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As a Registered Dietitian with a master’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, I thoroughly enjoy helping others achieve optimal health and peak fitness performance through creation of custom menu plans and personalized nutrition coaching with my company Fuel Factor as well as creation of custom sports drinks with Infinit Nutrition, I company I partially own and serve as Chief Formulation Specialist for. As a long-time athlete, having competed at the ITU, 70.3, and Ironman World Championships, I use my own practical experiences on the ‘field’ as well as the latest research in nutritional science as means to establish daily training and race/game day nutritional strategies for my clients. I am also currently working putting the wraps on research for my book, Performance Ingredients and Supplements for the Athlete, with a hopeful release by my publisher Human Kinetics late in spring 2013. I am currently expecting my first little speedster due to arrive in May of 2013. After she is born, I will be striving to knock 9 minutes off my current marathon PR of 2:52 to secure a spot at the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Caffeine "performance-focused" recommendations

Just had an interesting question regarding optimal caffeine dosing during training and racing.  My response was as follows:

It is not advisable to consume more than 500 mg of caffeine over a 24 hour period of time. According to one study conducted a few years ago, the half-life of caffeine in healthy adults is approximately 6 hours which indicates if you consume 200 mg of caffeine pre-race (approximately 2 cups of coffee at 7am), you'd still have 100 mg caffeine in you at around 1pm.  Thus, I recommend taking small increments of caffeine throughout race day rather than taking one or two large doses. For example, you may consume a cup of coffee (~100 mg) pre-race, 25-50 mg/hour during a 5 hour training or race effort, and another 50 mg to aid recovery post-race.  This would put you at ~300-400 mg of caffeine for the day. If you are not a caffeine-user, make sure you aren't overly sensitive to it (heart rate increases, anxiety, shakes, etc.) before using it on race day.

Marathon Nutrition Mistakes to Avoid

Stomach woes, fatiguing muscles, muscle cramps, dizziness; these are all common symptoms that too many athletes have experienced at some point during their sporting careers.  The following article posted on Tri Edge gives you some tips on how to prevent a nutrition-driven disaster when preparing for your next event, whether it be a marathon or another adventure.  Happy trails =)