It is a fine morning. We’ve been doing this for a couple of days, but it is time to get going again. My name is Tim Welsh, currently coaching at Notre Dame and formerly at Johns Hopkins University, in the years before George Kennedy. When I coached at Johns Hopkins, we didn’t know about the thing that we will talk about today. But George is a lot of smarter than I and at his college is aware that given the daily and hourly limitations we would face for the NCAA requirements, there’s a limit to how much we can do on the one side and there’s probably a lot more to be gained on recovery and nutrition side. That’s where we are this morning. Kristina Paltell, our speaker, is an athlete. She is a triathlete. She’s a licensed massage therapist. She does yoga. She works in stretching and fitness with George and she is here this morning to talk with us about nutrition and swimming as another part of the process. Kristina, welcome.
Oh, thank you very much. I appreciate it. Good morning. My name is Kristina Auth Paltell and I am with Johns Hopkins University. When George asked me to give this talk, he said, “Why don’t you talk on training and recovery?” I think, “Geez, training and recovery. That’s a really, really broad topic.” So how can I narrow this down being an athlete myself, an endurance athlete, but what is part of the equation that can really make or break what you do? That’s when I thought about the nutrition angle. How can we fuel our bodies so that we can day after day put in the output, put in the performance that we need and then come race time to show up to be there and put up the numbers that we’re looking for? So that’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Just a hand showing, how many of you are college coaches? Okay. All right. How many of you swam during college? How many of you are swimmers? Just about everybody. Well, I have a dirty little secret. I came into swimming late. I started swimming at 40 and it was a goal because I was always getting injured in the running aspect of things and I set myself a goal to do a triathlon, do a little sprint triathlon to sort of encourage me to get my head under the water. In my first triathlon I was wearing a wetsuit three times too big swimming in cold water with bacteria of every known origin. I really don’t want to think about what was in there but I had an absolute blast and I loved the swimming. I love what it does for you. I love that it’s a lifetime sport and my children are swimmers and – so anyway, I just love the swimmer. I love the athlete. It’s just a great sport.
What are we going to talk about today? Our overview today is going to be on what are we identifying as the main puzzle pieces? What are our basic nutritional needs, food selection guidelines, how we eat that food, recovery, how we get our swimmers on board and then follow up and monitoring. All right. The swimmer puzzle. For all of you college coaches and for all of you who do club swimming as well, you get in a crop or a group of swimmers every fall and when they come in, each one is unique. We’re all unique, right? Some are very easy to understand and to figure out and others are very difficult and there’s a vast group in between. These swimmers are coming into you with a lot of different pieces that make them up. They have personal backgrounds. They have physical histories. They have social concerns. They have academic expectations and then they also have their athletic expectations. So they’re coming in here and you’re looking at them and you’re trying to put them together. What do you use? You use your tools to try to create this complex or to create a completed picture so you have your deck time. You have your cross-training. You have your strength in dry land. You have your motivational meetings to get them n board. You have your tapers before their race. You have the actual meets and then you work them down into their recoveries.
So you’re taking your bag of tricks. You’re mixing it with what your swimmer is comprised of. Excuse me. Technical difficulties.
Generally when you take the components of the individual and you take your bag of tricks, you’re going to put them all together and you are successful when you take it off and you create a very successful person, a very successful swimmer with their particular personal expectations. They need their particular times and whatever they wanted – what they’re looking for and then what you’re looking for as well.
TGIF, right? [laughter] We’re supposed to say “I’m glad that happened.” Okay. All right. So success is when you put all those components together and you get an athlete that needs their academic, their team and their personal expectations so putting all those pieces together. Okay. What can make the difference between success and complete failure when you’ve done everything you’re supposed to be doing, when they’re doing everything that they’re supposed to be doing? One of those elements – and it’s a key element, a key point or key piece of the puzzle – is the nutrition. If they’re not feeding themselves right, they’re not going to produce it.
Wikipedia defines nutrition as: the organic process of nourishing or being nourished, the process by which an organism assimilates food and uses it for growth and maintenance. Well, I think we need to add another word in there and that’s performance. We want our swimmers to not only grow. We want them to perform and then be able to maintain and to keep that performance going. Everybody knows Elvis Presley, right? Everyone knows the King? Marty, are you going to sing You Ain’t Nothing But a Hound Dog? [Yeah]
Okay. Elvis Presley was quite a foodie. He was known to fly 800 miles to buy an Italian sandwich, an entire loaf of Italian bread hollowed out filled with peanut butter, grape jelly and a pound of bacon. Yummy. He loved it. When someone asked him – okay, is anyone else going sick right now? [laughter] When someone asked him, “Hey King, why do you have such a gargantuan appetite?” The king responded, “The input has to be as great as the output.” I think that sentence says it all for our swimmers. What you take in has to be great, great enough so you can produce it out there on the deck every time. Unfortunately you don’t control the situation. They do. The swimmer does. I was trying to find the graphic leading a horse to water. Can’t make it drink. But I thought this was so much better. Unfortunately coaches somehow or another you lost your jammers and you athletic coaches or you assisting coaches out there, you’re working hard because right in the middle is your swimmer who’s digging in. I think sometimes a mule is a very good description. Its like “What do you mean you didn’t have breakfast today? What were you thinking of when you ate that or [Indiscernible] [0:11:03] this?” So here we go. The swimmer, the athlete, needs to control and take charge of what they’re taking in so they have to put some skin into the game in addition to what you give them.
