Alright; so thank you so much. I know it is always super-fun when you get to talk about nutrition right before dinner, and you are probably a little blood-sugar deprived and what not. So this will really get your appetite going for some great New Orleans food.
Scott [Bay] was my swim coach because, as a triathlete, I didn’t know how to swim. And he watched me in the pool and he was like stop, just stop. I am like: what’s wrong? He goes, everything, everything; let’s just start all over again. So what Scott did though, is I needed to slow down and learn my skills. And my whole goal in Swimming was to be able to do 2.4 miles and get out and ride my bike, because that’s what I love to do. So he took me through the skills and drills and the basics; and that’s what I am hoping and praying to do with you guys for nutrition this evening. Is to just go through the basics of good human nutrition.
I have a curriculum, a little agenda, slide show; but if there are things that you want to know, my time is yours. That’s what I am here for, to address your concerns, your needs, your questions to the best I can. I have been in the industry for just about 30 years—I know I started when I was 6. And it is a passion of mine to teach people how to put the fuel together that will give them what they need in their performance, whatever it is.
So what was interesting to me as I looked at the agenda, the curriculum for this weekend here, there’s skills and drills and swimming this and that, and you guys got everything you want, every angle that you want to know. But 20% of what we do in performance is our skills and our drills, our athletics, all of that; 80% of who we create in health is in your nutrition plan. So I thought it was a really interesting sort of juxtaposition or balance/inbalance of topics. So I am like: alright, great, I get to talk about nutrition. I am really excited, because I am not competing with too many people; and I don’t compete with them anyway. So here we go.
That’s me. Scott did mention that I do a little bit of playing around in sport. I am really not very good, but I do have a lot of fun with it. And so that’s my background. Interestingly, my formal education is all in Psychology; it is all in Coaching. And coaching people and getting in-between their ears and trying to get them to have belief in whatever they do.
So you guys work a lot with either yourself, as Masters athletes, or in coaching kids, coaching athletes, in belief that things are possible. Belief that they can improve on their 50, or their 100, or their 400, or 1500 by a couple of seconds or a minute, or whatever. And I work with people on belief that it is possible to attain a better level of health through nutrition strategies. So that’s enough about me.
So the first question that always comes up: Is exercise a ticket to eat anything you want? Does anyone believe that? Does anyone ever say that? I haven’t, but Scott might have been one of the people that said it—alright, go, get out. I hear that a lot in endurance athletics. It is like I just run, I exercise, I swim, so I can eat anything I want. And the facts, the fact is that—and I was just talking to Susan about this—70% or 80% of who we are is nutrition and hydration; 20% maybe 30% of it is in your activity, your training and your skills. So let’s talk about nutrition.
All right so… (and be interactive with me, because you don’t want to listen to me the whole time and I don’t want to listen to me the whole time either). So when we talk about optimum human functioning or human health, what we are really talking about is preservation of age, metabolically. And I’ll explain that.
So these are the concerns or the goals that I hear from athletes mostly sort of in that area of you know, body fat and so forth. But when it comes to nutrition, what they are looking for is:
- More energy.
- Preservation and development of muscle tissue. That is a huge component of what we do in nutrition.
- Lowering body fat, body fat reduction or keeping our body fat optimum and low.
- That we have a good immune system, our immune system is functioning correctly.
- We have reduced inflammation.
- That we perform well athletically and we perform well intellectually. And as you are a coach, I am a coach, one of the most critical things that we have is a student or an athlete’s ability to engage when we are trying to teach them something. It’s really difficult when you have like the ADD people: they are over here and they’re like Squirrel! and, you know, you just totally lose them. So the more attention that they can pay intellectually to what they are doing, the better of an athlete that they are going to become. And that goes for all of us as well. And there are some really solid nutrition reasons why people may or may not be able to pay attention.
- Maintaining the efficiencies of a youthful metabolism. And we are going to talk just a little bit about that, because that’s really important, despite aging. I can’t help us: we all are going to age chronologically. We start at birth and we go until we are done, and each year we tick along. But we can do things in our nutrition program to have our efficiencies stay more like a teenager. In sports performance, when we do metabolic testing on people, or we do… actually what we are looking at is bioavailability studies; we look at how nutrition gets in at the cellular level. We see that athletes tend to age metabolically very, very slowly. So it is because they have optimum nutrition and they have optimum activity. So we are going to take a look at: if you are someone who is aging metabolically faster than you are aging chronologically, how do we back up that timeline just a little bit.
So here we go: there are two components to this business that I am in, it is called health and fitness. And there are three words in that little equation. The most important word is the word and, because these are two separate things: health and fitness. Health has to do with how we balance the internal components of our body and how we feed it. And then when we get all of that right, we implement the fitness program. And that [fitness] is either just activity, gentle movement, or it is training with a coach and a plan, or it is training with a coach and a plan and an outcome, which means becoming an athlete, right?
So let’s talk about what does balancing and feeding have to do…. So here is what happens in my profession as a personal trainer, and maybe in yours as a coach. I have people call me up and come in and they engage in my services. And they want to pay hundreds of dollars for me to go to the gym with them, and teach them and train them. Teach them how to run, and evaluate their cycling and what not, and, you know, do their CrossFit program with them or whatever. So they are going to do all that, but we haven’t put their body in a good state of health and that is a problem. Because all the fitness in the world is not going to create better health. Right?
So we have people who are super fit—and I know you see them in the Swimming arena; I see them in Triathlon all the time. They have trained themselves to complete a big event, but inside they are a car crash, they are just a train wreck. They’ve got high blood pressure, they’ve got high cholesterol. They get very dilated and they can’t dissipate heat well; they have a huge to tendency to overheat. And that’s because we haven’t balanced the components of their health. So we are going to take a look at: how do we do that.
There are a couple of components to balancing and then there is a whole concept of feeding and fueling. So let’s look at this. (I can come down her for a minute, this is a long slide. Hey you guys have a questions, interrupt me please, alright, really this is all about you.) So the components of health are four: oxygen, water, micronutrients, and then macronutrients. And we are going to work backwards. Because in order of importance, the human body can do without food for the longest period of time, right? If there is one of those four components your body can go without, in survival, for a long period of time, it is macronutrients. So we are going to talk about them actually last.
