need. Not only do you need to consume carbs, lytes, and fluid, you need to get the right amounts. To start, aim for 16-24 oz. of fluid per hour. I know, this may seem like a lot. If you’re a runner, you can go for 50% of this, 8-12 oz. Then, aim for 40-600 gm carbs per hour for most trainings, or up to 75-90 for endurance. Lastly, aim for 400-800 mg sodium per hour (this is the most important electrolyte, but others may also help: 100-200 mg potassium per hour, 60-80 mg calcium per hour, and 30-40 mg magnesium per hour). This is the 3-Step plan, fluid, carbs, and lytes, and the most important nutrients for optimal training. There are also advanced nutrients – your FRRL plan will lead you through all of these!

Recovery Fuel

What best describes your training fuel strategy during Training that lasts longer than 90 minutes?:

Nothing.

If you want to feel good later, train well in subsequent trainings, and decrease your risk of overeating the rest of the day, consider including a recovery snack within 30 minutes of finishing your training session. You can be a little more lenient with these choices, compared to before and during-training nutrition, as you do not have to worry as much about stomach cramps. But, they should include fluid (replenish everything you’ve lost), 30+ grams of carbohydrates, and 10-20 grams of protein. Many times, it’s simply a matter of planning ahead and having something ready. If you are trying to lose fat, simply “time” your next meal or snack within 30-60 minutes of finishing your training rather than adding an extra “recovery snack.”


Water.

It’s good that you’re rehydrating, but you need more. If you want to feel good later, train well in subsequent trainings, and decrease your risk of overeating the rest of the day, consider including a recovery snack within 30 minutes of finishing your training session. You can be a little more lenient with these choices, compared to before and during-training nutrition, as you do not have to worry as much about stomach cramps. But, they should include fluid (replenish everything you’ve lost), 30+ grams of carbohydrates, and 10-20 grams of protein. Many times, it’s simply a matter of planning ahead and having something ready. If you are trying to lose fat, simply “time” your next meal or snack within 30-60 minutes of finishing your training rather than adding an extra “recovery snack.”


Sports Drink or Commerical Recovery Drink.

This is a great start, and may be all you needs it if includes some protein. If you want to feel good later, train well in subsequent trainings, and decrease your risk of overeating the rest of the day, consider including a recovery snack within 30 minutes of finishing your training session. You can be a little more lenient with these choices, compared to before and during-training nutrition, as you do not have to worry as much about stomach cramps. But, they should include fluid (replenish everything you’ve lost), 30+ grams of carbohydrates, and 10-20 grams of protein. Many times, it’s simply a matter of planning ahead and having something ready. If you are trying to lose fat, simply “time” your next meal or snack within 30-60 minutes of finishing your training rather than adding an extra “recovery snack.”


Whatever I can get my hands on.

It’s good that you’re consuming something, but you also need to make sure it’s nutrients you need. If you want to feel good later, train well in subsequent trainings, and decrease your risk of overeating the rest of the day, consider including a recovery snack within 30 minutes of finishing your training session. You can be a little more lenient with these choices, compared to before and during-training nutrition, as you do not have to worry as much about stomach cramps. But, they should include fluid (replenish everything you’ve lost), 30+ grams of carbohydrates, and 10-20 grams of protein. Many times, it’s simply a matter of planning ahead and having something ready. If you are trying to lose fat, simply “time” your next meal or snack within 30-60 minutes of finishing your training rather than adding an extra “recovery snack.”


My next meal.

This is fine as long as it includes the nutrients you need and it’s consumed shortly after finishing training. If you want to feel good later, train well in subsequent trainings, and decrease your risk of overeating the rest of the day, consider including a recovery snack within 30 minutes of finishing your training session. You can be a little more lenient with these choices, compared to before and during-training nutrition, as you do not have to worry as much about stomach cramps. But, they should include fluid (replenish everything you’ve lost), 30+ grams of carbohydrates, and 10-20 grams of protein. Many times, it’s simply a matter of planning ahead and having something ready. If you are trying to lose fat, simply “time” your next meal or snack within 30-60 minutes of finishing your training rather than adding an extra “recovery snack.”


Protein predominantly or only (protein shake).