The basics: We know that swimmers are vacuum cleaners when it comes to food. They need, they burn a ton of calories, average 3 to 6,000 calories but again each swimmer is unique. Each person is unique. Some may burn 6,000. Some may burn 3,000. Michael Phelps has been known to burn 12,000 so it really depends upon the individual. How do you feed that swimmer? What are all those calories comprised of? Well, that’s when we go into our main components of carbs, proteins, fats and the fluids. Looking at the carbs – okay, when I say carb, what does everybody think of? Did you have your carbs today? Are you going to get some carbs? Oh, come on out there everybody says pasta. I had my pasta. Let’s go get some spaghetti. Yeah, a major carb, absolutely. Carbs, they range from the very complex to the very simple. They range from the pastas, the whole grains to the cereals down to the most refined components of a gel, honey. But the important part is the swimmer needs anywhere from 60 to 70% of his total caloric intake to be carbs and depending upon where they are in their training, it’s going to dictate how may carbs – the percentage of carbs that they need. When a swimmer is just coming into the beginning of the years and you’re starting them out in their foundation phase, their carb requirement may be slightly less, maybe be down to 55%, 60%. When they are working and they are in their peak training phase, they need to have the maximum amount of carbs, up to 70% so essentially they’re carbo loading all the time but it’s the quality of the carbohydrate that you want our swimmers to focus on, that they need to focus on. Looking at it here when we think of carbs, we think of the breads. We think of the pastas but a very large component of the carbs are the fruits, the vegetables and the legumes. They don’t eat enough of them and if we want to keep them healthy and rolling and keep their immune systems up, a very high proportion of their diet should have a lot of the naturals of fruits and the vegetables.
Cereals. How many people like oatmeal? That’s great. Does everyone eat oatmeal in the morning? Great. The rolled oats steel cut or instant oats? A difference, right? Steel cut and your rolled oats are going to provide you with a little bit more fiber, a little bit fuller than the instant oats and they both take about the same. You put hot water into the rolled oats; they’re going to be done in about a minute, the instant oats where you get it right away. But the rolled oats do provide you with a little bit more fiber, a little bit more staying power than the instant stuff. Notice Pop-Tarts up there. Well, that’s a great low-glycemic – I’m sorry, high-glycemic product to have because it goes quickly into the bloodstream so they can – if your swimmer is coming in without a breakfast and they need something to fuel their bodies, then that Pop-Tart is going to go in right away. That’s a great one for cyclists. When we are hungry, we’ll pop a Pop-Tart pretty fast.
Protein, the second component. Let me just go back for a second. We always compare our swimmers’ bodies to car engines, right? I like to think of them as the Maseratis and the Ferraris out there so if our swimmers are the Maseratis and the Ferraris, the carbohydrates which is the fuel, the gasoline, is the primary component that makes them run so that’s instant energy, the glycogen into the muscles to keep those bodies, to keep those engines running smoothly.
The next component is protein. Protein again will vary – protein requirements will vary depending upon where they are in training. Foundation phase, protein requirements may not be as great. When they’re in their peak phase, protein requirements are very high because you want to repair the muscle mass, the lean tissue. You want to boost their immune systems and the protein is going to do that. So again thinking about that race car analogy, I would consider protein to be the pit crew. People are in there. The protein’s in there and it’s quickly making any changes and repairs that each athlete needs. The American society as a whole tends to have more protein in our diet than what we really need so getting that protein requirement is usually pretty easy, pretty simple. Again looking up here at our protein, we have also – see yummy stuff. Is anybody hungry? We have some lean meats. We have poultry. We have fish and that’s a buffalo burger up there, just to let you know. We have dairy. We have the different butters. There’s peanut butter. There’s almond butter. There’s cashew butter. There’s Nutella. There’s some great things to get our protein from. We also have edamame. Does anyone eat edamame? Does anyone know what edamame is? It’s soybeans in the pod and it’s like eating a peanut out of a shell. You steam them up, add a little bit of salt to them, and pop them in your mouth. They are yummy, packed with protein, packed with fiber. This is a good food to have and you can carry it with you anywhere so – it’s also great if you swimmer happens to be a vegetarian. It would be helpful if they like vegetables though.
