Saturday, October 9, 2010

The hunt for the perfect endurance athletic diet...

I have been reading everything that I can get my hands on in regards to healthy eating, nutrition and supplementation.  Any edge that I can get to help me recover faster, burn energy cleaner and limit digestive tract issues is worth consideration.  My caloric intake is a real interest to me!

I hate to sound like Oprah and light up the  "Edrah Book Club", but I do want to recommend two of the most useful books that I have consumed (mentally!) over the last three months. 

First, "The China Study".  This book covers perhaps the most extensive study of the impact on the body of what you eat.  The researchers followed thousands of people in China, Britain and the US for something like 30 years, comparing heart disease, cancer, diabetes rates, obesity and over laying the results onto the dietary habits of the studied folks.  I know it may sound complex and boring...and I would be lieing if I said a few chapters were not.  However, the results of the study would lead anyone to believe that a vegetarian based diet will help increase your chances to live longer, healthier and more productively.  There was some great data on the impact of diet on muscles.   One hard hitting idea - the study concluded that people in China eat more calories than Americans, but have fractious levels of heart, cancer, obesity and diabetic issues than Americans.  The reason?  They cannot afford to eat meat...

The second book was written by Canadian Ironman, Brendan Brazier.  Brazier is now retired, but reached the top of the Ironman ranks a few years ago.  His book, The Thrive Diet makes the case that not only can endurance athletes do okay by converting to a vegetarian diet, but, they can well....errr...."Thrive".  One of the main cases he makes is that there are several studies that show that plant based diets may help muscle recovery.  I have experienced this myself. 

I had a good long chat with Dr. D yesterday about diet and hydration (thanks D-2!).  After telling him that I suspected that I would be burning up to 10,000 calories on many days (110-120 calories a mile and 2,500-3.000 for autonomic body function), we talked a lot about how I would try to cram those down.  Additionally, we talked about how the hydration aspects are likely to be a challenge.  If anyone knows anyone with some expertise in this area, I would love to chat with them!

I added some miles to my total for the month this morning.  Not a big mile day today.  I have some family duties that are keeping me from taking the hours I need to schlep out some big miles.  Work, live, home balance being what it is, sometimes my hobby has to take a second seat.

Have a great Saturday and Sunday!



  1. Hi Ed - I finally got around to looking up your blog after we met running on the bridge last week. Great posts. I applaud you for your mission as well!

    By the way - so I guess donuts are included on the perfect endurance athlete's diet per your previous post... I definitely like that!

  2. Kathy, thanks! Good luck in NYC! Yes, donuts are on the menu! E

  3. Yes, it's official. You are certifiably insane but only through the eyes of people like me who are envious of your grit, determination and ability to focus laser-like on the task at hand. I would bet on you on anything you decided to conquer. If you ever decide to crack Fort Knox I would be honored to be your wheel man!

    N. John Garcia