This is a good start, but you also need fluids and carbs. If you want to feel good later, train well in subsequent trainings, and decrease your risk of overeating the rest of the day, make sure to include a recovery snack within 30 minutes of finishing your training session. You can be a little more lenient with these choices as you do not have to worry as much about stomach cramps. But, they should include fluid (replenish everything you’ve lost), 30+ grams of carbohydrates, and 10-20 grams of protein. Many times, it’s simply a matter of planning ahead and having something ready. If you are trying to lose fat, simply “time” your next meal or snakc within 30-60 minutes of finishing your training rather than adding an extra “recovery snack.”

Carbohydrates only: Fruit, gels, sports drinks, etc.

This is a great start, but you also need protein and fluid (if you’re not already getting it). If you want to feel good later, train well in subsequent trainings, and decrease your risk of overeating the rest of the day, consider including a recovery snack within 30 minutes of finishing your training session. You can be a little more lenient with these choices, compared to before and during-training nutrition, as you do not have to worry as much about stomach cramps. But, they should include fluid (replenish everything you’ve lost), 30+ grams of carbohydrates, and 10-20 grams of protein. Many times, it’s simply a matter of planning ahead and having something ready. If you are trying to lose fat, simply “time” your next meal or snack within 30-60 minutes of finishing your training rather than adding an extra “recovery snack.”

Carbs & Protein: Chocolate Milk, Carborocket, Skratch Recovery, Smoothie, Other with fluids.

Great choices. If you want to feel good later, train well in subsequent trainings, and decrease your risk of overeating the rest of the day, consider including a recovery snack within 30 minutes of finishing your training session. You can be a little more lenient with these choices, compared to before and during-training nutrition, as you do not have to worry as much about stomach cramps. But, they should include fluid (replenish everything you’ve lost), 30+ grams of carbohydrates, and 10-20 grams of protein. Many times, it’s simply a matter of planning ahead and having something ready. If you are trying to lose fat, simply “time” your next meal or snack within 30-60 minutes of finishing your training rather than adding an extra “recovery snack.”

Supplements

Supplements

While I believe you should aim to get as many nutrients as possible from whole-food sources, most endurance athletes need more than they can get from food. As an endurance athlete, you have higher vitamin and mineral needs than a sedentary person, and it’s crucial that you meet your body’s needs. Chronic deficits can play out as fatigue, slow recovery, low energy, illnesses, and specific ailments related to each vitamin or mineral.

Supplements

Which supplements do you take consistently?

I do not take any supplements consistently.

Of course, you can suit yourself, and MANY athletes do not take supplements consistently. Unfortunately, these same athletes often wonder why they feel tired, don’t recover as well as they used to, are sick more often than sedentary counterparts, or at most extreme, fall into complete malnutrition and over-training syndrome (it’s a season-ender most times). Overall, I want to depend on whole, real foods for nutrients but as an endurance athlete, you, and I simply burn up more nutrients, specific nutrient, than even the healthiest diet can put back in. I recommend that most endurance athletes take a multivitamin with 800+ IU vitamin D, some source of daily probiotics, magnesium, fish oil (or fish), adn training nutrition supplements such as l-glutamine. Female athletes, runners, athletes living at high altitude, and vegetarian athletes should also pay attention to iron levels.

I take a few supplements here and there, but not consistently.

Well, you’ve got a start, but need to be a bit more strategic and consistent. Unfortunately, many serious athletes who do not supplement needed nutrients feel tired, don’t recover as well as they used to, are sick more often than sedentary counterparts, or at most extreme, fall into complete malnutrition and over-training syndrome (it’s a season-ender most times). Overall, I want to depend on whole, real foods for nutrients but as an endurance athlete, you, and I simply burn up more nutrients, specific nutrient, than even the healthiest diet can put back in. I recommend that most endurance athletes take a multivitamin with 800+ IU vitamin D, some source of daily probiotics, magnesium, fish oil (or fish), and training nutrition supplements such as l-glutamine. Female athletes, runners, athletes living at high altitude, and vegetarian athletes should also pay attention to iron levels.

I take a few supplements consistently including a multivitamin, minerals, fish oil, and probiotics.

This is a great start! You won’t be counted among the serious athletes who do not take supplements consistently. Unfortunately, those athletes often wonder why they feel tired, don’t recovery as well as they used to, are sick more often than sedentary counterparts, or at most extreme, fall into complete malnutrition and over-training syndrome (it’s a season-ender most times). Overall, I want to depend on whole, real foods for nutrients but as an endurance athlete, you, and I simply burn up more nutrients, specific nutrient, than even the healthiest diet can put back in. I recommend that most endurance athletes take a multivitamin with 800+ IU vitamin D, some source of daily probiotics, magnesium, fish oil (or fish), and training nutrition supplements such as l-glutamine. Female athletes, runners, athletes living at high altitude, and vegetarian athletes should also pay attention to iron levels.