The final thing up there which I’m a big proponent of – I love it as a pre-race meal – is sushi. Sushi has the protein. It has the carbohydrates. It has the good fats. It sits well but it stays with you. It’s a wonderful pre-race meal. However, given how our swimmers eat and they do consume a lot, if you’re paying for the bill, I wouldn’t advise them getting a sushi. You’d be in the poorhouse.
The next component, fats. Again, the American diet is loaded with fats. Fats tend not to be a problem and going back to our race car analogy, if we had the fuel, the pit crew, the fats tend to be the backup the engine. The fats generally combine with the carbohydrates for nice, long aerobic endurance workouts so they’re needed to keep your swimmer going. When we think of fats, we think of the dairy, the butter (yummy), the cream cheese (That’s great too), the dairy, right? Those are all part of the fats category but we also have the polyunsaturated and the monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, walnut oil, flaxseed oil, sesame oil, a lot of different oils that can be used that are very flavorful and you can put that into your food. We have the avocados. We have the olives. We have the capers. We have nuts. These are all considered to be fats. The fats stay with us so you have a very ravenous swimmer and they have some time, you give them a handful of trail mix or something and that’s going to help them to stave off their hunger pains. It’s going to stick with them.
The next item is fluids. Boy, fluids! Boy, they’ve made a multimillion dollar industry out of it, haven’t they? How many types of water are out there? [laughter] Really, think about it. Remember when there was – you can have water out of a spigot. Now you’ve got bottled water. You have Hint. You have Vita Water. You have carbonated water. You’ve got a ton of different waters out there and that’s just water. We definitely – we don’t drink enough and the American diet talks about eight-ounce-glasses a day. Well, we know when that swimmer gets up in the morning; they should have a couple of glasses of water just to start out with. They need to get the blood volume up so that they can start to keep their workouts nice and steady and consistent. Oftentimes when – if any of your swimmers ever wear a heart rate monitor, you will find sometimes that if you tend to be dehydrated, your heart rate is going to a lot higher. That’s simply because the blood volume is lower and your heart is working a lot harder so looking at your heart rate, you can tell right off the bat if you tend to be – if you’re running a bit dehydrated or not so we want to make sure that the swimmer is keeping themselves hydrated so with water you’ve got other options out there. You have coconut water and please, by no means do not think I’m trying to endorse any of these products. This is just what you see a lot out there. You have the Gatorade, the Powerade. You have fruit juices. You have vegetable juices, coffee – how many people have had their coffee this morning? Yup? Where would we be without it? Chocolate milk, Muscle Milk. You have a lot of different options to choose from, the green teas, and the iced teas. Our swimmers need at least eight glasses but again it can vary. Some of my clients can get by on a 60-mile bike ride on a very hot day with two bottle of water. Somebody else needs four to six bottles of water and generally as a rule of thumb when we talk about training; we talk about a bottle an hour. That’s what the consumption should be and that bottle’s about 20 ounces.
Taking these basics, how do we put the onus back onto the swimmer to take control and to manage what it is they’re putting into their mouths for optimal wellness, for optimal performance? I’ve given them five selection rules. Selection rule number one – these all seem very easy, very simple, but it’s actually quite the contrary. They’re pretty tough and they need to take time and plan to get this right. So selection rule number one: Make it fresh.. The fresher it is the better it’s going to be for them. They’re going to get a higher nutrient content. They’re going to get a higher fiber content. It’s going to taste better. It’s going to fill them up a little more. Make it fresh as much as possible. Avoid the processed and the packaged if you can and that’s really difficult because the processing and packaging out there is very attractive. It’s very pretty so it’s very enticing so try to keep it as fresh and natural as possible.
These guys are on crunch times like we all are so how do you find the fresh stuff? Generally if you go into a grocery store, its perimeter shopping. You can run a time trial. Go on around the grocery store. To the right you’re going to generally find your produce, your vegetables, your fruits. You’re going to go to the back. They’re your bakery. That’s where you can get your whole grain breads and your sushi, your rotisserie chicken or what have you. You can swing around to the left. There’s your dairy where you can get your yoghurt, your milk, your chocolate milk, your cream cheese, your cheese, whatever. Out you go, out the door.
Buy it seasonally. Who likes tomatoes? Everybody likes tomatoes? Have you ever had a tomato sandwich, a fresh tomato sandwich? Aren’t they the best? Homegrown tomatoes on great multi-grained bread with a little bit of mayonnaise and salt, you think you died and gone to heaven. That’s a seasonal item, the homegrown tomatoes or the local tomatoes and the flavor just pops out at you. That’s what we want these swimmers to start doing. Start buying what is seasonal, what is local for them. It’s a great time of year for the peaches, for the plums, for the watermelon, the cantaloupe, again all rich in the vitamins and the nutrients that they need and the carbohydrates that they need to keep running.
