I recently was given a Fitbit with a heart rate feature so decided to give it a go. I’ve been wearing it for a solid month now, both in the gym and out, and love the instant feedback gained with a quick toggle through the watch options. The features that have me hooked are the steps counter, the heart rate monitor, and the energy expenditure readings. Sure, accuracy is always debatable but the info it provides has merit and is great for goal setting.
We all know being active has many benefits, and when I saw this title pop up in a medical journal the other day, “Prolonged sitting leads to brain atrophy”, I was further compelled to share my experience wearing the tracker and how it influenced my daily activity.
Wearing the device, I noticed how my heart rate fluctuated quite a bit by simple activity changes in my day. For example, walking my kids to school, running upstairs to grab my socks, leaving my desk to grab my lunch from the fridge, or taking a bathroom break. Obviously; we all know that exercise increases heart rate and therefore helps burn more calories. But, in this context I was less interested in my planned training sessions at the gym and more in the simple daily activities that increased my heart rate above baseline. Let’s face it most of us spend 23 out of 24 hours a day sitting at a desk...
So, what can we do about that? While I’m certainly not suggesting we forego the gym, is it also possible to consciously build-in simple things that break up our sedentary day? If we can do this, can we also improve our overall mental and physical health, AND have an easier time maintaining our weight?
After wearing the watch and also applying what we know from the literature, here are my quick tips to getting fitter at work - tried, tested and true:
Stand instead of sit:
A simple change to your work environment can help with healthy lifestyle changes. Ergo desks are becoming a thing and for good reason. Standing instead of sitting has benefits for the low back, neck posture, and preventing hip tightness that inevitably leads to poor mobility and chronic back stiffness. Standing requires more muscle activation and thus increases heart rate compared to sitting, therefore a few extra calories burned. Since I see clients much of the day, I wasn’t sure how to implement this but wanted to give it a try. So, I tried out a small, portable option for my laptop that has adjustable heights, so I can easily switch between standing for when I’m writing nutrition plans and sitting for my client counselling. Here’s an example of what I’m using: It was easy to assemble and a no fuss solution to making my otherwise sedentary day a little more active.
Take the stairs:
Simple tasks like taking the stairs or parking farther from your destination are simple ways to get the heart rate up throughout the day. I know we’re busy, but by the time you wait for the elevator, or circle the parking lot ten times for a closer spot, it’s likely going to take you longer! Using my Fitbit, I loved seeing how I could elevate my heart rate and increase my daily activity by incorporating these small things into my day. Small adjustments like this help you get closer to achieving the health standard goal of 10 000 steps a day.
Walk instead of drive (if you can!):
While this doesn’t always pan out for various reasons, I was shocked to see how FEW steps I did on some days. Yikes! For someone who claims to be active, I was frankly embarrassed by my stats. Sure, I tend to make it to the gym 4 days a week, but that’s only 1 hour of my day. Studies show that more physical activity leads to better weight management, improved mood, higher insulin sensitivity and much more. While walking doesn’t spike the heart rate, it certainly contributes to total daily activity and increases heart rate above baseline which ultimately contributes to higher daily energy expenditures. With this new info glaring at me from my wrist, I make efforts to set goals around increasing my steps when possible.
Do some squats, or push-ups, or burpees, or jumping jacks, or toe touches, or basically anything that you can do right where you are that elevates heart rate and moves your muscles:
Not only will this help burn some calories, but it also increases adrenaline and blood flow, aiding in digestion, alleviating joint stiffness and also boosts energy and mood. Apparently, it can also improve memory and brain function. Test this out when you’re falling asleep at your desk at 3:30 pm and see how you perk up. It’s better than coffee! Your co-workers may think you’re nuts but point out some of these benefits and they may be joining you. A quick set of push-ups for example may take as few as 30 secs to 2 mins and can instantly double your heart rate. If you set a goal to do 10 or 20 squats or push-ups every hour or two, think about the cumulative effect on your cardiovascular health and daily energy expenditure.
My message today is don’t have an all or nothing attitude when it comes to improving your health. Every little bit counts. Setting some small goals to facilitate being active is a good step. This may mean making some small changes to your work or home environment or re-evaluating daily habits to facilitate more movement. For me, the wearable tracker uncovered that I wasn’t as active as I thought. Using the data, I have now made some small changes to my workspace and am making more efforts to walk. Elevating heart rate whenever possible has both physical and mental health benefits and always remember that when it comes to healthy lifestyle change, the cumulative effects of small things can sometimes make the biggest difference in the long term.