I take specific supplements and nutrients that help my body recovery better from training, and help reduce inflammation in the body.

AWESOME! In addition to the daily nutrition supplements that help athletes, such as a multivitamin with 800+ IU vitamin D, some source of daily probiotics, magnesium, and fish oil (or fish), specific amino acids and nutrients from ginger and turmeric can really help athletes recover. In addition, foam rolling, yoga, and hot/cold cycle showers can improve recovery and are an integral part of my 5 Step Recovery Plan.

Final Section – Lifestyle & Overall Wellness

There’s no dispute that exercise is great for a body. But, did you know that even if you exercise, an otherwise “sedentary” lifestyle can still wreak havoc on your metabolism, from a cellular level on up? It’s important to be as active as possible throughout the day, and even take “breaks” from sitting if you’ve got a desk job. How would you describe your level of activity outside of any exercise time?

I am sedentary for at least 8-10 hours per day while awake - ie. desk job.

It’s very common in our modern office-working world to have to sit most of your day. But, this activity level, can pose threats to your metabolism. If you must be at a desk throughout the day, I recommend taking time to stand and stretch a bit at least every 30 to 60 minutes. Try to get up and walk (even if just around the office or up 1-2 flights of stairs) every 2 hours. Try to be outside and active (at least casually walking) on a lunch break. Or, if at all possible, consider sitting on an exercise ball or using a standing desk (for at least some of your day) rather than sitting. Do your best to reach 10,000 steps per day, maintain an active daily lifestyle, AND exercise.


I work an office job but am very proactive about getting up and standing or walking, and getting outside when I can.

It’s very common in our modern office-working world to have to sit most of your day…great job with making proactive efforts to get up and move when you can! As you likely know, a sedentary activity level can pose threats to your metabolism. Since you must be at a desk throughout the day, I recommend that you continue to take time to stand and stretch a bit at least every 30 to 60 minutes. Keep getting up and walking (even if just around the office or up 1-2 flights of stairs) every 2 hours. Get outside in natural light when you can! And, if at all possible, consider sitting on an exercise ball or using a standing desk (for at least some of your day) rather than sitting. Continue to do your best to reach 10,000 steps per day, maintain an active daily lifestyle, AND exercise.

I work an office job but sit on an exercise ball OR use standing desk.

It’s very common in our modern office-working world to have to sit most of your day…great job switching it up and using an exercise ball or standing desk to engage your muscles and activate your metabolism! As you likely know, a sedentary activity level can pose threats to your metabolism. Since you must be at a desk throughout the day, I also recommend that you take time to stretch a bit at least every 30 to 60 minutes and walk (even if just around the office or up 1-2 flights of stairs) every 2 hours. Get outside in natural light when you can! Continue to do your best to reach 10,000 steps per day, maintain an active daily lifestyle, AND exercise.[/otw_shortcode_content_toggle


[otw_shortcode_content_toggle title="I sit for no more than 4-6 hours during the day, non-consecutive, and am up and about most of the time." opened="closed" icon_type="general foundicon-checkmark"]Great job with maintaining an active lifestyle throughout your day! As you likely know, a sedentary activity level can pose threats to your metabolism. Making sure to get up every 30-60 minutes is important – no consecutive hours of sitting during the day! When you do have to be at a desk, consider sitting on an exercise ball or using a standing desk. Do your best to reach 10,000 steps per day, maintain an active daily lifestyle, AND exercise.

I am very active throughout the day, rarely sitting for longer than 30 minutes.

It sounds like you’re active throughout the day, and that’s great for your metabolism! As you likely know, a sedentary activity level can pose threats to it, and even change your metabolism at the cellular level. So, keep being active! Do your best to reach 10,000 steps per day, maintain an active daily lifestyle, AND exercise.

I do hard labor throughout the day - extremely active.

GREAT job with your activity level! Your metabolism will thank you year after year, for not sitting at a desk for hours on end. Take care of yourself with a good, nourishing eating plan and lots of hydration as you do hard work. Don’t let yourself get so busy that you under-eat during the day and then have to gorge at night (see eating pattern above). Keeping doing your best to reach 10,000 steps per day, maintain an active daily lifestyle, AND exercise.