What’s more important than macronutrients are micronutrients. Micronutrients are your vitamins and minerals. They are the vehicles that get into your cell and transport things like water and oxygen. We need our micronutrients. In just simple strategies in sports performance, we are talking about things like electrolytes. Basically the electrolytes that we talk about are: sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. Those are responsible for opening the cellular doors and allowing fluids in, so that our hydration levels stay appropriate.
And we are going to talk about hydration as we go through this. But remember this when you are implementing hydration strategies with people, particularly in Swimming—it is just kind of a different sport and I know you know this is coaches. But we don’t always recognize that we are pouring sweat in the pool or in the ocean, right? So we have a tendency… sometimes because the water is always less than 98.6°—almost always, unless you live in Florida, where I do—but you don’t always recognize that you have a hydration challenge. So it’s really important that we have the right strategies for hydration, even when we are swimmers, or particularly when we are swimmers.
So micronutrients allow the important components to get into the cell. More important than micronutrients though is water. About two-thirds of the human body, maybe a little bit more than that, is water. And we need water to be available: fluid is part of every single cell, it is part of every single cellular function, everything that metabolically happens in the human body.
And then the most important component of our survival is oxygen. That is the thing we can do without for the shortest period of time.
So the question becomes: what does that have to do with nutrition, especially oxygen? How does oxygen get into our cells? It is transported via our blood stream, right. And the transport micronutrient for both water and oxygen are B-vitamins. So B-vitamins are a transport vehicle that allow oxygen into your cells at every level. They get your brain going, they get your focus going, they get your muscular contractions going, and they allow your body to sustain activity for a longer period of time.
So when we look at people who run out of energy, and they go to the doctor, they’ll get a B-12 shot or they’ll get a B shot. They come out like oh my God, I feel great. Yes, you feel great: someone just stuck B-vitamins right into your blood stream; they grabbed-hold of the oxygen and it pumped that right up into your cells.
So if we are looking at a nutrition plan, and we are looking at components that are missing, you see a lot of different… you know, we will talk a little bit towards the end of our program about supplements. But you see a lot of different things that people are doing in their nutrition plan. Like they are deliberately cutting-out groups of foods like grains, which are very dominant in some of our B-vitamins. Or people are choosing a vegetarian lifestyle; and without animal products in your diet, you cannot get B-12. It is only available in animal products, naturally, or in a supplement form. So if we do that for a long period of time, we are depriving our body of energy or oxygen at the cellular level. That’s important to know.
Macronutrients are defined as proteins, carbohydrates and fats. They each have a role; we are going to talk specifically about them. But a lot of people want to know: how much of each do I need? So I’ve put a formula on the slides, and I am going to give a more common sense formula. (And by the way, if you guys want before you leave, if you just write your name and your email address, I will send you these slides. So I am happy to do that for you. They are in PDF file format so you can’t alter them, because if you did I might get in trouble. But you are welcome to have them because this is your presentation.)
So the formulas for how much oxygen, how much water and how much macronutrients we need, are up there for you. And I just want to kind of mention the water thing. A lot of times the committee of they in the United States, or in the world, whatever, has told us we need how much water? Eight ounces, right. Have you heard that before? Okay. So I am wondering is that for Shaquille O’Neal or is that for Gary Coleman; who needs 8 oz glasses? The problem with just sweeping our nutrition programs with a broad brush is that it doesn’t customize for who you are. Does it matter if you are a male or a female? It does. Does it matter if you are a 7’4” or you’re 4’11”? It does.
So here is a sports-performance formula for you, for optimum hydration. It is one half of your present body weight in fluid ounces plus a 20% allowance extra if you are in a climate that demands that. So: really cold, hot and humid, or altitude. Those are all put further demands on your hydration needs. And 20% for all of the days that you are involved in activity, including the recovery time when you come out of that.
So I live in Florida; I do most of my training in Florida. There is definitely a 20% allowance, pretty much seven days a week, for extra fluid for myself and just people that landscape, that work in the pool service business, that do all of that.
[audience member]: As an equation there is that 20% of your body weight or 20% of half your body weight?
[Giese]: Thank you. 20% of half your body weight; it is 20% above your base-line, which is half of your current body weight. Does that make sense?
So here is the formula; these just get a little more complicated. There are some caveats that I am going to put in here. Ideally when we are looking at how much protein does a human being need?, in nutrition education, we say it is gram-for-pound what your ideal body weight is.
So a lot of times I am working with people who are on a body-fat reduction program. They are overweight… they are not overweight, they are over fat—weight and fat are two different things and I will clarify that in a second. But we are trying to reduce body fat, and we have a goal weight and body fat percentage. So let’s say that I am embarking on that program and my goal body weight is 120 pounds. My budget for protein is: feed the body I want to have. Okay?
Hydrate the body you are presently in, feed the body you want to have; that’s the formula that we put together.
So if you are an athlete—a strength training athlete, a resistance training athlete—or if you are coming back into athletic circles after a period of time of coming out, your protein needs may actually be even higher than that. Here is the thing about protein though: if you haven’t really being paying attention to that, and you are going to start, don’t go to 1½ tomorrow. Because you are going to have some intestinal challenges with that.
When we make changes in our nutrition program, we have to give our body time to acclimate to those changes. Because here is what happens: in your digestive tract, if you eliminate a food group, or you are grossly underfeeding a particular nutrient group, and then you slam it with a big presence of that nutrient, you don’t have the digestive enzymes to move that through that quickly. And you are going to end up with irritable bowel issues: either constipation or gas or diarrhea or something—usually it’s on the constipation side. So if we going to make changes in our nutrient profile, we have to do it gradually. And we have to make sure we do get that hydration really, really appropriate. Okay, that one [hydration], you can ramp up pretty quickly.
Carbohydrates. It just freaks people out when I say this, but your carbohydrate budget is three times your ideal weight. So if my ideal weight is 120, my carbohydrate gram budget is three times that, so it will be 360 grams of carbohydrate, okay. So that just freaks people out. But if you do it from mostly vegetables, you add in some fruits, and you have a couple of servings of healthy grains, you can easily get that without any concerns about too much. You know, I am not saying eat Twizzlers and Snickers bars; I am just saying that’s your budget, right?
And here is the really hard one: your fat budget, and this should mostly come from healthy fat, is one quarter of your ideal body weight. And I challenge you, if you are a numbers/data kind of person and you want to play with these, attack the fat one first, and see how easy it is to over-achieve that budget. That is a really hard one.
