Nutrition for marathon training

Its exciting to share my knowledge after attending the intensive sports nutrition training at the Institution National du Sport du Quebec with some of Canada’s most acclaimed sports nutritionist in November.
The literature supports eating a high carbohydrate diet for elite athletes because metablizing carbohydrate is 5.5% more efficient than fat. One can experiment with different gels, sports drinks, hydration, and carbohydrates during training. An elite athlete will burn 3000-3500 kcal during a marathon, with with adequate training can store ~2000 kcal as muscle glycogen, 500 kcal liver glycogen, and 400 kcal gap supplemented during the race with sports drinks or gels. For those who are looking for an over 3 hr finish, the source of your energy isn’t as important.
But going back to the question of nutrition to support training, there are a few things to consider, are you trying to lose weight? Are you overtraining? You need adequate nutrients to protect your immune system.
We determine the amount of calories, carbohydrate and protein based on your level of training, weight and overall goals as above.
As a general rule, snacks should have 60g carb and about 18 g protein-
High-quality protein (~10 g):
– 2 eggs, 35 g lean meat, 40 g lean chicken, 50 g fish
– 300 ml milk, 30 g cheese, 70 g cottage cheese,200 g yogurt
– 120 g tofu, 400 ml soy beverage
• Compact forms
– 15-20 g protein powder, 20-30 g protein bar, 120-150 ml liquid meal supplement
Carbohydrates are found in many recovery foods including:
1 c chocolate milk has 20 g carb and 8 g protein, 125 ml yogurt has 25 g carbohydrate and 3 g protein, A large banana will provide another 25 g carb and 2 g protein, an orange has 15 g carb and 1 g protein.

Another lovely guide is using the plate model for supporting different intensities of sport:

You chose the plate that corresponds with your training intensity.

Gluten Free Soups

On the coast, it’s a great idea to make your own soups from scratch, choose the ingredients that are added, and adjust the salt with a variety of vegetables and herbs.
I’m looking for a soup that is dehydrated, easy to prepare, high in salt to maintain sodium levels for an athlete who is competing in the upcoming Tougher Mudder, an 8 hour overnight, 50 mile race in Los Angeles
He wanted a gluten free chicken noodle soup. Haven’t been able to come up with this… but there are a few alternatives, only the chicken bouillon cubes are available dehydrated, so far in my search.
Not that anyone else on the coast is crazy enough to do this race but see the best choices that I found:
GoBIO Organic Chicken Bouillon Cubes with 451 mg sodium per cup

and Campbells Herb Chicken & Rice with 770mg sodium per cup!

Please note I’m attempting to find high sodium (salt) soups!

Renal Diet Maze

A close friend has called on my skills to help him with navigating the maze of restrictions imposed with a renal diet. This was a sudden diagnosis and he is overwhelmed.
First of all, it is important for us all to keep our blood pressure optimally at 130/80, new guidelines to keep our kidneys functioning well. The dietary component which will keep your kidneys healthy includes restricting your salt and keeping your body weight close to target, which may vary depending on your genetics.
Secondly you want to stop smoking or if you are diabetic, you want to keep your blood sugars close to target.
Thirdly if your kidneys stop functioning, you may need to restrict your protein, this preserves kidney function, so the Paleo diet may not be a good choice but a vegetarian diet may also be a difficult choice.
When your kidneys fail, you often need to restrict you potassium- some of those loved fruits (bananas and oranges) and vegetables (tomatoes and potatoes)
Lastly the phosphate in your diet often becomes a problem, this mineral is often found in foods that we naturally choose because they are healthier
dairy, proteins, legumes, nuts, whole grains. There are phosphate binders that you may be prescribed.
The diet for chronic kidney failure in fact doesn’t seem very healthy but is important for your compromised kidney and your longevity.
This new publication has many of the details you need to learn about, including recipes with herbs and spices give more flavour to your food while restricting the salt (sodium). Its available at Gibson’s Library.
If you need help navigating this maze and want your diet analyzed, these are services that I provide, helping you to get on the right track!

Tummy patch will help with weight loss

I did my masters research on “the effects of dietary fat level on cold exposure in rats” and learned that rats have much more brown adipose fat than humans, in fact humans have only a very small amount. It seems very improbable that research done on rats will relate to humans, and that a small patch with hormones can affect the thyrold to convert white adipose tissue to brown adipose fat seems very unlikely….we’ll see….
How a tiny tummy patch could cut fat fast, and without exercise

Sugar Free Gluten Free Trifle

For those of you that complain about not enjoying your favourite foods because you have diabetes or are celiac, I prove you wrong. My challenge for this christmas was to make a gluten free sponge cake and a sugar free trifle. Yes I cheated a bit and forgot to substitute the sugar with truvia, my favourite stevia based sugar substitite, in the gluten free sponge (the cake actually didn’t look great, fell after baking but this didn’t affect the flavour of the trifle), but was a purist for the rest of the recipe, choosing sugar free raspberry jello, homegrown blackberries, birds eye custard made with truvia and whipping cream with a bit of truvia in it. It was decorated with home grown kiwi fruit, that are ripening fast. Oh, forgot to mention the sherry, yes I added a small amount.
It really was the best trifle that I’ve ever made, and this our traditional dessert for Christmas. It was not low in calories but we had a large group to fed so portion size made up for this. Just want to make this clear, you can still enjoy some of your favourite foods without too much difficulty and they can still taste delicious! Don’t ask me to post the calories-the yield for this recipe was 12 servings.

A most important element in our diet and soil…magnesium

Listened to a brief presentation by Dr.Alan Gaby about magnesium and it kindled my continued interest in the importance of this mineral for immune, bone, muscle and nerve health, most Canadians are deficient in this mineral, our foods and soils are low in magnesium, deficiency is a sign of poor diet or insufficient diet as well as an outcome of alcohol abuse or drug interaction with thiazides, Lasix and proton pump inhibitors, drugs that many of our clients with chronic disease take regularly.  Deficiency is often seen with psychosomatic, osteoporosis, heart disease, depression, diabetes and many GI disorders with spasming stomach, possibly irritable bowel disease.  He also associated magnesium with asthma, migraines, kidney stone reoccurrence, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, and pain management.  Although it may be required for all of these conditions, the bottom line is that we should certainly should be aware of its importance and weary of the side effects of too much, which include diarrhea or complications in renal disease or with certain medications including ACE inhibitors.  Magnesium from supplements should not exceed 350 mg/day.


Foods that are rich in magnesium include nuts, seeds, soy, legumes, whole grains, dairy, fish and some vegetables.  The requirement is 400-420 mg/day for men and 310-320/day for women.  Some people are very sensitive to oral magnesium, and may experience diarrhea, usually there is a bowel tolerance rule, it can be given by IV, or orally concentrated, chelated, magnesium oxalate, aspartate and gluconate are all available supplements.


By the way,  if you are a gardener, you may want to add Epsom salts to the soil regularly and for that matter, one can throw Epsom salts in your bath, for topical absorption, its magnesium sulfate so you don’t have to worry aboutsodium!