Exercise

If you’re an athlete working through this assessment, chances are, you get plenty of exercise. But even athletes sometimes struggle with weight loss despite all the exercise. In this section, I’ll discuss the best types of exercise for weight loss and overall health – this is NOT a recommendation for a “serious athlete’s” training schedule. These are simply some tips to help you break weight plateaus, lose fat, and get more out of exercise if needed.

For many athletes, training is not really about exercise, but about participating in an activity or sport they love. For others, exercise can be a source of dread. It’s my hope that the latter group will find an activity that they are truly passionate about (or at least authentically enjoy), look forward to, find stress relief from, and have a will to get strong and better at it. In addition, there’s a lot of benefit to varying your exercise and using strength training and/or explosive interval-style workouts to keep metabolism firing and muscles growing. What best describes your exercise schedule?

I do not currently exercise regularly.

There’s only one way to go from here, and that’s up! There are oh-so-many benefits to exercise. First, it burns calories to help you lose weight if that’s your objective. Secondly, it improves cardiovascular health, reduces risks of cancer, improves lung health, and more. The trick is finding something you love (or at least like, to do). In addition, I recommend finding your inner bad-ass and adding 2 days or so of body weight, small weight, or resistance weight training. The combination of cardiovascular exercise or sports PLUS explosive or weighted work is a great combination for your best overall health, metabolism, and fat loss. And of course, you don’t have to figure this out on your own. The FRRL-Smoothie Cleanse-5Cycle Combo Program provides great motivation and steps to get started with cardiovascular exercise AND a complete in-home body weight/small weight explosive workout in 30 minutes or less! This is your chance to change your body, improve your health, and get fit for life!

I currently exercise, but inconsistently and <3 times per week most weeks.

It’s great that you’re exercising some…but to get the full benefits of exercise, it needs to be more consistent. And, there are oh-so-many benefits to exercise. First, it burns calories to help you lose weight if that’s your objective. Secondly, it improves cardiovascular health, reduces risks of cancer, improves lung health, and more. The trick is finding something you love (or at least like, to do). In addition, I recommend finding your inner bad-ass and adding 2 days or so of body weight, small weight, or resistance weight training. The combination of cardiovascular exercise or sports PLUS explosive or weighted work is a great combination for your best overall health, metabolism, and fat loss. And of course, you don’t have to figure this out on your own. The FRRL-Smoothie Cleanse-5Cycle Combo Program provides great motivation and steps to get started with cardiovascular exercise AND a complete in-home body weight/small weight explosive workout in 30 minutes or less! This is your chance to change your body, improve your health, and get fit for life!

I currently exercise, 2-3 times per week.

This is a great start! Now, let’s optimize it for weight loss and health. The trick is finding something you love (or at least like, to do) for cardiovascular exercise if you haven’t already. In addition, I recommend finding your inner bad-ass and adding 2 days or so of body weight, small weight, or resistance weight training. The combination of cardiovascular exercise or sports PLUS explosive or weighted work is a great combination for your best overall health, metabolism, and fat loss. And of course, you don’t have to figure this out on your own. The FRRL-Smoothie Cleanse-5Cycle Combo Program provides great motivation and steps to get started with cardiovascular exercise AND a complete in-home body weight/small weight explosive workout in 30 minutes or less! This is your chance to change your body, improve your health, and get fit for life!

I currently exercise 4+ times per week, all cardiovascular workouts.

This is a great start! Now, let’s optimize it for weight loss and health. In addition to the cardiovascular workouts (or maybe in place of one), I recommend finding your inner bad-ass and adding 2 days or so of body weight, small weight, or resistance weight training. The combination of cardiovascular exercise or sports PLUS explosive or weighted work is a great combination for your best overall health, metabolism, and fat loss. And of course, you don’t have to figure this out on your own. The FRRL-Smoothie Cleanse-5Cycle Combo Program provides great motivation and steps to get started with cardiovascular exercise AND a complete in-home body weight/small weight explosive workout in 30 minutes or less! This is your chance to change your body, improve your health, and get fit for life!

I currently do resistance training 3+ times per week.