So we want our fats to come from, and I am going to talk a little bit more about fat in a second. Our healthy fats are what kinds of foods? Almonds, avocados, olives, oils, nuts, seeds, those kind of things. And we’ll talk about the differences in fats and why in just a moment.
Any questions? Or do we want to debate or talk about any of that? Is that pretty straight forward? Is that pretty okay? All right.
So it is not really hard to figure out what you need, it is just, this is a customized formula; this is for each person individually. I encourage you if you work with kids, if you are coaching kids—I know this is about Masters and yourselves—but if you are also out there coaching kids, let’s not get them all focused on numbers, alright. Let’s get them drinking their fluids, and we will go through how to balance-out their meals a little bit. Educate them of what food sources will provide them protein, carbs and fats on a healthy platform. And let’s not obsess about numbers until, you know, until they get to be pros or they get to be crazy—which, you know, that happens pretty quickly.
Here is a logical, simple way to do what I just said. So if we are looking at what should our plate look like, the size of your fist or the size of your hand, flat, is what we should use as a monitor for our protein. So if you are having a chicken breast, a fish fillet, something like that, it’s the size of your hand, flat out; if you are having a steak—like a fish steak or something like that—it’s the size of your fist. And so if I were holding my fist next Shaquille O’Neal’s fist, his fist would be the appropriate amount of protein for him.
So it is easy when we teach people that, that they don’t have to know: I need 2.5 times, the regular serving of protein is 7 grams per 3 ounces. You know, don’t worry about that; look at your fist. Your plate should be: 1 fist protein, 2 fists vegetables or vegetables and carbs. So how big should a sweet potato be that you are eating? That big. (Shaquille’s should be like that big. You know, Gary Coleman’s will be like that big.)
And so here’s a thing too: a lot of times I get to work with parents and they are like oh my kids aren’t eating. I’m like your kid is that big, they are eating plenty, you know. Their stomach is like this big, relax will you. Just, you know, expose them to food and let them go, and don’t give them Twizzlers after dinner. But for sure, their fist is like that big; just let them eat that much food. When they are ready to grow, their fist will grow and their plate will grow. Kids are… until we spoil them and we make them crazy, they are fine: they self-monitor, so let them go.
Alright, let’s look at… most people want to know a little bit more about the macronutrients. So carbohydrates, what do they do in the human body? They are our main source of fuel. Every cell in your body runs on carbohydrate. If you don’t feed it carbohydrate, it is going to make its own. Anyone knows how it does that?
[audience member]: Fat cells?
[Giese]: That will be great; it would be super great if it just would go to all of our fat cells, right? And it does, in some instances—it does. But there are a whole bunch of cells in our body, they are called non-insulin-dependent cells, and they cannot fuel off of broken down fat. They have to fuel… because of an element a little sort of chemical process that happens, they can only be fed carbohydrates from food or they will break down muscle tissue. So muscle tissue becomes a back-up source for carbohydrates, if we don’t feed our cells enough. So it is a really bad idea to take carbohydrates out of our diet.
What foods provide carbohydrates in our diet? Does anyone know? (And I don’t mean diet like diet—like the bad four letter word diet—I mean just nutrition plan, alright. I’ll try not to slip with that.) What foods provide carbohydrates? Rice, vegetables, fruits, grains—all grains like oatmeal. How about Pop-Tarts? Yup, absolutely. Candy, ice cream, pizza, pasta. So we get carbohydrates from a whole bunch of different places. Anything that has sugar, anything that has grain. How about dairy products? Carbohydrates from what? Lactose, the sugar in dairy products, yes.
One of the big misnomers about dairy, and I have a particular passion about dairy, there is a lot of sugar in dairy products. And it’s naturally occurring sugar, the sugar in milk products. So we have to really be aware of that; we have to be cautious of that. A lot of people say I’m taking my dairy products for my protein. If you really analyze a label of a dairy product, what you are mostly getting is saturated fat and lactose/sugar. The amount of protein, comparatively, in the total of total calories, particularly full-fat products, is not our best choice.
And what I have experienced over the years in coaching people and doing analysis and so forth, if we experimentally take dairy out of the diet for a period of time, people experience in-general—just general, not everybody—they experience a lot less intestinal distress, okay. There is a theory in some nutrition education communities—and you can buy into it or not, I am just sort of throwing it out there for you—that baby cows should drink milk until they are old enough to eat grass and do what baby cows do when they grow up. And human beings should drink breast milk if they are able to and then move on to real food.
So I don’t know how you feel about that or not. I will say from a nutrition-education standpoint: dairy products are the most prevalent source of calcium in the human diet. So if we are going to remove those from our diet or we going to really watch them, we have to find an alternative source of calcium. That’s really important. Because calcium is a contraction mineral; it is responsible for the contraction of your heart and it is responsible for the contraction, or part of the contraction, of all of your muscles.
So a lot of times, people go like oh, I am getting cramps, and we always go oh sodium, oh potassium. Oh calcium is a lot of time what’s going to cure that problem. Is that we removed so much dairy, we have removed so much calcium, from our diet that we are experiencing problems with muscles contractions and we have to look for a source of calcium. And I do think—and we will talk about this way at the end of the program—I do think it is okay to supplement with a calcium supplement; I just want to give you some information about how to evaluate your choices there—when we get to that, okay?
Alright, so carbohydrates must be present; the body will make its own. It is best if we fuel frequently. So I am going to talk about every three hours; why it is appropriate that we might fuel every three hours.
The best sources of carbohydrates are the ones (if you don’t mind me saying this) that God created. Your fruits, your vegetables, your nuts… not your nuts and seeds—those are more fats. But your fruits, your vegetables. Like your rice-based grains, your oatmeals—those kind of things. Well I am not anti-bread or pro-bread, you know, you can’t just go out in a field and pick a loaf of bread; it has to go through some processing. The same with pasta. You can look at a bowl of rice, and it kind of, sort of looks like that in the field if you just strip off the top of the grain.
So, as you visually look at carbohydrate sources, the more they look like how they did when they came into harvest, I think, we are a lot better off. They are more naturally put-together that way. Okay?
Alright: protein sources. Protein’s primary function, it is in this world for cellular growth and repair. If it has to, it will become a carbohydrate source. But in order to do that, it carries an extra nutrient on it called nitrogen. And in order for a protein to become carbohydrate, the nitrogen gets booted out, binds together in something called N-3, which is ammonia chemically [NH3], and as ammonia exits the body, it has to grab hold of some calcium.