Writer: Debora Sloan (RD)
Debora Sloan Healthy Solutions
It’s a term that is familiar to athletes from many sports, and especially in the world of running. Yet the term “carbo-loading” is probably one of the most misunderstood nutrition strategies for marathon runners and other endurance athletes.
With the Boston Marathon coming up in a little over a week, athletes may be beginning to ramp up their intake of carbohydrates to ensure they start the race with a full tank. And rightfully so. Your body can only store enough fuel or glycogen (storage form of carbohydrate) to sustain around 90 minutes of exercise. Beyond this, without taking in any fuel (gels, blocks, sports drinks), energy levels begin to drop and fatigue sets in. Boosting muscle and liver glycogen stores therefore can help to reduce fatigue and boost performance.
Early carbo-loading strategies includes a 3-4 day depletion phase where athletes undergo hard training and keep their carbohydrate intake low, followed by another 3-4 days of easy training and carbohydrate loading. With this strategy, it was found that muscle glycogen bounced back much more than just eating carbohydrate every day, it was “supercompensated”.
Fortunately, a few years later, it was discovered that a more moderate approach to carbo-loading could be adopted. The glycogen depletion phase is no longer necessary and provides no additional benefit to carbohydrate loading. Thank goodness, right? Light activity in the 2-3 days before your race (hello taper!!) along with a higher carbohydrate intake will have the same beneficial effect on performance.
This all sounds great, right? So why the ‘but should you?’ in the title? Well this is where it gets interesting!!
Studies have shown the the rate at which we break down glycogen to use as fuel during exercise is proportional to the amount of glycogen present in the muscle. Simply put, if you have extremely high glycogen stores you will break them down faster than when you have normal or high glycogen stores. So an hour or two into exercise, glycogen stores will be comparable whether you started with extremely high or just high glycogen stores.
So rather than aiming for extremely high glycogen stores before the start of the race, it’s enough to just ensure that they are sufficient.
As mentioned above, this can be accomplished in the 2-3 days before your race by eating carbohydrate rich foods while reducing training. But with decreased training comes decreased energy expenditure. So your higher carbohydrate intake should not be the result of eating more. Instead, it should be achieved by emphasizing carbohydrate sources and reducing fat intake.
With a lower energy expenditure, aiming for a carbohydrate intake of 5-7g/kg per day is enough, in most cases, to ensure that glycogen stores are sufficient. The type of carbohydrate consumed has little effect and both solid and liquid carbohydrates have the same effects. If you are an athlete that experiences GI issues, you should choose your carbohydrate sources a little more carefully and may benefit from a lower fibre intake.
Speaking to a registered sports dietitian is a great way to to find the perfect carbo-loading plan for you!
Writer: Stephanie MacNeill (RD)
There are a few sporting events I particularity look forward to each year, and March Madness is one of them! I thoroughly enjoy watching this NCAA tournament as it is incredible and awe-inspiring how young and talented these student athletes are. The tournament is nearing the end, and we will see the battle of the Final Four very soon (I am cheering on Kansas!). Who will be the winner?!
I really enjoy working with student athletes because it is an area where Dietitians can have a huge impact. I also get to partake in their journey through their university career, and it is overall a very valuable and rewarding experience. For most college athletes, it is their first time moving away from home and living on their own. This can create various barriers to consuming a healthy diet. Barriers may include cooking skills, nutrition knowledge, limited time, limited selection if living on campus, and financial strains and these can greatly affect a young person’s nutrition intake.
Lack of time is likely one of the biggest barriers for college athletes, or everyone for that matter. Athletes spend a tremendous amount of time practicing and completing strength and conditioning plans along with traveling for their sport, going to class, studying, all while trying to maintain a social life. This can be very stressful for an athlete and unfortunately they may neglect to thinking about their nutrition plan. Poor nutrition intake can lead to decreased sleep time/quality, reduced ability to recover from their training, vitamin or mineral deficiencies, increase risk of injury or illness and thus ultimately impair their performance. I believe that providing nutrition support is important for a college athlete’s success, and in the spirit of March Madness, below are a few time and cost saving tips to boost nutrition intake of busy athletes!
Time saving tips
Cost saving tips
Writer: Stephanie Boville MSc, RD
Registered Dietitian and sport nutritionist with ESN and Athlete’s Care Yorkville. email@example.com
Stephanie is passionate about helping athletes of all ages reach their athletic goals through nutritional means. She is very interested in nutrition interventions for concussion management and joint health as these two areas are very important in sport.