This is a great start! Now, let’s optimize it for weight loss and health. In addition to the resistance training workouts, it can be great to find a sport or cardiovascular exercise you love (or at least like). If you can get outside for some workouts, set adventurous goals, and start working towards them, it can go a long way to helping remain a motivated athlete for life. In fact, the combination of cardiovascular exercise or sports PLUS explosive or weighted work is a great combination for your best overall health, metabolism, and fat loss. And of course, you don’t have to figure this out on your own. The FRRL-Smoothie Cleanse-5Cycle Combo Program provides great motivation and steps to get started with cardiovascular exercise AND a complete in-home body weight/small weight explosive workout in 30 minutes or less! This is your chance to change your body, improve your health, and get fit for life!

I currently exercise 4+ times per week, including resistance OR explosive workouts and cardio.

Wow – great job! Your exercise schedule is right on track, and you are doing a great thing for your body and health. In fact, the combination of cardiovascular exercise or sports PLUS explosive or weighted work is a great combination for your best overall health, metabolism, and fat loss. If you’d like more ideas and workouts, you will find great motivation and steps to get started with more cardiovasular exercise AND a complete in-home body weight/small weight explosive workout in 30 minutes or less with The FRRL-Smoothie Cleanse-5Cycle Combo Program!

Sleep

Unfortunately, sleep is often looked at as a luxury, waste of time, or lazy in modern cultures. It’s quite the opposite. Sleep is a cornerstone to health. It’s extremely important for brain health, mood, metabolism, immune function, blood sugar and hormone balance, and more. In fact, it’s a crucial time in which your brain rids itself of toxins. On an average night, how many hours of *good quality* sleep do you get?

I get <=4 hours of good quality sleep per night.

Sure, we’ve all heard about those extraordinary people who get minimal sleep and still conquer the world during the day…but at what cost? Most adults need 7+ hours of sleep per night, most every night, to function optimally. And this doesn’t just mean to feel “awake” during the day- it means to have optimal health and wellness as well with all the benefits sleep provides. Is it possible for you to give something up in order to add hours of sleep? How can you add 1-2 hours per night to start? If you’re interested in exploring and working on all the foundations of wellness, look no further than a FRRL Plan. It will challenge you, help you identify and explore opportunities for wellness in your own life, and discover strategies for improving your health.


I get 5-7 hours of good quality sleep per night.

This is a great start. Most adults needs 7+ hours of sleep per night, most every night, to function optimally. And this doesn’t just mean to feel “awake” during the day- it means to have optimal health and wellness as well with all the benefits sleep provides. Is it possible for you to give something up in order to add hours of sleep? How can you add 1-2 hours per night to start? Or, how can you make the “7 hour nights” more frequent and consistent? If you’re interested in exploring and working on all the foundations of wellness, look no further than a FRRL Plan. It will challenge you, help you identify and explore opportunities for wellness in your own life, and discover strategies for improving your health.

I am in bed and ready to sleep for 7+ hours per night, but suffer from disrupted or disordered sleep.

It’s great that you’ve carved out the time for great sleep, but the next steps are to work on the quality of it, and hopefully find the source of the issues. I am not a sleep expert. But, I do know that it’s worth working for in terms of health and quality of life. If you’re interested in exploring and working on all the foundations of wellness, look no further than a FRRL Plan. It will challenge you, help you identify and explore opportunities for wellness in your own life, and discover strategies for improving your health.

I get 7+ hours of restful sleep most every night.

Awesome! Most adults need 7+ hours of sleep per night, most every night, to function optimally. And this doesn’t just mean to feel “awake” during the day- it means to have optimal health and wellness as well with all the benefits sleep provides. You’re doing a great thing for your body and brain by carving out this time and dedicating it to good sleep. If you’re interested in exploring and working on all the foundations of wellness, look no further than a FRRL Plan. It will challenge you, help you identify and explore opportunities for wellness in your own life, and discover strategies for improving your health.

Adventure

Most “nutrition and wellness” assessments likely don’t have a section on adventure…but this one does. Why? Adventure and an adventurous spirit go a long way to keeping you youthful, happy, optimistic, and healthy. “Adventure” does not mean scaling a mountain necessarily. It simply means pushing your limits, mentally and physically, and feeling healthy and fit enough to do so. What best describes the “adventures” you have planned or are considering in the next 12 months – whether exploring a new city/town, traveling, learning a new health-benefiting skill like yoga or a sport, or a physical adventure like a 5k run or race, bike tour, mountain climb or camping/backpacking weekend?