Food selection number two: Make it colorful. Our palate is getting quite bland these days because it’s simply getting so processed so instead of buying colorful packages, put the color onto your plate, mostly again in your fruits and in your vegetables but there are other things out there. As I said, the fish, the lean proteins, the multi-grained pastas. There’s a lot of color. The avocado, lots of color out there and each color tends to be greater and higher in certain percentages of vitamins so your oranges of course are going to have higher Vitamin C, beta-carotene content. Your greens are going to have different – so each one has different components that will overall keep the swimmer healthy.
Food selection rule number three: Size matters. Even though our swimmers tend to eat three times the normal caloric count that the average American eats or is supposed to eat, it’s a good idea to have them understand what they’re taking in, how much. First of all, when it comes to the produce and to the colorful items, there is no limit. They can stack that plate up and then some but when we come to the dense carbohydrates and the fattier foods, this is when – I’ve heard this analogy and I just think it stuck with me and maybe will stick with your swimmers, the fighting and gambling analogy. We’re going to teach them how to fight and gamble. Your dense carbs are generally a serving size is a fist size so if your swimmer needs 6,000 calories, their average serving size is going to be about three fistfuls. Protein tends to be about three ounces, three to four ounces, and that equates to a deck of cards. Anyone’s been to Las Vegas and had to shuffle out a deck of cards? So again, if they’re eating three times the average amount, we’re talking about three decks. Then the dense dairy, we’re looking at domino size. So a slice of cheese is about the size of a domino piece.
Well, Marty, have you been to Las Vegas, played some dominoes, played some black jack? [No]
No? [laughter] It’s a great road trip. Don’t do it with the swimmers.
[Marty]: I’ve been to Vegas. I tend to eat.
[KAP]: Oh, you tend to eat? Well, that’s a good thing to do too.
This one is a great one and it’s hard, pronounceable ingredients. You can get your swimmers up there and you can say – okay, can you pronounce this one? I can’t pronounce any of these. Can you? And it looks like it’s some kind of energy stuff supplement here. Look at the caffeine. Anyway. So again you’re engaging that swimmer to take an active part as to what they’re putting into their bodies so when they’re going around into the middle aisles of the grocery store they’re looking at what is it that I’m taking in. If you want to make it a little harder, try to see if they can stay with five ingredients or less. Do you know how hard that is? That’s very, very difficult. Does anyone have a Trader Joe’s near them? Trader Joe’s? It’s like a Whole Foods. Love Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s, it’s a little easier when you go there. They don’t – they have a lot of the more basic, unprocessed, more natural products out there so you can cruise through the store and pick up things a little easier.
Don’t eat the foods that grandma would not recognize, okay? That surely looks like my grandmother but it’s not. For these kids we could say their great grandmother so we want them – again we want to try to stay long. We’re bringing – we’re actually coming back to basics here. You want to stick with more of the natural stuff and we’ve gotten very slick in all our packaging and everything but keep it basic. Keep it simple. Limit the convenience foods. Again that’s really hard to do. We’re all on tight time budgets and we’re trying to get from one thing to the next and these swimmers are trying to get to their classes. They’re trying to do your workouts. They’re just trying to do it all. So when they’re hungry, thank you going to pick up the closest thing at hand, right? Again it takes some forethought. It takes some preparation. It takes some active participation to limit the convenience foods. Fortunately today since everyone seems to be getting on board with the whole nutrition angle of things, you can find good stuff anywhere. But you have to look for it sometimes. It’s hiding. Limit or avoid foods with high amount of preservatives. Again it goes back to that pronounceable ingredients, five ingredients or less preservatives. We don’t need them. They can do all sorts of things.
Now that we’ve given some basic selection rules, how can we have them take that and use it each day? The guideline number one is always eat breakfast. Let’s fess up here. How many people have eaten breakfast in here? That’s good. Breakfast does not mean coffee. Did you have something more than coffee? Okay. That’s excellent. And it’s really important. Got to get that breakfast in. How can you expect somebody to perform well in the lane if they don’t have anything in their bodies especially that long period of going through the evening to early morning workouts? They need something. Depending upon when they roll out of bed to get to practice will dictate what kind of breakfast they have. If they’ve had some time, a few hours, well, then a standard breakfast with carbs and protein and fat works. That oatmeal really works. If they get up a little late and they’re running behind, well, then they need to go with more of the quickly assimilated into the bloodstream energy. It could be Carnation Instant Breakfast. It could be yoghurt and granola. It could be – I’m a bad person at this. I’ll take my Gatorade and add a scoop of Carbo-Pro which is carbohydrates just to give me what I need so I can do my workout. So they can take – depending upon where they are in the equation before their workout, they should have a breakfast. Nutrition bars are also good. They sell them – they tend to be very expensive but they’re out there. The Clif Bars, all these different bars that are out there. The gels, Fig Newtons are also a very good one and the sports drink in a pitch. So breakfast.