So here is what we see in exercise physiology research—it crosses-over into the nutrition boundaries. People who do a lot, a lot, a lot of high-protein, no-carbohydrate eating, end up—even young men, men in their 20s and 30s, 30x particularly—if they eat that way for extended periods of time, they show early signs of osteoporosis. Which is unheard of, if someone is doing resistance training and eating appropriately. So resistance training their definitely doing; eating appropriately, not so much. So we want to make sure we eat enough protein, but if we only eat protein at the expense of carbohydrates, we are going to create some problems in our body. Okay?
So, that’s kind of the deal with protein.
I do want to show you this because this is I thought really a fun and interesting slide—that I got at a nutrition workshop I went to in Texas not too long ago. A lot of people have questions about well what kind of protein? Or they have a belief that I am just going to take-away, or I am just going to take… you know, no soy because I don’t want to grow breasts and have estrogen problems, as a man, or whatever. So this is the science that was presented to me.
There are speeds of absorption of proteins. (And I don’t know if this is of interest to you or not, but I will go through it and if you have questions, happy to try to answer them for you.)
- Free amino acids, is sometimes called branch-chain amino acids, they will go into your systems very, very quickly. They are absorbed and used very quickly.
- Hydrolysates and peptides are another form of sort of pre-digested or broken-down proteins, and those are the second-fastest to be absorbed. And what I see in sports performance and conditioning—strength conditioning and so forth—a lot of athletes are looking specifically on labels for hydrolysates, because they know that they get back into their body very quickly.
- A third kind is just a pure whey protein, okay. And that is the third fastest in absorption.
- Then soy is an intermediate.
- And casein is slow speed.
And so if we are looking for sources of protein that are external to our natural sources, so supplements—and we will talk about that in a second—but it is best to find a blend of proteins. Because here is what you can’t do, ask yourself this question: exactly when is your tissue that was damaged being repaired? How do you know that? Right? So I go to the gym, I do my Cross Fit workout—let’s say. You know, 30 minutes after that, some tissue is starting to repair; an hour after that, some other tissue is starting to repair; then five hours later….
If you’ve strength-trained in your life, you know this feeling that’s called DOMS: delayed-onset muscles soreness. You are good; you wake-up the next morning, oh I feel great; in my workout that afternoon you are like, holy mother of God, what was that truck that ran me over? Right? So it’s like 24-36 hours later your muscles are sore, and that’s just the residual effect of your strength training. So what if you took in a great protein source an hour or so after your workout, and in the course of your meals following—that next day and that next afternoon—you were kind of little negligent on your protein sources or just ate one source; you may not have the amino acids available in your system to repair that tissue.
So if we eat a good-blend of food based proteins—we eat some soy, we eat some casein, we eat some turkey and fish and whatever—we are going to get a nice natural blend from all those food sources. If you are looking for products to help you out with that, absolutely a blend of products.
And a lot of people, and I am one of them. I have been a vegetarian my whole life—even as a little kid I was just would not eat meat and I don’t even know why. (I do know now; I mean, I would make the decision now. But I don’t know, when you are 3, how do you make that decision?) So protein has been a struggle for me. So understanding this was very helpful for me in my own sports performance training.
Because what we do, whenever we are working out, is break things down—that’s all we do. When you are in the gym, when you are on the road, when you are in the pool, when you are doing your land training, all of that, you are only breaking down. There is nothing being built in a workout. The only time you build is when you replace, with your fuel sources. The fuel, the tools that you put into your body is what rebuilds your body. You tear-down while you work it out.
So this bottom slide kind of gives you the rate of absorptions of those same different kind of proteins. And it shows you that (it was a dotted line when I took the picture) the fastest rate of absorption is the blended proteins, and that is just based on a bioavailability study—blood testing with athletes done at the University of Connecticut with a doctor named Bill Kraemer. Okay. So I just thought that was kind of a fun side for athletes, and, you know, you are all athletes, whether you want to be or not, today you are.
Oh: let’s go back to fats for one second. Fat is a misunderstood nutrient, so I want a spend a couple of minutes on that. And if you have questions or if you have a different view point, throw it out at me, I am happy to talk to you about it. So, this probably isn’t a good thing to say while you all are on vacation here, but I just have to put it out there so I can put my head on the pillow peacefully tonight.
Remember that alcohol, sugar, and saturated fat are virtually triplets in the digestive eye of the body. Which means this: your body digests alcohol and sugar almost exactly the same as it does the saturated fat. Okay? So when you are drinking your, you know, Guinness or your wine or whatever, eating your ice cream, just understand that that is just like eating a fat. Because the way your body processes it is directly through your liver and it gets stored in triglycerides, which is blood fat. It is very, very difficult for those elements to be used as energy sources. It is possible, but it is very difficult; and it is not your body’s natural route that it takes.
Alright, so fat and the inflammation, this is important… oh, question. Yes?
[audience member]: Time for recovery drinks?
[Giese]: It doesn’t matter. The question is: we are being told in athletic performance that within thirty minutes, we need to uptake a certain amount of nutrition back into our system to recover the most quickly and that is absolutely true. What we need is a 3-to-1 blend of carbohydrates to protein. That is for this reason: because when we are done with a workout, our glycogen stores—which is our available carbohydrate for energy—is depleted. And glycogen best gets back into your body to restore your energy levels and loads within 30 minutes, if you have a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein.
So almost all of your engineered recovery products you are going to have that blend, either 3- or 4-to-1. But the science really says 3:1 is the recovery ratio. You can do that with food; it is hard to get it exactly optimally. And a lot of the really good quality supplement products will have a predigested protein in that blend, so that the protein gets right back into your system immediately. It means though, that helps the recovery start immediately, so you don’t lose that thirty-minute window of replacing glycogen.
Because if you wait too long, then your body starts to go after your muscle tissue for residual energy. So we want to get your energy sources back so we can draw on those right away again. Otherwise, if you are out of physical energy and you don’t eat after a workout, your body is going to start stripping down muscle tissue for some of its energy. That’s why that thirty-minute window is really critical in getting some nutrients back. It doesn’t have to be an enormous meal, and a lot of times a recovery drink is perfect. It is easy to get in, and your stomach can take it, especially if you’ve had a hard workout or a race, or a competition, a meet or something like that.