I do not have any planned new adventures, skills, or activities for the next 12 months.



It’s time to plan some. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, even if just a little, can have a huge benefit to your mental and physical health. Just the planning in and of itself can improve mood as the anticipation provides excitement. Then, an always-learning attitude keeps your brain healthy and youthful. Lastly, there’s big-time physical payoff anytime it involves more daily movement and exercise. You may just find a sport or activity you L-O-V-E. Then, “workouts” become something you crave, even when they are hard, because the activity feeds your soul, mind, and body!


I am seriously considering Fit & Strong, which is a big adventure!

Fit & Strong is a huge adventure in and of itself! It will push you to get into action with your health, and you will likely learn new skills including meal planning, cooking, how to stay active throughout any day, and other physical activities. An always-learning attitude keeps your brain healthy and youthful. From there, we’ll plan more adventures. Weekly yoga, will help your joints, body, even arteries stay flexible. New activities and sports can spark an adventurous spirit. In fact, there’s big-time physical payoff anytime you increase daily movement and exercise. You may just find a sport or activity you L-O-V-E. Then, “workouts” become something you crave, even when they are hard, because the activity feeds your soul, mind, and body!


I have 1-2 new physical or skill-based adventures planned in the next 12 months.

Awesome! It sounds like you’ve got some adventures to which you can look and work towards. And, if you’re thinking about a Fit & Strong Plan, it is a huge adventure in and of itself! It will push you to get into action with your health, and you will likely learn new skills including meal planning, cooking, how to stay active throughout any day, and other physical activities. An always-learning attitude keeps your brain healthy and youthful. From there, we’ll plan more adventures! Weekly yoga, will help your joints, body, even arteries stay flexible. New activities and sports can spark an adventurous spirit. In fact, there’s big-time physical payoff anytime you increase daily movement and exercise. You may just find a sport or activity you L-O-V-E. Then, “workouts” become something you crave, even when they are hard, because the activity feeds your soul, mind, and body!


I have 3-4 adventures planned in the next 12 months.

Awesome! It sounds like you’ve got some adventures to which you can look and work towards. I’m convinced that an adventurous life (at any level) is a key component to wonder, health, gratitude, and youthfulness. And, it sounds like you’ve got some adventures to which you can look and work towards. If you’re thinking about a Fit & Strong Plan, it will only add to your adventures and skills. It will push you to get into action with your health, and you will likely learn new skills including meal planning, cooking, how to stay active throughout any day, and other physical activities. An always-learning attitude keeps your brain healthy and youthful. From there, we’ll plan more adventures! Weekly yoga, will help your joints, body, even arteries stay flexible. New activities and sports can spark an adventurous spirit. In fact, there’s big-time physical payoff anytime you increase daily movement and exercise. You may just find a sport or activity you L-O-V-E. Then, “workouts” become something you crave, even when they are hard, because the activity feeds your soul, mind, and body!


I am adventurous and always looking for a new hike, travel-destination, and/or skill. No lack of adventure here!

That’s great! I’m convinced that an adventurous life (at any level) is a key component to wonder, health, gratitude, and youthfulness. And, it sounds like you’ve got some adventures to which you can look and work towards. If you’re thinking about a Fit & Strong Plan, it will only add to your adventures and skills. It will push you to get into action with your health, and you will likely learn new skills including meal planning, cooking, how to stay active throughout any day, and other physical activities. An always-learning attitude keeps your brain healthy and youthful. From there, we’ll plan more adventures! Weekly yoga, will help your joints, body, even arteries stay flexible. New activities and sports can spark an adventurous spirit. In fact, there’s big-time physical payoff anytime you increase daily movement and exercise. You may just find a sport or activity you L-O-V-E. Then, “workouts” become something you crave, even when they are hard, because the activity feeds your soul, mind, and body!

 

And that’s it! You’ve completed the Apex Nutrition Sports Nutrition & Wellness Analysis. It’s my hope that it’s helped you to work through and identify your goals, habits, and plan moving forward. If you’re interested in a Fuel Right Race Light Plan, I know it can be a great plan for you and will help you work toward your goals, starting today!

(If you want to “save” your answers above, either highlight & copy or get a screen shot of this page & paste into a document. Alternatively, you can right-click on this page and choose “print.” Then, choose “save as a pdf” in place of a printer destination to save it).

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