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Sports Nutrition Ep. 2
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If you're looking to elevate your understanding of nutrition's impact on sports performance and everyday health, this episode is an essential listen. Explore the intricate relationship between nutrition and athletic success, gaining actionable insights for a healthier, more performance-driven lifestyle.

Expert sports nutritionist Dani Hofstetter shares invaluable insights on the importance of balanced nutrition, strategies for fueling everyday performance, comparisons between animal-based and plant-based protein sources, optimal protein and carbohydrate intake for peak performance, and a comprehensive breakdown of essential nutritional elements.

Don't miss out on this invaluable guide to unlocking your athletic potential through informed nutrition choices.

TOPICS COVERED & TRANSCRIPT

(00:00) Introduction
(02:50) How much water should you drink per day?
(5:45) How to clean your water bottle or Hydro bladder
(8:28) Best carbohydrate source for a performance athlete
(16:54) Good protein sources, plant-based, animal-based
(25:09) What good fats do we need in our diet?
(30:20) RED-S, insufficient fuel to support energy demands
(33:44) Daily carbohydrate recommendation
(43:06) How to recover after bonking
(48:45) Breakfast, lunch and dinner during a training week
(51:40) Nutrition myths floating around
(53:58) Ending


SOREN JENSEN
There are a lot of factors that contribute to your performance on the bike. Probably the biggest being the training that you actually do on the bike, but a close second would be what you're putting in your mouth to fuel that training and recovery. And there are a lot of theories out there on what diets cyclists, triathletes and other endurance athletes should be following to maximize their potential. So today we're going to take a look at the science to get a clear answer on this muddy topic and the good news is that it doesn't need to be nearly as complicated as a lot of people make it out to be. Hello everyone and welcome to the Castelli Podcast. In today's episode we are thrilled to have sports performance nutritionist Dani Hofstetter as a special guest. Born in Switzerland, Dani's lifelong passion for food, cooking and sports nutrition led him to an elite level in triathlon racing. Transitioning from his own athletic pursuit, he dedicated himself to empowering triathletes, cyclists, world tour riders, ultra-athletes, mountaineers and runners to reach their fullest potential. With over two decades of experience fueling champions, Dani holds the esteemed IOC diploma in sports nutrition awarded by the International Olympic Committee. So we brought one of the best guys in the field to join us on this very important topic of sports nutrition. On today's episode Dani and I will delve into the four essential macronutrients, water, carbohydrates, protein and good fats. We will explore fueling strategies for ultra events or training rides, compare animal vs plant based protein sources, discuss gluten, nutrition myth and much more. This marks our second episode on sports nutrition, so if you missed last week's first episode, I highly recommend starting there, where we cover the importance of incorporating fresh vegetables, fruits, fiber into your daily diet, and the importance of a healthy gut, not just for athletes, but for everyone's well-being. Welcome Dani to today's podcast. We are incredibly excited to have our own performance-focused nutritionist sharing his insights with us.

DANI HOFSTETTER
Well, hi, Søren. Thanks for having me. It's a pleasure.

SOREN JENSEN
Dani, let's pick up where we left off last week and delve into the concept of food as fuel, its role as a conditioning agent and its significant role in boosting recovery for optimizing performance. Should we start with macronutrients? I think there are eight. Let's discuss the core four, carbohydrate, protein, fat and if I'm not wrong, water.