[audience member]: I read that beer actually has that good ratio. Have you heard that?
[Giese]: No, I haven’t heard that. (Scott, did you put that slide in about beer being a recovery drink? Was that you? No: I am just kidding.) Actually, there is very little protein… there is a little protein in beer, because it’s a grain. When we put alcohol right back-in our system after we are already depleted and dehydrated, we are going to actually do a lot more cellular damage. If we are going to have alcohol in celebration of the completion of an event, my suggestion is: get that thirty-minute window taken of in recovery, get a decent meal in yourself, and then, you know, whatever.
It’s just such a struggle for me. People are like well should I drink before or after? I am like well never, but, you know, that’s my recommendation. And I am just talking from cell’s mind, you know, from the mind of your cell like: I don’t want it before because it’s going to dehydrate me going into my event; I don’t want it after because now I am damaged, dehydrated and inflamed, so I need recovery. So when should you drink? I don’t know, like Christmas? Never? I don’t know, you know.
But that’s a great question. It’s a myth.
[audience member]: It seems like recently the hip thing is chocolate milk to drink. And even a lot of the NCAA programs are giving their athletes chocolate milk when they’re done working-out. Is that just an inexpensive way for them to do that or is it good combination of 3:1?
[Giese]: Yeah. There is a registered dietitian who is very, very famous in sports performance nutrition: her name is Nancy Clark and she is in Massachusetts. And forever she has been writing for Runners World and some of the different publications that address athletes at all different levels. And she was one of the first ones to say you know: just drink chocolate milk.
To me the problem with chocolate milk is it’s only one kind of protein. So we are only getting the kind of protein that you are going to find in milk products. So we are not getting that nice little blend that kind of sprinkles in there. We do get some sugar in chocolate milk, because there is added sugar from the chocolate; and so that will satisfy that carbohydrate need. So when you put the amount of protein in chocolate milk together with the carbohydrate need, you do get that.
I don’t think it’s the optimum blend. And we almost always get either a low-fat or a full-fat chocolate milk; it’s really hard to find a skimmed chocolate milk. And the fat is going to actually further aggregate and cause more inflammation; the fat that’s in dairy product. And for a lot of people—and I don’t know, each of us is a probably little different—it causes a lot of people some intestinal distress. And I don’t know about you guys, but at the end of a like a really-hard competition, I am already in some intestinal distress. So the last thing I want to do is add anything more. If I can do something that’s just mixed with water it’s a lot easier on the body.
But there is validity in the science behind that, I will say. You get a few extra little additives; it is probably not the very best blend of protein. But to go cheap and real food, you know I would support that thought, yeah.
[audience member]: Just a comment: at least all the studies I read on that, put chocolate milk up against something like Gatorade, which doesn’t have a protein component to it. Which goes back to what you were saying earlier.
[Giese]: Yeah, you are going to find… Gatorade is not a recovery product; it is a rehydration product. You can get some electrolytes and some fluid back in; you get a lot sugar, you get a lot of dyes—I am not a big Gatorade fan. But a post-workout recovery drink that is specifically designed for that. You know, there are a bunch of different companies out there that make post-recovery. The company I use is called AdvoCare, and they use a post-workout, recovery formula. and it has exactly that 3:1 blend; it just mixes with water.
But, yeah, Gatorade would be what most people would go after for hydration. It only has two of our four electrolytes, in my opinion, a little too much sugar, and you know those funky colors are not from like fruits and vegetables—just so you know. But, you know, it’s popular.
Okay those were great questions. Any other questions?
[audience member]: On milk: 2% milk is 37% fat?
[Giese]: 2% milk is 37% fat, yeah. If you guys don’t know—we are not going to have time to go into this today—the labels on meat and dairy product are governed by a whole different agency in the United States Government. They are governed by the USDA [U.S. Department of Agriculture] where everything else is governed by the FDA [Food and Drug Administration, an agency of U.S. Department of Health & Human Services]. So when you look at something like 1% milk or 1% dairy product, 2%, or you look at beef that’s 93% lean; understand and do-the-math out on the calories. Because we are not comparing apples-to-apples when we are looking at percent.
When ground beef, for example, is made, the scraps of the different components of the meat that a butcher cuts steaks out of it and whatever—and lot of it is precut these days but they still do some trimming and whatever—they put the fat in one vile and they put the scraps in another. And if they are grinding the meat there, they grind the meat in this grinder thing, and then they add the fat scraps until the percentage comes out to whatever the percentage is that you are buying. So it’s done by volume not calorie content.
And volume has no meaning to us, as we are looking at nutritional value. It is just sort of a work-around so that it appears to be only 7% fat. 93% lean ground beef is somewhere in the area of like 47% fat by calories. So if someone thinks they are eating lean ground beef and it’s only 7% fat contributing to their diet, they are absolutely misled. And those are the rules of the government and I am just being the messenger.
[audience member]: Is it 7% of that vile, not of the meat, itself.
[Giese]: Right, exactly.
And so when you start looking at dairy products, milk would be different than cheese in the percentage. So if you are looking at 2% cheese, many times 2% cheese is in the 60% fat by calorie range; it is by no means a low-fat product. You have to do the calories out. So 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate, 4 calories per gram of protein, 9 calories per gram of fat; and you do out the math—it’s simple division. And you can figure out what really percentage-by-calorie total products are, and that is pretty interesting.
Other question? Yes?
[audience member]: Going back to recovery, does the workout intensity effect recovery?
[Giese]: That’s a really good question. Intensity of workout puts higher demands on your recovery needs for sure. I mean here is what I tell, or I suggest to, people at the gym: if you are talking on your cellphone while you are walking on the treadmill, you don’t deserve a recovery snack. You know, you are pretty good. I mean intensity is important.
And with kids, for the most part, they give you their heart and soul. If they don’t then they probably have a poor nutrition plan going in, something is wrong. If a kid comes in without energy and enthusiasm, something is wrong in their system that they are not given or if something is wrong at home that they are emotionally tied down with that. Kids will love… and if we give them praise and you give them encouragement, they just love that. That’s exactly what they eat off of.
I will tell you what: adult athletes are the same way. It just takes… you have to peel down an extra layer with them. And their body, internally, are a little bit more damaged, because they have gone through a little bit more of life.