Injuries are an unfortunate and sometimes unavoidable aspect of participation in sport and exercise. Treatment options for injury often include rest, ice massage, manual therapy, heat, electrical stimulation and acupuncture. An often overlooked intervention is nutrition.
To understand the potential of food to help in the healing process, we first need to understand a little bit about the stages of injury.
Most exercise-related injuries go through three main stages in the recovery process. In the first stage, which lasts anywhere from 1-7 days, pain, swelling, redness and heat draws chemicals to the injured area to start the healing process and increase blood flow to the area. In the second stage which can start as early as day 4 and last about 6 weeks, inflammation begins to settle down and the body starts to repair the damaged tissue by laying down collagen. These new collagen fibres are put down in a in the form of scar tissue, which is weaker and less flexible than normal tissues. In the third stage which starts around 2-3 weeks post injury, healing continues to progress and the collagen fibres improve in quality, organization and strength.
Nutrition plays an important role in each of these stages.
Although inflammation is a critical part of triggering the repair process, too much may cause more damage. During this phase, try to include more anti-inflammatory fats in your diet. These include:
At the same time, try to limit pro-inflammatory foods like:
Stage 2 and 3
In these stages, metabolism may increase anywhere from 15-50% to support new tissue growth. So you'll need more calories than when you are sedentary, but fewer than when you are training and exercising regularly. Over the course of the day:
Unlock Foods Potential to Heal
Next time you find yourself sidelined with an injury, consider adding a registered dietitian to your treatment team to help ensure that you are getting the right nutrients to support your body in healing.
Writer: Stephanie MacNeill (RD)
The word macronutrients or macros for short is a fancy term for nutrients that we as humans need to consume to survive. There are 3 essential macronutrients; carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Each individual food contains different proportions of all three macronutrients. Counting macros has gained popularity recently, replacing traditional calorie counting. Let’s breakdown what each of these essential macronutrients are and where to find them.
Carbohydrates A.K.A. “carbs”
Carbs are your bodies main energy source. They provide 4 calories per gram. We need carbohydrates for brain function, muscle recovery and growth, digestion, basically all of the functions to keep us alive. Carbohydrates are found in many plant based foods and processed foods. When you think of carbs, these are foods that are traditionally thought of as sugary or starchy, be it natural or processed.
Examples of carbohydrates are: fruit, vegetables (especially potatoes, corn, squash), legumes, grains-based food (rice, pasta, breads, quinoa), dairy (milk, yogurt), and processed items like crackers, granola bars, juices, and candy.
Understanding the role of carbohydrates in your diet is essential when it comes to performance and body composition.
Fat is another main energy source. It is the most concentrated energy source, providing 9 calories per gram. Fats are needed in many important bodily functions such as energy use and storage, satiety, insulation, and fat-soluble vitamin absorption (Vitamins A, D, E, and K).
Fat sources include oils, nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut, butter and margarines, and marbling in meats (found in red meats).
The type of fat and timing of intake can influence your hunger levels, workouts, and overall health.
Protein has many important roles in the body. It provides 4 calories per gram. Protein breaks down into amino acids in the body and are used for many functions such as maintaining lean muscle mass, skeletal mass, the structural component of all cells in the body, and energy use.
Food sources of protein include red meat, fish, poultry, dairy, eggs, soy (tofu, tempeh), legumes, and protein powders.
Protein plays a very important role with the development and maintenance of lean muscle mass, and can be maximized with guidance around timing and frequency of intake.
Why this approach might work for you
For some, taking the focus away from “calories” and instead focusing on getting the right amounts of macronutrients can take away that feeling of restricting. It can encourage a more balanced diet by including a variety of foods that provide all three essential macronutrients. It discourages individuals from thinking a 1500 calorie diet is sustainable on only salads, egg whites and avocados. You may be feeling sluggish (I mean, where are the carbs?!) which impacts the quality of your workouts. For some it takes away the negative thought process of “I can only have” and instead allows for more positive thoughts like “wow I can eat THAT much protein?!” For those that like to plan ahead and meal prep, macro counting makes sense. Many athletes who macro count feel a sense of control over what they are having and feel more knowledgeable and in charge of their nutrition.