All right. I’m sure you’ve seen this before. Do you know whose breakfast that is?
[audience member]: Elvis’.
[KAP]: Really? That’s what I would have thought. Elvis’, no, this is Michael Phelps’ breakfast. Hopefully – I don’t think he eats this before he gets into the pool but he does eat this. This is a five-egg omelet. It’s three fried egg sandwiches but he does add the produce to it and he adds lettuce, tomato and onion. He has his grits. He has his chocolate chip pancakes. He has his French toast and he has two cups of coffee. This is what he eats. This is what he needs to get him going. I’m glad I don’t feed him. I’d be in the poorhouse. Do you know whose breakfast this is?
[audience member]: Yours.
[KAP]: No. [laughter] No, no, no, this is Dara Torres’ breakfast. This is what she eats. This is a fresh wild berry fruit smoothie with whey protein. This is what she eats. Different things for different athletes. It all works. It’s finding out what works for you.
Guideline number two: Always have a recovery meal. This is really important. Your muscles can hold enough glycogen in them to last you for an hour’s worth of workout and after that workout; you have this window of opportunity to rapidly replace that glycogen that you’ve used. There’s this 30- to 45-minute window scientists have deemed as the point in time where the muscles absorb the maximum amount of nutrition. So 30 to 45 minutes. You can go as late as an hour but really, your best window of time is within that time frame. What should that recovery meal consist of? Well, it should be mostly carbohydrates with a little bit of protein. It works on a ratio either four to one carbohydrates and some folks tout that it should be a three to one ratio, three carbs to every one protein. So it really depends upon the individual. Four to one three to one. I think the best recovery food out there is your chocolate milk. It’s very simple. It doesn’t need to be Muscle Milk. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Chocolate milk. There’s something in the chocolate milk that the muscles assimilate very quickly and can regenerate it back into and be used for energy the next workout.
You will look at all these people and I’m as guilty as the next one but I feel that the next time I’m going around is they’re out of the pool. They’re into the showers. They’re off. They’re not thinking about any kind of recovery or maybe yeah, they forgot about it. We’ll get it in later. This kind of recovery thing should be done right there. It should be handy right there with their swim bags on the deck and if it’s chocolate milk we’re talking about, they can get these cartons of chocolate milk. You can stick them in the freezer so by the time they’re done with their workout, you shake it up. It tastes like a milk shake. It’s slushy. It’s just the perfect consistency. Suck it down. They’re ready to roll. They’re ready for their next workout.
Don’t skip meals. Yes.
[audience member]: What’s the best time to take the chocolate?
[KAP]: Pardon? What’s the best time to take – oh, 30 to 45 minutes after their workout.
[audience member]: After their workout.
[KAP]: When they are done, when they are through with their exercise, 30 to 45 minutes seems to be the magic window. You can go as late as an hour. Some folks say after two hours you should be eating your normal meals but that recovery time and I have personal experience in this. My daughter was swimming in some zones and she was doing a lot of the prelims and she looked like her she was a wilted flower. She was just over like this I was like, “Holy cow! How am I going to get you to the next event?” I had some Nesquik chocolate milk. I watched her. It was like something like an advertisement for Nesquik. It was like she went from this to Bing, right back up again. I [Indiscernible] [0:38:04] on so chocolate milk is a wonderful – it sounds like a miracle drink and it’s basic. Anyone else with – yes.
[audience member]: Do you have the kids waiting for the 30-minute time or would you have them start eating or drinking five or 10 minutes afterwards?
[KAP]: Well, this is what I’ve observed with Michael Phelps. He does his swim. He goes to the warm-down pool and his trainer Keenan puts his little concoction in, walks it right over to him. He’s starting to drink it as he does his warm down so I would go for sooner than later. Some people can’t drink right after their workout. It’s going to be ugh! Some can. But it’s really that – no later. Try to go no later than an hour and really optimally 45.
Don’t skip meals. Generally with a swimmer that’s not a problem. It’s generally having enough food on hand so I say eat three, four, five, six meals a day, whatever that particular person, that athlete, needs and generally eating smaller so it doesn’t overload your body. It doesn’t create these belly [Indiscernible] [0:39:26] for them so that they’re constantly being digested so that they can keep their energy going nice and smooth. No puttering.
Snack often. And then have quick foods readily handy such as bars, your fruit, your nuts, your dry fruit, your raisins, Turkey Jerky. Gosh, I love Turkey Jerky, Buffalo Jerky! There’s some great – great protein. It packs well. It’s wonderful. Cheese sticks, hummus and flatbread, all of these things, tabouli. These are great snacks to have and they’re very yummy. I’ll tell you because my swimmer eats all the time, this is what I carry with me all the time because I don’t know about your athletes but when they’re hungry, they’re hungry and they need something. Otherwise, they go into that little dizzy bunk. So I keep one of these. I call it feedback. I keep it loaded with all sorts of little goodies gnaw stuff. That’s – their trail mix, their fruit bars. I have some Goo. I have Marathon Energy Bars. I have all different things that will fit the bill but they vary depending upon what they’re in mood for so I keep that on hand.