But intensity of workout… I mean any kind of physical expenditure is expending calories for sure. I think the best way to combat that issue is through education. And this is one of the things Scott and I have talked a lot about, and this is why I just love being able to come out here and talk to you guys. And I would love to be able to come out and talk to anybody’s kids program, anybody’s soccer program, anybody’s swim program, whatever. Because if we can just educate and not criticize; people who are not doing it….
But there is so much emotion attached to feeding people and so forth. Oh, you did a good job, let’s praise you, let’s reward you with food. If I can you give one piece of coaching, if you are parents or grandparents, please take food out of the reward and punishment equation. And please take activity, deprivation or addition out of the reward and punishment. Find a currency that is maybe electronics or something else with your kids.
And the same with your swimmers: if you are bringing food to reward them, I think that’s a bad idea. We want to teach them that food is the fuel that fires their engine and it also is the fuel that brings their body back into a state of performance, as an athlete. And if you keep telling your kids they are athletes, and you tell them what that means and what that means from a choice perspective—from choosing their workouts, to choosing their sleep patterns, to choosing their fuel and their hydration—you are much more likely to get them to buy-in because they have in their heads some kind of a perception of what is an athlete. And if we can feed that belief—and it’s hopefully not like A-Rod or something, you know it’s somebody with some integrity and character. We feed-into that belief and we teach them food is your fuel that is what gets you to the next level, in your academics, in your sports performance and all of that. But it does start with us being on that proactive train. So that’s a really good question and really good point.
Okay, great questions guys. Let’s just quickly, quickly look at fats. Because I don’t want run out of time; there’s a couple of things that I want to get to with you.
Saturated- and trans-fat, are we familiar with those terms? Saturated-fast is the fat our body makes cholesterol out of. Transfat is sort of like this synthetic fat. If you take a vial of oil and you add to it some extra hydrogen, you will create what looks like Crisco—just a big glob of weight gunk. That’s what transfats are. And they have been added, in the United States mostly, into our food sources for preservation and shelf-life. And they do add sort of a richness, I guess, palatability wise. But the reason that Twinkies now have like a 42-year shelf-life is because there is more transfat in it than ever before. So those are the fats that we are calling aggregating and inflammatory, and we are going to look at a slide for that.
Unsaturated fats, particularly Omega-3 fatty acids, are extremely important to include intentionally in our nutrition program. Okay. And I also talked about calcium being an important mineral that we get and we might have to supplement; I believe that we probably can’t enough Omega-3s from our natural food sources. You would have to eat probably a lot of calories in salmon and the right kinds of nuts, in order to do that; and that might blow your calorie budget. So we will take a look at that.
But there is a clear difference: you must have fat in your diet. The condition of health in your brain cells and in all of your cells that have to do with the development of your skin, hair, nails and a lot of your hormones, but your brain cells particularly will suffer tremendously. So we just intentionally have to put the right fats in our diet.
This slide just illustrates, these are both called unsaturated fats: Omega-6 is linoleic and Omega-3 is alpha-linolenic [or “α-Linolenic”]. These are our sources. When sources come from plants they are awesome; when sources come from animal products, they come from what we call series-2 prostaglandins and they are more inflammatory and aggregating. So we cannot across the board just say take Omega-6 fatty acid supplements. We in-fact probably don’t ever need Omega-6 fatty acid supplements. But when we are looking at Omega-3s it is really hard to eat enough of those right foods.
When we get the right Omega-3 blend in our diet though, we find a natural source to combat inflammation and aggregation. Aggregation meaning the contribution of the stickiness to your platelets. So if we have an aggregating formula, we eat a lot of unhealthy fats, our tendency to build up masses along our arterial walls is greatly accelerated. So our risk of cardiac issues gets really greatly increased if we eat a lot of inflammatory foods. If we eat some less-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory foods, we are actually able to reverse some of that. Through our natural diet and maybe through some supplementation.
So to give you a visual: if we get Omega-3 right, it’s kind of like always having Advil without the stomach irritation in our body—it combats your inflammation. So if you kind of make that equation (I mean it’s not exactly the same, but it has that effect).
And again, not to harp on the sugar and alcohol thing but I am going to—these are really important. Alcohol, sugar and the wrong kind of fat are hugely inflammatory. When people tell me I have knee issues, I have fibromyalgia, I can’t seem to recover, I have intestinal discomfort, I am bloated whatever, whatever; the first three things I look at is: alcohol in their diet, sugar in their diet and what kinds of fat are they taking in. Because if we can get those to a different formula, we are going to take care a lot of those problems. Just right out of the bat, the few different food choices and maybe some better hydration strategies.
The other part of inflammation, and one of the things that a youthful metabolism is very, very good at, is keeping inflammation down. (Oh, sorry, that’s the wrong slide; it is the next one.)
The things that we do physically that contribute to inflammation are all of our workouts. We always aggravate and destroy tissue when we are working out. That is the intention of working out and it is okay, but we have to know how to combat it nutritionally. Anytime we are injured. If we have the cold, flu, virus, any kind of disease—cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, irritable bowel, acid reflux—you go through all the disease process, all the illnesses we have, they are all housed in inflammation, they all begin with inflammation in the body. If we can combat internal inflammation through our food sources, we will essentially start to eliminate and greatly limit our disease processes and our illnesses.
And stress. If you are in a situation in your life where you are constantly in turmoil, your body is constantly releasing cortisol, which is a fat storage hormone. It is constantly putting your body in a state of inflammation and it constantly slowing-down your metabolism and asking your body to store more body fat. So inflammatory processes we have to find strategies to get through that.
So to reduce inflammation:
- Appropriate hydration. The #1 factor in being appropriately hydrated is your cellular composition. If you have more muscle tissue than body fat, you will be a better hydrated person just because of your body composition. So a lot of times we see people and they drink water, water, water—they are a great water drinker—but they have too much body fat, their body is unable to assimilate that. If you think about a vial of oil, if you put water on top of it, it will not penetrate that fat, right? If you think a muscle tissue, muscle tissue is very absorbent and very hydrous; there is a lot of space in the muscle cell or a muscle tissue for hydration. That’s why athletes very easily start their cooling mechanism; they are able to sweat very easily. They need more hydration; their hydration needs are higher. And people who are really, really over-fat—they are holding too much body fat—they are unable to keep the hydration in them that they need.
- Inflammatory foods: we want to minimize those.