Why this approach might not work for you
As with calorie-restricted diets, it is another form of counting. Trying to stick to your allotted macronutrients can seem like a daunting task, think of Tetris on expert level. It can be very time consuming. Some of the food diary apps are not monitored for accuracy, so certain foods are incorrectly entered. What you think you are consuming might not be true. For example, if you type in “chocolate chip cookie”, you might get a dozen chocolate chip cookie options, all of varying carb, fat, and protein amounts. How do you know which one is most accurate? Measuring and weighing your food is needed to know exactly what you are consuming. This can be quite overwhelming for those who don’t have a lot of time for meal prep, those who don’t make their meals, or those who have little nutrition knowledge. Like calorie restricted diets, macro counting can allow for poor quality food choices, given they fit into one’s macros. It’s easier to count macros off of a nutrition label than it is weighing and measuring your fresh vegetables and lean proteins.
To learn more about macro counting and if it would benefit you in your particular sport, speak with Sports Dietitians.
Writer: Emilie Trottier (Specialties: Crossfit Nutrition Specialist, Weight Lifting, Mental Health, Chronic Disease Management, Weight Loss, Body Composition Change)
How did you sleep last night? A question that is more often than not answered with not that great or not as long as I should have. People underestimate the value of getting a good night’s sleep to their weight loss goals, yet alone their health.
If you’re feeling sleepy at work, you may be tempted to reach for a cup of coffee and a doughnut or sugary treat for a quick shot of energy. Later you may skip the gym, too tired to get your workout in. Then, you pick up takeout on your way home to your family -- no time to cook. When you finally find yourself back in your bed, you are too wound up to sleep. It’s a vicious cycle, and eventually this sleep deprivation can sabotage your waistline and your health.
It starts out innocently enough. When you have sleep deprivation and are running on low energy, you automatically go for comfort foods. The immediate result? You may be able to fight off sleepiness. The ultimate result? Unwanted pounds as poor food choices coupled with lack of exercise set the stage for weight gain and further sleep loss.
Let me clear something up first, it’s not so much that if you sleep, you will lose weight. It’s more the consequences of being sleep-deprived. This means that you are not getting enough minutes of sleep or not enough good quality sleep, your metabolism will not function properly.
Cutting back your calories? Studies show that a reduction of sleep by 3 hours is associated with more weight loss come from muscle rather than fat compared to a rested people. Not only is it linked to our hunger or activity level, but the bodily functions and hormonal responses leading to a higher body fat percentage.
Not interested in weight loss? Trying to bulk up? This applies to you too! Sleep appears to be somewhat associated with hormone levels that are responsible for building muscle. Yep, slacking on getting those precious hours are going to greatly impact your gains in the gym.
Now we know how important getting good quality sleep is to reaching your goals regardless of what they are, how do we fix it you ask? Well here are some top tips to get you sleeping better by tonight:
1. Stick to a sleep schedule - Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. This applies to weekends, holidays and days off too. Being consistent creates a sleep-wake cycle and helps you ultimately sleep better at night. If you don't fall asleep within about 15 minutes, get up and do something relaxing. Go back to bed when you're tired, don’t stress it!
2. Pay attention to what you eat and drink - Don't go to bed either hungry or stuffed as your discomfort might keep you up. Also limit how much you drink before bed. Nothing worse than those middle-of-the-night trips to the toilet.
3. Create a bedtime ritual - Do the same things each night to tell your body it's time to wind down. This might include taking a warm bath or shower, reading a book, or listening to soothing music. Choose a ritual that doesn’t involve bright screens of any kind as they will make you more awake even if you don’t realize it. Make bedtime your time.
4. Get comfortable - Create a space that is perfect for sleeping, meaning keeping it cool, dark, and quiet, with optimal bedding that includes a comfy pillow and mattress that is right for your body.
5. Limit naps – Yes that afternoon or noontime nap. We all love them, but long daytime naps can screw with nighttime sleep. If absolutely have to nap, limit yourself to maximum of 30 minutes and make it during the midmorning or midafternoon.
6. Include physical activity in your daily routine – Activity promotes better quality overall sleep from falling asleep to staying asleep. Make sure you don’t exercise too close to bedtime however, as this will spike those happy hormones keeping you wired.
7. Manage stress – Probably the hardest thing to do out of this entire list. When you have too much to think about or do your sleep is likely to suffer. Consider healthy ways to manage stress like getting organized, setting priorities and delegating tasks. Before bed, jot down what's on your mind and then set it aside for tomorrow.
Writer: Alysha Coughler (Sports Dietitian - Personal Training Specialist - Health Coach)
DNF: an abbreviation for the three words that can shatter an athlete’s world; Did Not Finish. For the first time in my life I received a DNF for MY event of the year, the Muskoka Half Ironman. For many of you, you may be thinking that a DNF is a sigh of relief to make it so that you don’t have to swim 1.9km, bike 90km and run 21.1 km all back to back, but it’s soul crushing for a triathlete.