Eating guideline number four: Hydrate well. You hydrate well but it also helps to sort of keep you in focus with your appetite before, during and after practice, always. Get that two glasses of water in before you start. Water. Say – sports drinks. They’re excellent when they’re in the pool and mainly to keep that energy going. The sports drinks are going to provide them with that little bit of carbohydrate to keep them moving smoothly. Fruit and vegetable juices, love them. Particularly if they don’t like vegetables, try to get them to drink a V8 with a little bit of pepper in it. It tastes yummy. Add a squeeze of lemon to it. It tastes yummy. It gets those vitamins in them. It gets the nutrition in them so it’s very helpful.
Recovery drinks. There are a lot of recovery drinks out there. I happen to be a fan of Recoverite. I’ll pop that in if I don’t have chocolate milk and Recoverite is just powder. I stick it in with some water and coffee and I’m ready to go.
Limit caffeine consumption. Generally caffeine is the one substance that hasn’t been too regulated yet because it is known to be a performance enhancer. It sort of reduces our perception of our effort. Generally you want to keep that caffeine consumption down to about two cups of coffee a day. Considering that caffeine can rate anywhere from 45 mg to 160 mg a cup, it’s going to dictate how sensitive you are how sensitive your athlete is to caffeine. Men tend to be a little bit more sensitive to caffeine than women. Why that is I’m not really sure.
Going on to energy drinks, limit the energy drinks. I can speak from personal experience about that. I was looking at some of the energy drinks on the shelf and this one energy drink had 5,000 mg of the energy component which consisted of caffeine and ginseng, a bunch of other stuff, 5,000 mg. When you think about your strongest cup of brewed coffee is about 160 mg, 5,000 mg in this little can? I also happen to observe – it was at a swim meet two years ago – a coach from Charlottesville, Virginia team. He had been sucking down the energy drinks all day so it was recorded. He was an Auburn swimmer so was in great shape. He collapsed on the deck and it was a very sad story. He ended up… he died. He was a young guy. He was in his 30s. He died from the pool from the naval academy on the way to the hospital. They couldn’t get his heart rate back in sync. He was suffering from tachycardia, arrhythmia. I talked to a cardiologist friend of mine and he totally agreed. He goes, “Look, he goes, “people drink those drinks like they’re water, like they’re Gatorade, I guess, and they’re not.” That’s not – that’s a horrible story, the fatality but for people to have arrhythmic issues drinking these drinks has been documented, has been known so limit the energy drinks if having them at all.
[audience member]: A lot of those drinks, I’m talking about Red Bull, those types of drinks, a lot of those drinks are used nowadays at discotheques.
[audience member]: You mix them up with alcohol, so they keep, they just keep going on all night. That’s… unfortunately that’s what they’re using that for but they’re also of course, the athletic market [Indiscernible] [0:44:56] a lot of stuff.
[audience member]: That’s what they’re using [Indiscernible] [0:45:07] so I would stay away from that kind of stuff.
[KAP]: I would stay away from them but they sell them on the shelves right next to the Gatorade. And you’ve got a swimmer who’s been up all night studying for exams and they feel like are dragging, some of [Indiscernible] [0:45:24] like what are you doing?
[audience member]: Some of these college students which I also assume are athletes; they’re using staying up late for study –
[KAP]: It’s like the Vivarin of old. Remember Vivarin? Yeah, you pull an all-nighter and you would take one of those to keep you going?
[audience member]: Yeah, they can get addicted to that stuff –
[KAP]: That’s right so – yes. Yes. I’m sorry. Okay. Any other questions for that? Okay.
Next guideline that we want to give our swimmers: Limit fast food. Let me tell you – note as I say limit because I can tell you after a big race, nothing tastes better than a Whopper with Cheese. [Laughter] [I love – I will drive to Burger King to get a Whopper with Cheese and I suck that thing down and I have the French fries too and it tastes really good. So are we going to ask these people to go totally pure in their diets? Heck no. You can’t but when you go to the fast food places, you can make it healthier by limiting what you’re putting on it. You can limit the mayo, the special sauces. You can cut the saturated fat by 200 calories by just saying “no sauce” and you’re also guaranteed to get a fresher burger because they have to make it up right then and there. They don’t like you for it but they have to make it up. Same thing with the extra cheese and the condiments, you can eliminate those and still get a yummy burger. Grilled is always better than fried so again it just takes that fat off. It just makes it a little bit healthier for you but you still get that protein, that satisfaction. They always ask or upselling you “Super size that? Do you want an extra?” Forget the super size. Go with the salad. Get the vitamins. Get the good stuff. It’s going to fill you up. You got that double whopper. You’re going to be one happy person and then again as far as the drinks, the fluids go, the water, iced tea, preferably unsweetened, the juices – I’m not a big soda fan. I feel like soda is just sodium in a can essentially. It’s full of all sorts of artificial ingredients so I don’t – I just don’t like soda but you have other choices and again soda occasionally? Sure.
