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Jeff Root
2010-Nov-15, 07:50 PM
There must be an enormous body of "literature" on this question,
and I am not even going to try to look into it without guidence.

What do elite athletes and performers, including runners, track
and field competitors, gymnasts and ballet dancers do to make
as sure as possible that they will have all the nutrition they need
while they are performing, but not be carrying any ... ummm ...
excess mass? What if they are involved in something that is an
endurance event that might take many hours, like a marathon or
ironman competition? I'm interested in what they eat, how much
they eat, and when they eat it. And how do they generally learn
about this?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Ara Pacis
2010-Nov-15, 07:54 PM
You mean like carb-loading (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbo-loading)?

Ara Pacis
2010-Nov-15, 07:57 PM
Also, low-residue foods mean there is less excess to worry about excreting... although I have seen pictures of marathoners who soil themselves during a run and who continue to run.

Fazor
2010-Nov-15, 08:06 PM
Back during the last summer Olympics, they had a little segment on what Michael Phelps typically eats. It's all regular food; fried chicken, pizza, fries and other forms of potatoes, veggies, whatever. But in all, he was eating something like 12,000 calories a day during his most intense training days. But it was no special 'sports energy!' food. Nor was it low fat fare.

There was a little blurb in the news, which I think was discussed somewhere here but I didn't read the thread/posts, about a nutritionist who recently decided to do an 'experiment'. My friends were telling me a little about it, so all my knowledge is second-hand; but they said he spent 3 months eating mostly junk food (Twinkies where the part that the news latched on to), with just minimal fruits/veggies to prevent issues such as scurvy. He lost 20 lbs in that time period and concluded that weight loss is mostly dependent on number of calories versus calories burned; rather than fat content and carbs and the like.

Now I'd contest that a junk-food diet, even if managed for low calories, would eventually cause other problems, such as diabetes etc. But as pertains to your question about athletes; I don't think they need to eat anything special. Though some certainly have their particular diets that they stick to.

Ara Pacis
2010-Nov-15, 08:16 PM
Now I'd contest that a junk-food diet, even if managed for low calories, would eventually cause other problems, such as diabetes etc. But as pertains to your question about athletes; I don't think they need to eat anything special. Though some certainly have their particular diets that they stick to.

I think type 2 diabetes is more correlated to obesity than to sugar intake. Although sugar intake tends to be related to obesity.

Fazor
2010-Nov-15, 08:25 PM
I think type 2 diabetes is more correlated to obesity than to sugar intake. Although sugar intake tends to be related to obesity.

Could be; I don't know much about the disease. I'm also not a nutritionist. Or an athlete!

NEOWatcher
2010-Nov-15, 08:35 PM
Same here. I'm not sure. I know it has a lot to do with fat turning to sugar, but don't know if that's the whole story.
But; I have heard somewhere, that long term sugar intake has an effect on how your body processes sugars.

Anyway: here's the article: Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds (http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/11/08/twinkie.diet.professor/index.html?iref=allsearch)
It mentions he monitored his glucose, but never said what it did.

Kaptain K
2010-Nov-15, 08:59 PM
It mentions he monitored his glucose, but never said what it did.

If he was healthy, the answer is nothing

grapes
2010-Nov-15, 09:26 PM
He lost 20 lbs in that time period and concluded that weight loss is mostly dependent on number of calories versus calories burned; rather than fat content and carbs and the like.Pretty much what They have been saying for decades, then?

I'm finding the current spate of advertising fads to be hilarious: labeling solid sugar as "low fat" and popcorn as "whole grain". It's almost to the point that I can't figure out how to avoid eating healthy food.

jfribrg
2010-Nov-18, 04:12 AM
IIRC, Grete Waitz (sp?) had an episode in the 1982 or 1983 New York Marathon where she had "excess mass" that exited somewhere around the 10 mile mark. With thousands of dollars on the line, she did not step off the course. I felt bad for the 20,000 or so runners behind her who had to run past that same part of the course. How she managed to run the remaining distance without being crippled by severe chafing, I don't know.

Ara Pacis
2010-Nov-18, 07:31 AM
Just google marathon and diarrhea and you'll find some images and videos.

JohnD
2010-Nov-18, 08:53 AM
Marathons? Huh!
I act as minder for an IronMan friend.
It's triathletes that need to keep up their "fuelling" during the event.

Here's a random and personal account, "The Mathematics of Race Fueling":
http://www.slowtwitch.com/mainheadings/coachcorn/racefuel.html that was third hit in a Google search for "Triathlon eating during".

And another that might have prompted the OP, "Iron Stomach: Long Distance Fuelling":
http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/triathlete/triathlon-long-distance/iron-stomach-long-distance-fuelling/5661.html

John

Jeff Root
2010-Nov-18, 12:25 PM
I tried to come up with a clever subject line, but wasn't especially
happy with "Iron guts". I thought of it because I mentioned ironman
competitions, which are very close to the situation I'm interested in,
plus the notion of Iron Man, encased in that suit, needing to...

Probably the closest matches for what I'm looking for are the practices
of ballet dancers and elite gymnasts, who want to jump as high as they
possibly can and look as light and graceful as possible while doing so.
And they might have to perform two or three times over a space of
several hours, so I'm wondering whether they just go hungry until the
performances are done for the day, or if they can eat and not worry,
or what.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

DonM435
2010-Nov-18, 06:58 PM
Back during the last summer Olympics, they had a little segment on what Michael Phelps typically eats. It's all regular food; fried chicken, pizza, fries and other forms of potatoes, veggies, whatever. But in all, he was eating something like 12,000 calories a day during his most intense training days. But it was no special 'sports energy!' food. Nor was it low fat fare.
...


And didn't he win some swim event by a thousandth of a second or something like that? Sounds as if he needed every last calorie that time!

Fazor
2010-Nov-18, 07:09 PM
And didn't he win some swim event by a thousandth of a second or something like that? Sounds as if he needed every last calorie that time!
Gotta have fuel to fire the motor! Though I initially misunderstood what the OP was asking, and thought it was diet in general. I doubt he eats like that on competition days. Though, at least his events tend to last seconds, so plenty of opportunity for breaks in between!

Jens
2010-Nov-19, 03:38 AM
Probably the closest matches for what I'm looking for are the practices
of ballet dancers and elite gymnasts, who want to jump as high as they
possibly can and look as light and graceful as possible while doing so.


This is not totally informed, but I think one reason it's hard to get information is that it's not quite a science. There are so many complexities that I think different athletes and different coaches have their own systems.