Master of Science degree in Exercise Physiology. I am a certified sports nutritionist through the International Society of Sports Nutrition,I teach spinning and I am CPR certified. I have finished the 2006 Boston marathon, 2006 IMFL, 2007 Ironman world Championship and I am qualified for the 2007 Ironman 70.3 World Championship. I write for Triathlete magazine and I love writing for BT.com!
August 2010 Nutrition Chat with Coach Marni Rakes
Discussions on balanced meals, recommended amount of protein, losing weight for an Ironman, is pizza good? and beer as a recovery drink.
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[Gregkl] My nutrition is going well. Eating well during the day, often mixing the good fats with the protein and carbs, FIRST THING TO GO IS THE MIND! Smoothies with protein, glutamine, taking extra fish oil, plenty of water.
[mrakes1] Awesome Greg!! You had a great diet to begin with, I think what has helped you is just fine tuning things to meet your personal nutrition needs.
[Gregkl] After working with you, I really don’t think I have been eating enough. I am finally getting used to eating an egg, a piece of toast with PB, a bowl of oatmeal/granola, banana, and coffee for breakfast. It has been tough eating that much food when I was used to a bowl of granola and a cup of coffee then out the door! I bought some WASA crackers and eat them with PB for a snack. They work well.
[mrakes1] Isn’t that amazing how more food can actually be more beneficial to the body? It kinda goes against all of the “diet” guru’s out there saying “cut calories to lose weight”. I’d rather eat more of the good stuff! Even though your focus is on weight gain/maintenance, more food just means more nutrients for your body
[Gregkl] Back on the taper, mine officially started this past week, but it was still a pretty big week. Next week, it will reduce quite a bit. My hardest workout will be a two hour bike/1 hour run brick on Sat.
[mrakes1] The idea of taper is reducing volume but keeping intensity. No more “training” but rather keeping the body fresh and loose. Sounds like a great plan.
[Gregkl] While preparing dinner, I pop a few olives, eat some cucumber, a little cheese, then when I sit down to eat my meal, it is properly proportioned and I am satisfied, but not stuffed.
[mrakes1] That makes me so happy to hear about your eating! Brings a big smile to my face. It’s all about balance, not restriction or feeling guilty. Great job!
[FlyFisherDoc] OK, how much protein do you recommend on a grams protein/lb body weight basis?
[mrakes1] Both questions are very specific and I try to give general answers since nutrition can be very personal/individual. My suggestion for protein is to aim for 1.2-1.5g/kg/d of protein. Or around .5-.7g protein per lb. However, the key for protein is to focus on lean/low fat protein and to combine protein with carbs for most/all meals and snacks (helps with blood sugar control and tissue repair).
[titeloops] I have a nutrition question. I'm training for my 1st IM in Nov. I need to drop another 5 to 10 lbs, but I'm eating like a teenager. Starving all the time. Lots of training volume I guess. Any suggestions on how to drop those last few lbs and still have the energy I need for 15 to 20 hours of training weekly?
[mrakes1] As for IM training, it can leave you hungry all the time. My suggestion is to focus on your recovery nutrition as well as pre-training nutrition. By prioritizing what you eat before a workout as well as what you eat to recover (think protein and carbs, ex. milk, yogurt, whey protein mixed with cereal, fruit, grains, etc.) you will have an easier time planning the rest of your meals and snacks throughout the day.
Also you should be focusing on balanced meals, with a mix of complex/high fiber carbs, lean/low fat protein and healthy unsaturated fats at meals and snacks you will find it easier to feel satisfied throughout the day. Also I recommend thinking about your diet as a plant based diet, with lots of nutrient dense foods (fruits and veggies)
[titeloops] Tonight I ate a pizza. Ouch
[mrakes1] Pizza is fine and can be very balanced. There are no good or bad foods. Sometimes when we put foods “off limit” they become more desirable and then guilt is associated with eating that food. I always have pizza two nights before my long distance races.
[titeloops] But I ate the whole thing.
[mrakes1] Whatever works best for you. However, for digestion purposes, I do recommend thin crust, light on the cheese and fatty meats in an effort to avoid GI upset during a race.
[FlyFisherDoc] I ate pizza last night before my sprint tri today. First tri. Bit of a disaster. Learned a lot. 1 hr 27 min.
[mrakes1] Triathlons are a journey, just like nutrition. You can’t learn everything overnight. You have to focus on YOU and your needs. I am sure you will find what works best for you as the weeks go on in your tri career.
[FlyFisherDoc] Any opinion on beer as a recovery drink?
[mrakes1] I think a beer is fine in the evening a few times a week but as far as a “recovery” drink, the beer will not provide the nutrients to help your muscles repair properly and quickly. Although beer is a “carb” (maltose) you have to consider the work of the liver and other body parts to “use” the carbs in the beer. I suggest milk or whey protein after a workout, then a real meal and then a few hrs later or in the evening, enjoying a beer while you “recover” from the morning activities.
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