lately i've been doing a lot of biking, swimming, strength training (weight lifting), cadio, etc for overall better strength and endurance
Originally Posted by thewindisalady
my name is jackie. this summer i have plans to do some longer biking around the east coast and canada.
lately i've been doing a lot of biking, swimming, strength training (weight lifting), cadio, etc for overall better strength and endurance. however, i've been running into problems of fatigue which i initially attributed to eating too little carbs but later was told might be an iron deficiency. since i've been trying to read about nutrition and feel somewhat confused about what i should focus on. protein is hyper-emphasized when i read about building muscle; however, carbs tend to be emphasized when looking at endurance. neither really emphasize high-fat diets. what should i be eating? why do energy "bars" emphasize protein? why types of foods do you eat while touring? when you're not touring?
i am a 21 year old female. 5ft 2in, 106 lbs.
i'm also vegetarian. i eat a diet extremely high in fruits, vegetables, eggs (and more recently, adding way more complex carbs). i know that when i start my trips i should focus mainly on carbs, but what about now when i am trying to maintain overall health leading up to the trips?
Over-training is a common problem among certain athletic subgroups. Coaches talk about this -- they have noticed that quite a few people fall into this category. There is a point of diminishing returns, and after that there comes a point where you are actually on the downslope of the curve.
More isn't always better.
And there is a certain area where you can sustain and maintain your energy levels, where you are not passing your limits of fatigue.
It is also worth being aware of the fact that even extremely fit athletes get exhausted after long events. Sometimes it takes them weeks to recover. People usually aren't privy to this part, though -- usually you just see the tip of the iceberg. The impressive performance is put on a pedestal for everyone to see; the downtime behind the scenes is not so photogenic (and not so superhuman and impressive), and it tends to be swept under the carpet (or kept behind the curtain). Many of these people want to show off their wizardry and impress others. The catch is that it misleads people into thinking they can be superhumanly athletic too.
i've been running into problems of fatigue which i initially attributed to eating too little carbs but later was told might be an iron deficiency.
Maybe, maybe not on the iron deficiency. Recent studies have found that many people are actually doing harm to their systems by adding iron. These supplement manufacturers and nutrition "experts" are full of an utterly amazing amount of BS.
since i've been trying to read about nutrition and feel somewhat confused
The more you read and swallow, the more the confusion will grow. You can't believe everything you read. There are completely contradictory theories out there in books and online.
I'm tempted to say that you will feel healthier, lighter and freer if you simply toss it all overboard: If you visualize a ship's deck with a large bulldozer on it, shoving all this stuff over the side until you have a nice, clean, beautiful, sun-drenched deck to sail with.
Simply jettison the gullibility and all the collected junk that it has wrought so far.
Also, it might be good to find the right books, if you are going to read -- a two-pronged approach of shutting down the gullibility and the listening to experts who aren't true experts, coupled with finding people who really do have some legitimate expertise. Even these people can be wrong or misleading, though. At least they aren't as bad.
Major university nutrition departments, and the information they provide would be a step in the right direction. You could probably find out which universities have the most reputable and highly regarded nutrition departments, and then either find books from them or online material.
There is just too much nonsense floating around in the area of diet and nutrition. Don't buy into it.
Energy is also related to psychological factors -- placebo/nocebo effects, beliefs, auto-suggestions, etc.
what should i be eating? why do energy "bars" emphasize protein? why types of foods do you eat while touring? when you're not touring?
Eat nutritious natural foods. You don't need all these energy bars and supplements. The manufacturers want your money. That's why all the hype gets floated.
There is a leading MD whose family was among the first manufacturers of vitamin supplements. He saw what went on behind the scenes; he knows this field from the inside; and he keeps up on the recent scientific research that has clearly shown harm rather than benefits from these supplements. He advises eating a wide variety of nutritious natural foods. They provide everything you need.
He also debunks the protein myths. Most of that hype comes from people who are selling products, and others who have bought into the mythology.
I used to spend a lot of energy and money dwelling on these products and approaches, and reading all the popular books and theories, and taking many of the supplements and other special health products.
I feel *way* healthier now that I don't take a single supplement, eat maximally nutritious natural foods, get away from false paths (including living to eat, rather than eating to live -- this morning I got a boost out of a new turn: I was "craving" some kind of treat or dessert after breakfast -- partly because some self-proclaimed expert on the subject had turned me in that direction -- and instead I had a tablespoon of kelp powder. It feels great to get away from some of these food habits and myths. Breaking habits can release energy).
types of foods do you eat while touring? when you're not touring?
Robustly nutritious natural foods: Bananas, figs, oranges, apples, non-fat yogurt, buttermilk (1%), salads, wheat sprouts (raw and cooked, high-protein hard red spring wheat especially -- you can buy it in bulk), olive oil, natural sourdough and essene breads, avocados, sunflower seeds (raw and soaked), soaked almonds, mueslis, honey, soymilk and soy yogurts, pumpkin seeds and oil, oats, kelp (a little bit blends in nicely with many dishes, and it provides many trace elements; plus there is great experimental evidence in its favor -- both kelp powder and granules, and other forms of sea vegetables -- dulse granules are good, they go well on many dishes), sesame seeds (mainly raw), tofu, cabbage of various sorts (cooked and raw-shredded -- on a list of the ten most nutritious vegetables, seven were in the cabbage or brassicaceae family), legumes (esp. lentils), cauliflower, tomatoes, broccoli, greens, carrots, beets, other produce, nuts, whole grains and seeds, sprouts and wild foods.
I'm also learning to make more salads, and to put all kinds of nutritious things in them. It's amazing how far beyond the usual lettuce affairs salads can be taken.