DANI HOFSTETTER
Yes, those are the most important ones. And I start with water because basically our body consists, depending on our sex and muscle mass, between 65 and 70% of water. And hydration is key, especially for an endurance athlete, because we sweat a lot, we need to replace that fluid. And if we drink an adequate amount every day, just our, it's like a lubricant, our metabolism just runs smoother. And the adequate amount normally is between 2 and 2.5 liters of fluid, that's water, that's unsweetened herbal tea, that can be coffee as well, so everything that doesn't contain energy. Obviously in a hotter environment you have to drink more because you already sweat more. And now in winter, if we have a heated office climate or in your home at home, in a very dry air, you lose more humidity through breathing and talking. So your fluid need is increased as well. So between two and a half liters, it's kind of your baseline. hour of sport where you sweat, we say between 6 and 800 milliliters of fluid in addition to that baseline amount. And most of the athletes are falling short here already. So they drink not enough during their training, but also the everyday hydration is often a bit short. And we see that no matter where we talk about headaches, sore muscles, also the whole recovery aspect, drinking enough is kind of free medicine that you can get. You need to make it a habit because if you're working in your office and you don't have your water bottle on your desk, then obviously you'll forget it because there's calls, there's meetings and three, four hours is tossed.

SOREN JENSEN
So actually then what I hear you saying is also maybe preparing yourself for the day. Maybe you take your two, three castelli water bottles with you to work and you always fill them before when you leave home. So you have them there on your desk and you just take them off one by one or you have one in the car if you have a longer commute to work and make sure you don't drink at all within two hours and then, you know, checked. Because what happens to your body if you drink too much water?

DANI HOFSTETTER
To drink too much. Yes, you're right. It can happen that you over dilute yourself and that you kind of push the osmotic balance into the negative. But in order to do that, you would need to drink six to eight liters within three or four hours. And I mean, that's almost something you don't get done. Impossible. But you're right. And if you mentioned already the water bottle, something that is very important as well is to replace your water bottles regularly. One thing that cyclists oversee is even if you only drink water from your bidon, you have certain molds and just residue from your tap water. And so it's recommended to put it in your dishwasher to kind of have it sanitized and then replace it after a half a year or so because it's just also some sort of bacterial stress that you can get through that.

SOREN JENSEN
Yeah, that makes sense. What about people doing those ultra gravel races, maybe they have a bladder. To clean the bladder, apart from you can buy them everywhere, those tablets that you can just throw in, they will just clean it. Is that the go-to if you have a bladder? Is there other ways you can clean your hydro bladder?

DANI HOFSTETTER
The bladders are super hard because you have so many dead spots, especially in the tubing that comes from your hydro pack or whatever you have. The easiest thing is basically to lay them out dry in plain sun because UV radiation is killing bacteria as well. So rinse it well with hot water. Don't burn it because the plastic shrinks. But rinse it well with water, lay it out in the sun for half a day or a day. It helps drying and also sanitizes the bladder. So that's working. Most of the bottles are not transparent such as the bladders. That's why it doesn't really work for these bottles. The bladders, I would recommend if you're doing lots of events to replace them regularly because again, you will only get so and so much cleaning effect and the bladder, obviously yes, there are environmental concerns, but if you have to replace a bladder every year or so, I think that's manageable.

SOREN JENSEN
It is manageable. I mean, if you like, let's do your recommendation also replacing your water bottle twice a year, I think it's more of the same if you change your bladder than once a year. So I think you're... So, okay. So we checked one box when we're talking about micronutrients. We got water. Let's jump into carbohydrate. Well, let's look at the best carbohydrates for a performance athlete. We know these come from breads and cereals, rice, noodles, pasta, muesli, crackers, muesli bars, fruits, dried fruits, potatoes, and the list just goes on and on. But I'll let you mention just maybe the top five that you think that are the most valid?

