Metabolic Efficiency and Nutrient Timing

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Hey ATHLETES!!! Coach Jenn here. Today we are going to talk about metabolic efficiency. I field the question about nutrition during training and racing almost daily with my athletes and I have finally found the solution.  I will caveat the rest of this blog with the fact that I do not follow mainstream thinking on pretty much anything having to do with performance so please don’t ask me what gel pack is my favorite.  While that nutrition approach works VERY well for some people, it does not work for me. You know what I’m talking about: runs on the run. But I don’t have those symptoms anymore. Continue to read to find out what I did to change.

Metabolic Efficiency Training

A couple years ago I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of a triathlon coaching team.  I met Bob Seebohar while training out in Colorado. He is a registered dietitian and founder of eNRG Performance in Littleton. He is also the mastermind behind metabolic efficiency training.  It was the first time I had heard of the concept as this is the first time you have as well. At that time in my training and education, I typically loaded up on drink mixes and gel packs during training and racing en devours. I would take electrical tape and tape down gel packs so I could easily rip off the top of one every 45 min before the dreaded energy crash came.   But I also had significant GI issues that made me extremely anxious for most runs. It was frustrating. I followed all the advice that was in the mainstream literature to a T and it wasn’t working for me. If you have planned your runs around gas stations for bathroom breaks, you know my frustrations!

Finally I met Bob and I had my AHA moment.  Bob developed the term Metabolic Efficiency, which very simply means teaching your body to use fat as a fuel, decreasing insulin spikes, and performing nutrient timing.  Did you know that your body has enough stored glycogen (sugar in your muscles) to perform 1-2 hours of moderate exercise without supplementation? And an almost UNLIMITED supply of fat for fuel.  AND you can bias your body to use this fat with the appropriate diet and exercise. Please don’t confuse this with ketosis. The goal isn’t to limit carbohydrates. The goal is to provide the appropriate nutrition substrate for the task at hand.

If you have peaks and valleys of insulin throughout the day instead of general evenness you may notice mood swings, craving and fatigue

Test, Don’t Guess

Once I started following his guidance I PROMISE you, my GI issues resolved.  It probably took me about 6 months before I was confident I was progressing appropriately.  Everything worthwhile takes time. I flew out to his studio in CO, had a Metabolic Efficiency test performed on the treadmill, and confirmed that I was headed in the right direction.  By following his guidance as well as the data and information from my test with Dina Griffin, my workout performance excelled as well as my overall health and well being. Think about it this way. Even if you workout two times a day, you still probably eat three times.  You bias your body more with nutrition than exercise.

Me, at eNRG Performance Studio getting tested!

So if you are like me, tired of the sugar gut bombs or frustrated with GI issues during the run, schedule your Metabolic Efficiency counseling today at Bluewater Multisport. I will also be teaching a 4 week online course sometime soon to set you up for success through the holidays. Watch for the event posting on Facebook.

Happy Training!