I don’t know if you can see this person. Can you see him down here? It’s a little dark. It’s a client of mine. He – you can barely see him. I had to put – yes, he is in bed. Why is he in bed? Well, he just got through doing Lake Placid Ironman this July. It was his first Ironman and you’ve got to understand he is in bed with three McDonald’s sausage, egg and cheese biscuits [Laughter] [and hash browns. To really appreciate this, you’ve got to know this guy. He’s 6’4”, nicest guy there is but he doesn’t have a microwave in his house. They eat all organic foods. He’s a real foodie. He’s very particular but he said nothing appealed to him more after competing in a race for 13 hours than McDonald’s sausage, egg and biscuits. I said, Keith, you really need to be an advertisement for Mickey Ds so I had to put that out there. He’s resting on his laurels. He was very proud of himself.
So now that we’ve given the swimmer, the athlete, their marching orders, they got it kind of fresh, they’ve got to pay attention to what it is they’re putting into their mouth, let’s talk about recovery. That’s the other end in the spectrum because once you know, once you think you’ve gotten training planned on and they’re on board with it, recovery. Recovery is very important and I see this particularly around November and December when the exams start kicking in and the holidays start kicking in and the social activities start kicking in. The swimmers come in and they look death warmed over. They’re coughing or they start to get sick and this is the point where up to now if they’re eating right, that the nutrition and the vitamin and all the different healthier components of what’s going into their diet should really make a difference but in addition to that, this is when they need their sleep. We say seven- to eight-hour sleep but let’s be realistic. A lot of these athletes dealing with school are lucky if they get three or four but you’ve got to push the sleep on them whenever possible. They need that time to allow their body to regenerate and rebuild their muscle.
Scheduled off days. I’m talking about scheduled off days because these swimmers are so motivated that if they feel like they don’t have a workout for that day, they can’t go on. They need something to do that day so if you write down on their workout schedule “off day,” it’s an off day, then maybe they will adhere to it more but they need that just to prevent them from getting overuse injuries. It will also keep them fresher and decrease their chances of injury and breakdown.
Getting the swimmer on board. So how do you get them to buy into this? Well, you’ve got to make it fun. Swimmers in general are very, very competitive so you can say “All right, slowest person in the lane has to buy the recovery drinks for everybody else in the lane. All right?” Make it fun. Have color days. We’ve gotten so used to color like “The air quality today is orange.” Say it to the swimmers. Your color quality for this week is orange meaning everything that they buy on the nutritional – the produce aspect of things should be an orange color and that doesn’t mean just macaroni and cheese. That could be sweet potatoes, butter, nuts, squash, and oranges so give them some colors to work with. Organize team grocery shopping trips. Well, you learn a lot about your teammates when you’re all in the grocery store together but that can be fun.
Keep the feedbacks handy. Keep a meeting. Keep a meeting with the good stuff. Have an ethnic meal night. We tend to get sort of locked into pastas, salads, milk. Have them explore different ways of eating. Have a Thai night, a Japanese night, a South American night, Moroccan, Ethiopian. Most of these ethnic cuisines are very high in the grains and in the produce and so let them explore that mix of fun. Then they can take a picture of what it is they’ve eaten and they can twitter it out or Facebook it out to everybody and say hey, look at me. I ate this. Would you ever – would you ever think I’d eat curry? Well, here I am.
The final one is – and I think this is the most important one and it puts the burden on you – you have to be the example. It’s not what you say. It’s what you do and they pick up on it right away. If you’re telling them to eat better, they’re going to be looking at you to see if you’re eating better. So you’ve got to walk the walk, talk the talk.
Be aware and monitor. Each person is unique. You think you’ve got it down for them and it doesn’t work for this one. It works for somebody else or this particular month they’re having a rough go. It’s not working so you have to pay attention to what’s going on. You’ve got to make sure they’re maintaining a healthy weight. Heads up if someone seems to be overly consumed with calories. How many calories is this? Is this going to make me fat? Radar. Make sure their attitude is good. In triathloning when you’re out there and you’re running your marathon after doing your 112-mile bike and your two-and-a-half-mile swim, it’s always an indicator. When your attitude starts to drop, you better start eating because you’re going to hit the bunk so start feeding yourself. So take a look at their attitude. See how they’re doing. It could be a sign of overtraining as well. Monitor energy level. Are they feeling energetic or do they feel like they’re swimming through molasses? An indicator. They may need more. They may need less of something. Monitor their performance. That’s pretty easy to do. You can see and see how they’re doing in that particular event or that race.