DANI HOFSTETTER
For me, well, by far, the number one is obviously the champion's breakfast oats. Oats contain lots of beta-glucans. The beta-glucans, this dissoluble fiber I mentioned, so that's very good and well, at least for me personally, I never get tired of them. So whether it's your 4H or you can do it as a Bircher muesli, a Bircher, you can blend in your whey protein or whatever. So it's very, very variable. After oats, I would go with buckwheat, something that is not very known, but that's very healthy. And despite it contains wheat in the name, it's not related to wheat and it's gluten-free for people that need to have gluten-free carbohydrates. Oats are by the way gluten-free as well, but since most oats come from mills that process wheat as well, you have a cross-contamination with gluten. If you buy gluten-free oats, it's not a different plant, it's just made on machinery that's only exclusively used for gluten-free production. So we have oats, we have buckwheat. I'm a big fan of millet as well. It's very easy to digest. It's a very good meal after your ride because it gives you rather quick energy and contains lots of protein and minerals, so lots of minerals, sealant. It's very good. And then quinoa is very healthy, contains more protein but not much carbohydrates. So in order to fuel up on carbs with quinoa, you need to eat a huge bucket. So that's mostly where athletes fall a little bit short on it. So if we go for the more carb-dense sources, also a big fan of sweet potato.

SOREN JENSEN
Correct.

DANI HOFSTETTER
Yeah. And then pasta. I mean, eat pasta, ride faster. It can be whole wheat pasta, it can be plain pasta. It doesn't matter. The differences are minimal, but please don't just eat pasta because then you definitely fall short of fiber and other nutrients. But it's not a bad food, just to put that out there.

SOREN JENSEN
And the same goes with rice.

DANI HOFSTETTER
Oh yes. I mean, obviously rice, brown rice, white rice. The brown rice contains more fiber. The white rice is rather something that needs to be eaten when it's a quick energy, when it shouldn't stay long. Then we already have kind of five or six great carb sources. Bread is something great as well. With bread, I want to focus on what you buy in the supermarket is unfortunately very bad manufacturing practices if you talk to a baker because there are lots of additives so that the dough matures quite quickly and dough maturation is very important because in these hours inhibiting substances that keep you from absorbing nutrients well are degraded. So if you accelerate the dough maturation process, they are still in your bed. And basically what you eat is a carb sponge, but not very healthy in those regards. And so it's worth to buy bread from a good bakery and not just the industrialized stuff.

SOREN JENSEN
Yeah. No, these are good recommendations, Dani.

DANI HOFSTETTER
And again, I mean, gluten, to put it out there, gluten not bad for you. The percentage of people that cannot eat gluten are really minimal for the situation, but we probably touch on that later. Right in front of a competition, I have several athletes that cope better with rice than with pasta, for example, because probably not because of the gluten, but because the starch in rice is easier digested. But at the moment, too many athletes are concerned that they cannot eat gluten and it's not a proper concern. And if you always avoid gluten, obviously at one point your body struggles with gluten. That's for sure. Because use it or lose it, that's the nature's motto. And if you never have exposure to a certain substance, you cannot digest it as well.

SOREN JENSEN
No, that's correct. And let's just also point out, you know, the percentage of people that are allergic to gluten. What do you know that number? Because I heard it's like super, super low, you know, if you look at it worldwide.

DANI HOFSTETTER
On the top of my head, it's like 0.9% or even less. So upper celiac disease patients are really a minority. And I'm not wanting to disrespect them or say it's not relevant because they struggle badly and it's really consequential for them if they eat gluten. But if you look at the media currently, gluten is almost your performance killer, number one. Not true.

SOREN JENSEN
No, no, you're right. I mean, there's so much out there on the Internet that people shouldn't really believe in. And maybe they should come to a person like yourself, a professional nutritionist who would actually be able to give advice. Because I think today we spend so much money on a bike fit that we get every two years. We spend a lot of money on bike stuff. We spend a lot of money training coaches, or even if it's just through an app online or whatever it is. So we go to the eye doctor because we go to a professional person, but very few people think apart from when you're really at the top end of the performance, you go and search or look for a nutritionist, like yourself, a sport nutritionist, for an advice. What do you think?

