Nutrition news for endurance sports

Long-distance swimmers, cyclists, and runners need special nutrition to keep from running out of fuel or becoming dehydrated. The traditional “carbo-loading” involves a big supper of pasta the night before, to enable the body to build quick-energy glycogen stores. During the race, athletes ingest low-fibre, high-carbohydrate foods and slightly salted and sugared water such as Gatorade. This research suggests how athletes can meet their needs without loading up the night before: “Nutrition for endurance sports” by A. E. Jeukendrup.

Endurance sports are increasing in popularity and athletes at all levels are looking for ways to optimize their performance by training and nutrition. For endurance exercise lasting 30 min or more, the most likely contributors to fatigue are dehydration and carbohydrate depletion, whereas gastrointestinal problems, hyperthermia, and hyponatraemia can reduce endurance exercise performance and are potentially health threatening, especially in longer events (>4 h). Although high muscle glycogen concentrations at the start may be beneficial for endurance exercise, this does not necessarily have to be achieved by the traditional supercompensation protocol. An individualized nutritional strategy can be developed that aims to deliver carbohydrate to the working muscle at a rate that is dependent on the absolute exercise intensity as well as the duration of the event. Endurance athletes should attempt to minimize dehydration and limit body mass losses through sweating to 2-3% of body mass. Gastrointestinal problems occur frequently, especially in long-distance races. Problems seem to be highly individual and perhaps genetically determined but may also be related to the intake of highly concentrated carbohydrate solutions, hyperosmotic drinks, as well as the intake of fibre, fat, and protein. Hyponatraemia has occasionally been reported, especially among slower competitors with very high intakes of water or other low sodium drinks. Here I provide a comprehensive overview of recent research findings and suggest several new guidelines for the endurance athlete on the basis of this. These guidelines are more detailed and allow a more individualized approach.

PMID: 21916794 [PubMed – in process]

Vancouver riots are typical sports riots with a twist

About half the riots in North America are sports riots. Vancouver is typical in having young, white males fuelled by alcohol as the typical instigators, but atypical in rioting when they lose.

two young men stand and move around in front of a burning white police car

I see a vacation behind bars in your future

Someone suggested shutting down the Skytrain on the afternoon of a game to prevent suburban youth from drifting in to make trouble. Or perhaps a curfew on males?

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Superbowl Sunday


The power of prayer, originally uploaded by monado. (I’ll give credit to the source as soon as I find it.)

We watched the Superbowl today, complete with players falling on their knees and pointing at the roof to thank God for neglecting the important problems of the world to make sure the right team won. The Steelers and their rapist lost.

Ancient fertility rite or early football? Bottle-kicking

Bottle-Kicking, originally uploaded by Documentally.

I found this story on flickr in the form of a photodocumentary of an old village custom.

The full story is at “Bottle-kicking in Hallaton.”

Tony Lyons’ marathon swim

I’m not sure if Tony set a record, but it was certainly a personal best. On Friday he swam a marathon distance, 42.2 km, in just over 17 hours, in a pool in New Westminster, BC. In doing so, he raised at least $7,600 for the KCLN Orphans’ Fund.

This was not a record. Someone pool-swam 43 km in 1998.

Rain and floods strand marathoners in England

More than a thousand runners in a two-day event were stranded by flooding in England’s Lake District. Police advised the organizers to cancel the race when weather forecasts predicted heavy rains. However, three thousand runners were ready to go, and the organizers let them start. They then tried to call off the two-day race but it was too late to get the runners back. They were stranded by rising streams. Many of them took shelter along the route at industrial sites:

Last night, as 1,000 sodden runners were being sheltered at a woollen mill in Cockermouth, race organisers refused to comment on the decision to go ahead.

Three hundred other runners found shelter in Honister slate mine after being driven off a mountain by the driving rain. Some were taken to hospital by ambulance suffering from hypothermia.

But last night hundreds of racegoers were left stranded in darkness on the fells as floodwater cut off roads leading to the base camp in Borrowdale.

The Original Mountain Marathon website said the race had been abandoned for the first time in its 40-year history.

‘All the rivers very quickly began to burst their banks and even minor becks became foaming torrents. Roads were awash,’ it said.

In the race, teams of two carry all equipment and food for 36 hours. They are not allowed to use GPS.

Ironman Canada live on the web

I stayed up last night and watched the finishers come in for about two hours. This event was not televised, but video & audio and liveblogging commentary could be had via the Ironman web site. I heard it announced when the man with a transplanted heart came in. Some people were accompanied for the last little bit by family members.

Ironman finisher

Ironman finisher

This is surely a pair of grandchildren, possibly with the oldest man in the race.

Watching the Olympics

Semifinals, men's 200m freestyle, Brent Hayden & Colin Russell of Canada

Semifinals, men's 200m freestyle, Brent Hayden & Colin Russell of Canada

Lots of swimming.

Rowing and sculling, all-around free calisthenics, pommel horse, balance beam, uneven bars. Men’s all-around calisthenics with parallel bars and rings. Sychronized diving… Sychronized diving???

Bike races for men and women: hot, damp, filthy air, then rain.

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