Finally, you’ve got to be flexible. Nothing is cast in stone. We are all different. We all change, different circumstances, different seasons so you have to be willing to play around with it and to work with it and this can take years. Hopefully though if these swimmers commit to taking a part in what they’re consuming, that commitment will turn into that glue that holds that nutrition puzzle piece in place to create a very successful athlete, not just during the four years of college but afterwards as well so I wish all of you a very successful swim year and I’d be very happy to answer any questions if you have any. Yes.
[audience member]: I have read an article somewhere online that carbonated beverages like sodas, carbonated fruit drinks and so forth, carbonation itself induces the [Indiscernible] [0:55:40] Have you heard something along those lines?
[KAP]: They’re coming out with all – it would make sense. It’s just sodium loaded. If someone needs carbonated drinks, try the seltzer water. It’s not as much sodium and you can add the fruit juice to it or something.
[audience member]: If that is the case, [Indiscernible] [0:56:00] grab a chance to this question I forgot the answer and I couldn’t find the answer. If it’s the case that they have some carbonated, when – how long will that negative combination effect – how long will it take to get that to the system [Indiscernible] [0:56:16]
[KAP]: I think that’s – I don’t know the answer but I would assume it depends on the individual. One person may assimilate it faster than another so I always think that when it comes to the nutrition aspect of things, I feel like the day that you figure out if you’ve done something right or not is the following day when they’re showing up for practice the next day so I’d say 24 hours. Yes, George.
[audience member]: Kristina, many times the athletes don’t sleep that well at night, if they take these – in college – take these afternoon naps, these are only effective – one of our rules is don’t get under the covers. Just to take a power nap but is there – can you talk about that a little bit as to how it may affect the performance in terms of how long you should be taking these naps? Is it just an hour and a half? What do you think they –?
[KAP]: Have them all do [Indiscernible] [0:57:17] yoga for 10 minutes. Come back for Stuart. Yeah, it – well, again George, it just depends on an individual like I know I need eight hours of sleep when I am in high training and a nap in the course of the day and my nap is an hour. I need that and someone else 20 minutes. For some reason the best done studies and say 20 minutes seems to be optimal amount of – is a – is a great amount of time to get your body to unwind, to regenerate and then be able without turning you too groggy to get back up and to do what you need to do.
[audience member]: So up to an hour basically –
[KAP]: Yeah, I’d say up to an hour. Again you’ve got to watch the – you’ve got to look at the individual and a lot of it too is how much of the sleep deprivation are they in? Is it one night? Is it multiple nights because that will also play into the equation. Any other questions? Yes.
[audience member]: What is the best period between the meal and the race or competition?
[KAP]: I’m sorry. What is the… What is the best meal between a race and… or between…
[audience member]: The meal and the race –
[KAP]: The meal and the race? What’s the best meal? I’m sorry oh, the time. Oh, I’d say about – I’d say about four hours, three to four hours. Let it fully digest. Again it depends what it is they’re eating. If they eat three to four hours before their competition and they find that they’re on deck and they’re starting to get hungry, that’s when the gels really come in handy because it’s going to zap them with that little bit of extra ump… to get them through their one, two, three minutes, 15 minutes, whatever it is they’re swimming. The heads up on that gel though is that when they ingest that gel, it is so dense in carbohydrates that they’ve got to dilute it with water so they’ve got to slurp down that gel and drink some water, half a bottle, whatever, maybe not half a bottle but a couple of really good mouthfuls to follow the gel.
[audience member]: [Indiscernible] [0:59:35] about the gel flaps –
[audience member]: Its capacity is about five gels you can dilute it with water.
[KAP]: Yes. And shake them up?
[audience member]: I mean like [Indiscernible] [0:59:46] Ironman for athletes using that stuff. They’re great [Indiscernible] [0:59:52] good for the athletes, let’s say, a meet for example in swimming three or four events in the same day. You can just prepare it in the morning. Take about five gels [Indiscernible] [1:00:03] dilute it with water. You shake it up and it will be really diluted and you can just use it throughout the day [Indiscernible] [1:00:09]
[KAP]: That’s an excellent suggestion. Yeah, so what he’s saying is in a lot of these gel companies they’ll send you a little plastic flap. It’s about four ounces or whatever. They have indicators, little markers on there and you can fill it up with the gel, add some water to it so it’s diluted and you can ingest it a lot easier than trying to rip open a package and maybe squeeze out half of the gel in the package.
[audience member]: If you think about it as a water bottle, a gel water bottle, they’re really small.
[KAP]: Yes, they’re really small.
[audience member]: It’s got a –
[KAP]: They’re really sticky though. They always get really sticky. You’ll catch the flies. You’ll catch everything else on it but they come in handy. They really do. That’s a great suggestion. Any other questions?
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