DANI HOFSTETTER
You can definitely learn a lot, and not just for your sports, but also for your everyday life and health. I always try to make myself as redundant as soon as possible, because when we talk nutrition, we also have to face that it can be that you're fixated too much on eating well, you're concerned too well, and that you're heading more towards a disordered eating pattern or an eating disorder, which is something that needs to be avoided badly, especially on performance sports. But yes, I'm often shocked how little people are still in touch with their appetite, their hunger, their body awareness. And if we make the right shifts in their diet, they have a huge aha moment and they sleep better, they perform better, they feel better. And so yes, there are lots of domino stones that fall when you hit the right ones.

SOREN JENSEN
Yeah. So guys, again, don't just go and believe everything you read online, but also talking to your best mate with his or hers nutrition recommendations because they might work for that person, but they might not work for you because it's all individual. It's impossible to... There's no one-size-fits-all with nutrition and we can't box people into everyone should do this. Whether it's day-to-day nutrition, it's fueling, doing race day, what's the best strategy and so on. I think at the end of this podcast, but also in podcast notes, I will leave all your contacts, but also if you have other links or recommendations for the websites that people can go and look to if they want to get to know more and get to know more about you. So, okay, so we checked the box for water, carbohydrate. Now let's talk about protein.

DANI HOFSTETTER
Sorry, can I finish carbohydrate quickly just because it's really important?

SOREN JENSEN
Of course.

DANI HOFSTETTER
It's 50 to 60% of your everyday energy and there's no need to go out and ride on an empty stomach if you get the quality right and if you don't just run on fast carbs. That's just to focus on.

SOREN JENSEN
Yeah, thanks for making that clear. Protein, for everyone to be really clear on what is actually a good protein source. We got plant-based sources and we got the animal-based. But let's start with the animal-based and then jump into plant-based.

DANI HOFSTETTER
Good animal protein sources are lean sources such as poultry, so chicken, turkey. We have lean beef. We have also pork. Pork is not a bad meat, something that most people think in certain cultures or religion it's prohibited, fair enough, but for people that are not morally or under another code, probably prohibited. Pork is a good source, lean pork and red meat has the advantage to contain lots of iron. Iron is necessary for endurance athletes because we needed to make red blood cells. Red blood cells transport oxygen. Oxygen transport is vital for performance. So those are good animal protein sources. Also eggs and dairy. I'm a huge fan of cow's milk. It's a debate whether we should drink cow's milk all through our lives because basically it's infant nutrition. But if we look at cow's milk, it has the best protein quality. It contains lots of good minerals and vitamins, so I'm absolutely team cow's milk.

SOREN JENSEN
That also includes yogurt, I assume.

DANI HOFSTETTER
Absolutely. Yogurt, cheese, fresh cheese, the likes.

SOREN JENSEN
Good. Then let's mention a few plant-based sources.

DANI HOFSTETTER
For the plant-based sources, I'm very fond of nuts. They're obviously rich in fat, but have good quality protein as well.

SOREN JENSEN
But it gives you more than just protein, yeah? Ton of minerals.

DANI HOFSTETTER
Yes.

SOREN JENSEN
And also there'd be the mix, not just going with your walnuts because you like that sweety taste.

DANI HOFSTETTER
Yes. No, it's walnuts, it's almonds. Almond is technically not a nut but that's just a botanical view. It doesn't matter. Peanuts, hazelnuts, hemp is something that's very interesting. So hemp hearts contain very good hemp protein. It's very good quality, although not very high amounts, but you can use it to put in your muesli or over your salad. And then other plant-based proteins are obviously lentils, chickpeas, so the whole legume department. The problem is just you have to soak the legumes well overnight because they are high in phytic acid. And if you have a lot of this phytic acid in your food, it blocks iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, et cetera, absorption, and you don't want to kind of cross these out. well, cook them well, but those are probably the go-to plant sources for vegetarians and vegans. Obviously, then products made of them, soy gives you tofu, wheat gives you seitan. And then one very interesting thing that is hugely growing in popularity is mushroom protein, so the whole fungi thing. You can have kind of meat imitates, like products that look like a steak or so made from mushroom protein, is very high in quality and a very good also in mineral content. The differentiation, we always have this debate, animal versus plant-based protein. If you go strictly plant-based, you can have enough protein, but you need to eat more in terms of amount because there's less protein than compared to animal-based protein sources. And the quality is also lower because they contain less essential amino acids. Essential amino acids make up for protein quality and our protein biosynthesis. And so you have to combine many plant protein sources in order to compensate for the lack in quality. So go with, for vegetarians, a very good combination is potato and eggs. Wheat plus lentils is a very good thing. And this compensates for certain deficiencies in quality.