- We want to get the proper amount of sleep. During REM sleep—that’s your deep sleep—is when you regenerate tissue at the highest rate.
- Omega-3 fatty acids, we talked about.
- Circulation, just daily movement, will keep inflammation down. And that means even when we are recovering from a big event or we are injured or whatever, if we can get… and you are in the perfect sport for it: the pool is the best place to encourage circulation in the event that someone is ill or injured. Because we will get circulation going, we will move inflammation out, we will move nutrients in.
- And having a stress management strategy, like yoga or tai chi or something like that. Where you learn to breath all the way into the depths of your body’s ability to hold oxygen. Super, super important.
Here’s what a typical day should look like for most of us. And whether you are an athlete or you are a kid or whatever, this is the three-hour rule: if we eat every three hours, we are constantly sending a signal to our body that to keep your metabolism running—keep your furnace running. So when I do a profile for people, we go back to the one-fist two-fist rule, that we looked at earlier, and we look at our particular specific needs if you are a data person.
But this is what a meal structure should look like every day. So how many people want to tell me that they never eat breakfast? Good for you guys. (If you’re just lying to me, that’s okay, I don’t mind.) If you don’t start your day with breakfast, you have gone… I don’t know how many hours—if you are lucky 8, if you are me you know 4 or whatever. But during all that time, you have had no fluid and you have had no food. And there is some number of hours probably before that, that you stopped eating.
So when you wake up in the morning, if the first thing you do is grab a cup of coffee and hit the road, you are putting a further-dehydrating, single product, with no nutrition—for the most part—into your body. You have not had any fluid for however-many hours or any fuel, and your body is already starting to break down its own tissue—its own muscle tissue. You are already damaged at the cellular level, because you don’t have any hydration in there, and it might be noontime before some of you get your first meal or snack. So be really, really mindful.
If you are concerned about preserving your body and keeping your lean tissue really strong, the first thing you have to do is put a good amount of protein and a good amount of fluid into your system. Statistically speaking, children that go to school, there are something like 87% of them are dehydrated. And that’s because they wake up, they are late, they get rushed out of the door, they are given a couple of bucks to eat whatever at school and off they go. If we could put between 8-16 oz. of water in them and give them an apple, their academic performance will increase by something like 60%. Just for those two things.
So if you are a teacher—and some of you that are coaches I know you are, and I don’t know what your flexibility is, I don’t know what the rules of the school systems and so forth are—but work on that. Because kids are loud at home and they will make fuss until they get what they want, right—you all know that. So if you can just teach them to make sure that they get some fluid and a piece of fruit on the way out of the door, that will be great.
Now talking about athletes, talking about you guys, whatever: proteins are the most thing you get in the morning. And that is like 20-25 grams of protein, depending on your body weight and your budget. So fluid and protein really important.
[audience member]: Do you have any suggestions for athletes that always say I can’t stomach anything before morning practice?
[Giese]: End practices super early. Yeah. That’s where we have to always… the morning workout is always the challenge. I think some kind of fluid calories are the best. We talked about those recovery shakes, those are mostly carbohydrate and a little bit of protein; if we can get a little bit of something like that into them. Or if they just have you know a banana, or if they will just have a couple of bites of oatmeal, or if you find some kind of a really well-made nutrition bar that has mostly carbohydrates. They don’t need protein in their system so much if they are going to go right-in and workout, but they do need carbohydrate because that’s going to generate energy. They need their protein afterwards.
Protein is going to put demands on the digestive system, to break it down. And when they are out doing physical work, demands are also being put on their cellular structure. So if you are trying to do physical work and you got a belly even semi-full of food, your belly loses and your outer body wins all the time and that causes intestinal distress.
[audience]: Would you say something like those little gels are enough?
[Giese]: They are like a hundred calories, and so you know those will give them both electrolytes so that at the cellular level they are firing and performing. And it will at least put 100 calories into their system. They will probably burn a little bit more than that and they will end-up being in an upside-down situation, but they won’t get the stomach distress. So I think those are a fair…. A lot of runners that I work with, they will get up and they will have a gel and some water and just go.
The other thing is that if we can get them to eat a snack right before they go bed, a protein-based snack with maybe a little bit of vegetables, that will give them some stuff still circulating in their blood stream and their glycogen storage will be semi-full in the morning. That’s kind of a best solution for early-morning people, is right before bed have a protein-based snack. Like maybe just have a turkey roll-up, or something like that, if they are going to get-up and exercise in the morning.
[inaudible question on GERD]
[Giese]: Certain foods are going to cause some digestive reaction with some people, and so fluid calories are usually the best solution for that. You know some people can eat a banana, some people can’t; some people eat oatmeal, some people can’t. But it’s important that everybody figures it out.
And I will tell you this for sure—working with triathletes and working with iron-distance triathletes, especially—you have to practice being able to eat and perform. And when you are able to do that… it is a learned thing. You know, people are like oh, I can’t go to Zumba on a full stomach. I’m like: you need to practice. Because you know not that Zumba isn’t stressful. We need to work on getting that food in there and getting it going. And that little transition will definitely happen.
Is anyone eating six meals, pretty good? And I don’t mean thanksgiving meals; I mean just… little eating events. Here is the thing: the leanest people that I work with are eating six and more little mini meals. They are eating all day long, are grazing animals. Right? The people who struggle most with stored body fat are eating less than three meals a day, in general. And most of their calories come when? At night (exactly). And so when we wait too long to get hungry, we are in big trouble: we start eating things and drinking things that we really shouldn’t. Right?
(I’m out of time. I always talk too much, I am sure.) Okay one last thing and I will leave you with just these couple last thoughts.
Do you need as Masters athletes more or less? Here is the thing you need to know about as an aging athlete. And aging I mean anyone over 30—sorry. We either need more time or we need better nutrition. You can do more. You will see Masters athletes improve in their sport from over their 20s and over their 30s. You will see Masters athletes coming in, in overall competitions in the top-3 or -4 places in their 40s and sometimes up to 50s. However, if we don’t upgrade our nutrition… naturally, your body needs more time. So if you can’t give it more time, you’ve got to give it better nutrition.
So that’s where I think that we probably have to look at supplementation. Because I don’t think we can eat enough, often enough, enough calories, to get everything we need and two a day workouts and do the intensity that sometimes you have to do when you are performing in a training or an athletic program. If you are a recreational athlete, and you know that’s what you are, that’s great; you probably can do most of your calorie needs from your food.