Many of you have seen ‘Ben the Sports Dietitian’’ write before but this is the first time you’ll see ‘Ben the Triathlete’ write and that’s because this post so personal. It was an extremely personal experience; it brought me to tears on the bike course. I was cussing my voice dry and desperately trying to figure out how I could finish the race. But when the downward force put down on my pedal going up a steep hill snaps your chain and the bracket for the derailleur at the 13km mark, there’s just no way to recover. I was so desperate to recover that I even started running with my bike in my clip on bike shoes for at least 1.5km, causing a mild injury.
Why was I so upset? Why did I just fold up and start crying up on the side of the road? Well aside from the fact that I love this sport, I had invested 6 full months of 5am runs and swims followed by nighttime runs and bike rides and sacrificed countless social events to maintain a full 6-month training schedule. All those kilometers I racked up in training suddenly didn’t mean anything at all if I couldn’t finish. I was hopeless and helpless as I watched all the other athletes pass me asking “everything ok?” with the best intentions to see if I needed an extra inner tubing or a small wrench to fine tune something. All I saw was my only Triathlon pass me by. The race officials finally got to me an hour after I just decided to sit next to my broken bike crying. There was nothing the race officials or I could do. My triathlon season had ended.
Why did I end up crying? Why did I have this crazy f*cking emotional reaction? Well aside from everything that I wrote in the above paragraph, this was the first time in my life that I couldn’t find the silver lining.
You see, I have the same philosophy as one of my favourite musicians, Maynard James Kennan; “I never lose, I either win or I learn.” But there was nothing to learn here. It’s not like I could have gone “Ok, your running pace started to slow down after the 8km marker so we need to look at carbohydrate timing” Or “I need to focus more on Hill training.” My f*cking derailleur snapped off my bike! There’s no lesson in that. It’s just a shitty thing that happened. And now I’m ashamed that those three letters, DNF, will forever taint my race record.
Why am I feeling this shame? After all, objectively this is not my fault that a part of my bike decided to fail on me. At one point I laughed because I could take it as a compliment that my quads are strong enough to put enough force to break a solid metal bracket. And then I realized that I’m feeling this shame because I expect perfection from myself. I expect myself to be the best version of myself. Each day I need to know that I’m growing and getting better at literally anything in order to sleep at night. Then I felt more shame because this is one of those things that I counsel, unrealistic expectations. You see, many athletes and people walk into my office daily and expect perfection, which is unrealistic. This unrealistic expectation only leads to disappointment and excess stress (which kind of explains why I burned out 3 times this year before the end of March!) As soon as I realized this, I almost had a follow up assessment with myself on the side of the road (If I had a mirror or my phone I actually would have counseled myself and tried to read my own body language!).
This was my turning point. I was happy again because I could spin this now; I could find the silver lining. I’m not going to lose. I’m not letting myself lose. Another one of my heroes, Bruce Lee, had always said “Defeat is a state of mind; No one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as reality.” For that brief 45 minutes crying on the side of the road with a broken bike I had temporarily forgotten the words of my heroes and accepted the defeat. But the moment I had that revelation, I was no longer defeated. I quickly shot up and said “F*ck you, I’m not losing. I’m going to learn and find that silver lining” and started cheering on my fellow triathletes to send all my good vibes onto them. After all they had at least 77km left in one of the most difficult bike courses in the Triathlon world followed by a half marathon run, they needed all the love and support they could get. I had learned and at that point I began to smile again and the tears started to go away.
Now knowing that I expect this level of perfection of myself I can head into next season stronger than ever. Being a bit easier on myself for the things that I cannot control is the lesson here. We all want control in our lives but sometimes it just isn’t up to us. Sometimes pure stupid luck happens no matter how we try to gain control. And we still can have control, but that control is over how we react to these unfortunate events rather than the event itself.
Triathlons are less about the physical endurance but more about mental endurance. Only the toughest and strongest willpower out there can survive a Triathlon. And the beauty of this DNF is that it’s lit a fire under my ass to motivate me for the 2018 season. This fire burns, always. As long as the silver lining is found, I’ll never lose, I’ll always win or learn. So watch out next season because I’m coming back with a vengeance!