SOREN JENSEN
If I look on the back of a pack of a seitan or tofu and it says it contains 18 grams of protein per 100 gram. If that is on meat, on chicken, I will say, okay, I got those 18 grams of really pure protein. When it comes to plant-based protein, can I trust those numbers of 18 grams of protein on my one serving of seitan or do I need to double that up?

DANI HOFSTETTER
That is a very good point you're making. Normally, this has been neglected for a very long time, but nowadays we see that indication or the analytics in the lab that you do to come to this number 18 grams is probably misleading. And that's why we start to say, if you're strictly plant-based, you need to up your in intake by 50%, so over almost 50% or up to 50% to make sure that these potential deficiencies are compensated and you arrive at the required or recommended amount. So that's something where we see that not every, the analysis is nitrogen based and not all the nitrogen contained in plant-based proteins are like functional proteins, so to speak. And that's why if you have this double disadvantage, your food contains less protein in total and you need to have a higher intake. So you end up eating lots of lentils, lots of chickpeas and mushrooms and yeah. Okay. So that's make it more difficult. I'm not saying it makes it more difficult. But it makes it more difficult and you need to have lots of conscious decisions where an animal place-based diet is easier to match your requirements with.

SOREN JENSEN
Thanks, Dani. I think we got a lot caught up, if not all, for vegetarian and vegan alternatives here. So how many grams of protein do we need per day?

DANI HOFSTETTER
In terms of total amount, that's mostly something that is achievable. For an endurance athlete, we see between 1.6 and 1.8 grams per kilogram. This needs to be upped if you're heading into an energy deficit in order to avoid muscle loss. You up this to 2.1, 2.3 grams per kilogram body weight. This is a very recent study that came out that shows that a different perspective because for the past probably 50 years we say women female bodies require less protein because they have a smaller muscle mass that's just by genetics nothing sexist here but a very interesting study showed that if we look through a catabolic lens, so if we monitor athletes during three, four-hour cycling, and if we look at how many amino acids they oxidize, which is a proxy for your catabolism, so your muscle loss through exercise, and that shows that we actually have a protein parity. So, both sexes, female and male, start to reduce this amount of oxidized amino acids dramatically at a turn point of 1.8 grams per kilo body weight. So this, it's a very early observation, but this leads to the point where you can say maybe female endurance athletes need more protein than expected so far and need as much as their male counterparts.

 

SOREN JENSEN
Counterparts, yeah. No, thanks for pointing that out, Daniel. I think that was really important to get that information out there. What about fat? What are the good fats and how much fat do we need in our daily diet?

DANI HOFSTETTER
Fat is always a bit of the ugly duckling from the macros because it's obviously the most calorie dense food. One gram of fat contains more energy or more than twice the energy of carbohydrates and protein and that's why fat has a bit of bad reputation. On contrary I would say because if we eat the right fats and again it's unprocessed processed fats, not the industrial fats that we see in convenient food or highly processed food items such as margarine or these kind of instant sauces or instant soups. Then the great sources are mono or multi unsaturated fatty acid containing fats. These are plant oils. Olive oil is very good. Then we have pumpkin seeds, we have flaxseed, we have hemp oil, so these are very strong in taste, so you rather use it for the cold kitchen not to fry your stuff. In order to heat or fry food and we have certainly olive oil but not the cold-pressed one, but not the extra virgin olive oil, but the regular one which is cheaper, is more heat stable, so you use that for frying. Or you use grapeseed oil, which is very good, high in antioxidants. And then obviously, there's so many coated fatty fish, salmon, tuna, mackerel, trout, that contain lots of omega-3 fatty acids. Three, six, nine, yeah. And then we got what you already mentioned, a good blend of different nuts. Different nuts and avocado and yeah, those things. And then certain algae, but apart from Asia, I don't know many people that eat algae at a regular interval, maybe as a supplement, but there you have also the same qualities that you find in avocado, for example, or in ham.