Here are the things that I think you should think about:
- I think that we need to look at intestinal health and probiotics. I don’t think we have enough for that.
- I think that we need to look at a multivitamin.
- I think we need to look at an Omega vitamin, Omega-3 fatty acid.
- And I think that we all need to look at calcium.
I think those four things are critically important, when we are looking at supplementing our nutrition.
[audience member]: Can you expand on that?
[Giese]: Yeah sure. Probiotics, because your intestinal health… your intestine is where everything happens. Your immune system is in there and your absorption and your efficiencies are recognized in there. If your intestinal tract is blocked—it’s not working, you are not having regular bowel movements—or if you have just had life happen to you—synthetic sweeteners, preservatives in food, too much alcohol, stress factors—can all prevent our absorption tract, which is our intestinal tract, from taking in nutrition. That is the place where you absorb and recognize all your nutrition.
So when people have been on diets their whole life and they are like Oh my diet is not working anymore whatever, whatever; it is because their metabolism has slowed down so much and their intestinal tract is compromised so much that they cannot uptake the nutrition that’s going through there. So their body is not recognizing the calories; it is storing more, it’s slowing down. And the nutrition that’s going in, their vitamins and their minerals as well as their calories, are not being recognized.
So your intestines are the key to all of your nutrition absorption and all of your functionality. If you ever take a broad-spectrum antibiotic—because you have an infection, you have a cold, you have some kind of a bacteria in your system—that broad-spectrum antibiotic is not just going to kill the infection bacteria. It’s going to kill all of it, including your intestinal bacteria. And you are supposed to have that; you need that to maximize your nutrition absorption. So probiotics restore that, they put that back in.
Okay so probiotic, calcium, multivitamin and Omegas. I think it’s very difficult to get through life without those four things.
[audience member]: Are you talking about for Masters athletes specifically, or are you talking about for…?
[Giese]: That’s just general human nutrition; yeah that’s pretty much everybody. Even kids, because they are exposed now earlier to McDonald’s and you know things that just have preservatives and gunk-up their intestines.
Here’s how you can tell with your children and with your athletes—if you have a relationship with them that you talk about things like this. If they are moving waste really well, then their intestinal tract is probably okay; if they are not, they are not. And that means, you know, if they have had bouts where they really have bad diarrhea or that kind of stuff, or they just go long periods of time without having a regular bowel movement, there is a problem. And if stuff is not moving out on a daily basis, then they are not absorbing nutrition, because there is a blockage in the system.
And kind of factor that in for yourself. If you any of you work with women—I work with a lot of women—that is a very common problem and they are not always that willing to talk about it. Until you ask them, and then they will tell you everything. If you are runner, we talk about that all the time—that’s all we talk about when we run.
So remember a couple of things:
- your intestinal tract,
- eating every three hours,
- we need as much muscle tissue as we possibly can get,
- activity is hugely important
- and when our hormones are functioning well—and that is our hormones that tell us absorb nutrition, tell us that we are metabolically faster, tell us we are metabolically younger—then all systems are working really well and your ability to use energy is going to be really, really great.
Does anyone have any other questions. Yes?
[audience member]: Gluten and celiac disease?
[Giese]: There is a couple… yeah that’s a great question. Gluten sensitivities versus celiac disease. Gluten is the protein that’s in wheat and some other of our whole grains. And there are people who have a condition called celiac disease, which is an autoimmune condition. If you are diagnosed with celiacs—and a simple blood test will tell you that—then you need to stay away from foods with gluten, because they prevent you from absorbing nutrition and things like calcium. So eventually you will have bone density issues. And they can cause other problems. They can cause tremendous malnourishment because of lack of absorption of B vitamins. So celiac disease is one condition that if you have that, you must adhere to that or you will compromise your health forever.
If you are gluten insensitive, meaning that when you eat gluten-based foods and wheat foods, you get sort of an irritable bowel. There have been all kinds of… Sports Illustrated had a great article about athletes that are getting away from gluten—Runners World had one. So if you intentionally want to take gluten out of your diet, you are not going to die, I promise. You just need to get your complex carbohydrates from: potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, spaghetti, squash, rice, things like that.
And if you are not sure and you want to experiment, just take all the gluten out. But I will tell you what: read your labels. Because gluten is in a lot of stuff, like you will find it in soy sauces. I mean you really… if you want to do it, do it clean, do it real, get your gluten completely out, you can’t go wrong with God’s food, right. You have your fruits, you have your vegetables, your rice and whatever; but when you get in the grain family watch out because gluten sneaks its way in there. Anything in a box, anything in a package, anything like that, gluten makes its way in there, okay?
Those are great questions though.
I am going to hang around for a while (because you know I have no life, so I am not doing anything). So I know if some of you are probably hungry and you have to meet your families and whatever. I am going to just promote or just share with you. I do have my business cards up here. If you want to know my recommendation for supplementation… I know you guys work with a couple of lines, yourselves. Here is just a couple of things to know about supplementation.
Supplements are not required to be tested before they go out for sale. I hope you know that. So when go buy things at the Vitamin Shoppe or GNC or whatever, whatever; be very aware of that, okay. 25% of the things that are sold in some of our big retailers, will cause a positive test for banned substances. I have on one of the slides—we didn’t get to it and so if you want them I will email them to you—a whole list of companies that the NFL players cannot go to for their supplementation. And you will see some major retailers that show up on that list. So be aware of all of the things regarding supplementation.
My opinion is: supplements should be tested before they come back for distribution or sale. That is my opinion. I have one particular supplement line that I use personally, I use with all my athletes. If anyone wants to talk about that, I will let you know. There are some probably other good ones out there. But really be cautious of that. Because if you are influencing children or influencing young athletes, young adult athletes; the NCAA, the Olympic committee [both the IOC and USOC], the World Anti-Doping Association, all have very stringent rules about substances that you put in your body for recovery and sports performance and whatever.
I think that there is an absolute necessity for them, but you have to know your source and you have to really look at the safety. I think safety and science. And if you want more information about that I will give it to you.
So thank you a million. I am sorry I went over, but I appreciate your attention. And if this is something that you want here, you know I am happy to talk about it and come to your clubs, I will travel the world. I am always to talk about nutrition. So have a great night, have a safe rest of your conference. Thank you guys a million.
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