Well if you’re reading this then you’ve done the impossible; you survived 2016. Despite George RR Martin pulling the strings behind the scenes of 2016 like the Wizard of Oz, the beginning months of January means Triathlon training starts! There are many things that we should take a look at the beginning of this season to make sure you have a good season and today we’re talking about Testosterone. Now Testosterone’s role in athletics is primarily thought of as being associated primarily with weight lifting and muscle gain but this is far from the truth. Testosterone is heavily involved with endurance sports too, especially with male triathletes!
Having worked with many triathletes (and being one myself) this often gets overlooked in male endurance athletes. There’s a good reason for this; the symptoms are very vague. The most common symptoms for low testosterone are fatigue and a lowered libido, often attributed to the high physical demands and training schedules with triathlons. Putting 20+ hours a week into a training program with early morning swims, bike rides and runs is often seen as the root cause of fatigue, especially when someone is working or going to school full time and if there are children involved. This also applies to the decreased libido, I mean it’s hard to feel sexy or get in the mood when you’ve spent a 6-hour chunk of the day doing a brick workout but this can be a good indicator of low testosterone!
What does low testosterone do? Well aside from the simplest answer of fatigue and a low sex drive, maintaining muscle mass and bone density becomes a major issue! Which is why many triathletes start to get a lot of injuries close to the race day because they’re more prone to shin splints and stress fractures!
One of the contributing causes of low testosterone could be that triathletes tend to be a bit older, which sees a gradual decline in testosterone levels with age. Some medications that are commonly used as men get older have side effects that can decrease testosterone. These drugs could be statins for high blood cholesterol, antihistamines for allergies and some painkillers. Sound familiar? An older male athlete with elevated blood cholesterol and some allergies during the spring outdoor riding months that feels some pain after an intense training session? Bingo, we have an at risk group.
Another overlooked cause of low testosterone is intense training without adequate nutritional interventions for refueling, rehydrating and rebuilding. The list just keeps going on because not getting enough sleep could reduce your testosterone levels as well as weight/ body fat. From a competitive advantage, yes we can get you to move faster through all 70.3 or 140.3 miles of the race if you’re lighter but if your body fat is too low your hormone balance is thrown off, especially testosterone. You might also notice that if the body fat drops too low those symptoms of depression and mental health start to kick in as well as irritability! This might be sounding familiar to some of you; yes this is synonymous with Relative energy deficiency in sport or RED-S for men and the female athlete triad for women, which has been discussed in previous blog posts here at ESN.
Prevention and Treatment
One of the best things to do at the beginning of the training season is to go see your doctor and get a baseline level of testosterone measured. This should be considered especially if you’re an older athlete, already feeling fatigue and decreased energy levels, previous stress fractures or bone density issues or if you’re very lean. There are many options that your doctor can talk to you about to address the low testosterone but if they recommend supplementation or medication then make sure you get a medical note as taking those meds could disqualify you from a race! Also remember that low testosterone levels can take months to develop and months to correct!
If you are dealing with this then there are a few things that you can do at home. The first is to look at reducing your training load until the levels normalize. This means training at a lower intensity for shorter periods of time and getting more quality sleep. There are also a ton of nutritional things that need to be done; an increase in calories, proper hydration and looking at a few supplements may be a good place to start but my best advice here is go see a Sports Dietitian that specializes in Endurance sports. I could sit here and write the rest of this post on which vitamins and minerals you’ll likely need but if you’re not fully evaluated then it can make matters worse, which is why I recommend seeing a Sports Dietitian so they can give you a completely holistic assessment to help you with your issues and get you training again. But once you’re testosterone levels come back to normal then it’s a good idea to keep working with that Sports Dietitian to make sure you are meeting your nutritional requirements to fuel you to ensure you have the best race season ever! I can’t stress how important this is because many triathletes will have no issue dropping over $5000 on a new bike that shaves off 1-2lbs and is a bit more aerodynamic but not even consider how their current nutrition is impacting the weight on the bike as well as how aerodynamic your own body is. Seriously, the cost of some carbon fibre disk wheels is over 2 times what you could spend on a good Sports Dietitian in one season. You’re also in luck because ESN has a January New Years special with our pricing! Check out our store to find out more!
So do yourself a favour this triathlon season and go get your testosterone levels checked and consider working with a sports dietitian to not only make sure you have the best race season of your life but also for your long term health and wellness!
For my fellow triathletes, I’ll be seeing you in the Muskoka Half Ironman this year! So if you see me make sure you say hi and maybe get a little bit of last minute advice on nutrition before the race!
Ben Sit, RD, Sports Dietitian
President of Evolved Sport and Nutrition
Complete Lifestyle Management