As content and community lead for MUIR Energy, Lauren helps manage the information put out by the company. She also works extensively and directly with athletes as a sports dietician in helping them navigate their nutritional and fueling needs.
Below we've provided a show notes highlight reel:
How can you take all the information that’s out there and build your own, personalized plan?
#1 topic that athletes struggle with or don’t fully understand is whether to eat before, during, and after and what to eat before, during and after.
- Before: any training roughly over 60min should be “fed” or fueled to get the most out of it.
- During: training over about 2hrs we are looking at nourishing yourself every hour on the hour with carbohydrates. This is your body’s preferred source of energy during bouts of training.
- After: the first priority is carbohydrates + protein. We want to replenish what you’ve burned and utilized during the training (carbs) and help in recovery and repairing (protein).
*the amounts and types of these energy substrates will vary person to person and some can tolerate much different amounts as well. So this serves as a general guideline.
From your perspective, when should an athlete target high-carb fueling in the endurance space?
It's based on goals you are targeting and the intensity of your training.
- train your digestive system - you don’t want to start with the goal of 90g/hr
- train your ability to store these carbohydrates (glycogen)
- start with around 30g/hr (equivalent of a banana) and then work your way up with sport-specific products
How can someone utilize your (MUIR Energy) products to fuel to their needs?
MUIR has two divisions of products in the gels: slow burning and fast burning
- Slow burning: not just carbohydrate but incorporate a little fat and protein. This slows overall digestion but is designed to provide that “staying power” for big endurance events and workouts.
- Fast burning: based upon fruit, molasses, salt and coconut-palm sugar. This is fastest, quickest digesting product for intense sessions.
Is “the fat burning zone” a thing?
As a generalized response, there is a thought that as we train at a certain intensity that we are physically burning the fat “on our body”. However, we are more or less burning the fat within our body, blood stream, etc. and it’s related to that caloric loss.
What are some differences that you can touch on with fueling for females vs males?
The presence of estrogen and progesterone has a big impact on training and nutritional needs. One thing females need during menstruation specifically is to have self-compassion during training; the cycles will change how you feel. For example, at some points of the cycle you will be more efficient at utilizing fat and proteins than at others.
It’s important to note: the main body of science is predominantly male-based, where the studies can be focused on optimizing performance from a male’s body perspective.
Fat intake: we can’t overlook this because it is critical to hormone regulation and production. For males, adequate fat intake is critical to testosterone production.
Are there signs to watch for to know if you’re under-fueled for a workout?
While it’s quite individualized, a lot of similar signs can feel like dehydration; lower energy, tired, not focused. Additionally, some objective signs would include if you are not finishing a workout and simply the timing of when you’ve last eaten going into sessions.
What are some misconceptions regarding carbohydrate intake?
There is a fear surrounding carbs. This can come from expectations of gaining weight from them but this is not going to happen when fueling adequately for training. Often, we lump all types of carbs into one category when there is a stark difference in the types, sources, and quality.
The research is crystal clear that you absolutely need to eat enough carbohydrates as an athlete to perform your best.
Carbohydrates are 100% your body’s preferred source of fuel, with your brain requiring 100-130g a day by itself.
What’s your strategy when approaching the trick of nourishing your body with body typing in sport?
You don’t have to look a certain way to be an athlete. Fixating on weight and body size goals will hinder your performance.
Why not focus on nourishing your body and gaining strength in the body you have and realize performance gains.
What are three changes that you could recommend for an athlete to improve their performance?
- Sleep: this is critical for your training, recovery, nutrition, stress and more. Try to build positive strategies around your sleep habits.
- Experiment with high-carb: try nourishing yourself w/ a high carbohydrate meal prior to training and see how it affects performance.
- Take one full rest day: I challenge you to take one complete day off to rest, reset, and reflect on your plan.