SOREN JENSEN
How much fat do we need a day and when is not a good time to consume it?

DANI HOFSTETTER
So with fat, it's necessary to understand we need a minimal amount to also kind of absorb the fat-soluble vitamins, but that's easily done. So if you include the healthy fat sources that we just mentioned on a regular basis, then you check that box easily. And then one important thing is just to know that fat is digested super slow, so kind of the slowest of all. And so make sure before your ride not to eat too much fat because it sits in your stomach. And then even if you had a hard ride and you want to recover in the best and quickest way, don't go to your chocolate cake and whatnot afterwards because this slows down digestion and slows down also the accessibility of protein and carbs, which is recovery relevant. So head rather away from your sport and then you're well off.

SOREN JENSEN
Good, thanks for bringing that in. Now we checked all the four boxes of the macronutrients. How do you go about that process? If you look at the macronutrients breakdown, so you're aiming for a certain amount of carbs, fats and protein per day, we touched on some of them. How do we start to look at what we need? I mean on a Sunday you might be more active than on a Wednesday or on a Monday and then that could change every week or should we try to be a little bit more clever and know that I'm going to be sitting in the office all day today, so I need less fuel for that day. What's your take on this and recommendations?

DANI HOFSTETTER
The short answer is yes. If you match your carbohydrate intake to your activity level, then that's always best. That goes for your energy balance as much as a carbohydrate needs because that directly related to the amount of exercise you do. It's important to know that the body doesn't push on reset at midnight and then everything starts new. Obviously, if we bunk hard, then that takes the 48 hours until we fully recovered, rather more. And that's why if you take one day off in your week, that doesn't mean that you need to starve yourself on your off days.

SOREN JENSEN
I think that's a really important point. You know, because we all look at maybe less now than it was five plus years ago, where everyone was looking at professional cyclists, professional athletes online, and on their recovery days, you would see them eating non-carbo foods. I think a lot of people went down that rabbit hole, and it was not good to them at all, and they were all, I'm not saying they were bonking without on their rides, but they were definitely not performing at their best.

DANI HOFSTETTER
Yes, especially important, because we're obviously among cyclists, is we have a very high expectation in terms of leanness and watts per kilo, meaning we try to keep our body fat percentage as low as possible and that's a natural enemy of your hormonal balance. This phenomenon that emerged about eight years ago, so around 2015, is called RED-S, so relative energy deficiency in sports. What it means is that after you've spent your calories on the bike the energy remaining from your diet is too low to have your body doing all its maintenance work, so bone replacement, muscle repair etc. and this has fatal consequences. Unfortunately for women the negative consequences start earlier, so they have an irregular menstrual cycle or are amenorrheic, so the menstrual cycle comes to a stop completely. We get more prone to injury, we can get depressive symptoms, we fall ill more often because the immune system is depressed and often I see that athletes are not willingly underfueling, but they just underestimate their energy amount or their energy requirement. And something we only recently saw is that it's not only not enough energy in total, but also the lower carbohydrate diet. So if you're on a low carbohydrate diet, the risk of getting into the energy deficiency trap is even more dominant. And that's something I wanna stress on because especially cyclists that want to improve their fat oxidation capacities, they often push their low calorie or low carbohydrate rights to a really high extent and that has a very high price. And you shouldn't do that too often. Or if you're already in a stressful job, you shouldn't do it period because the stress or the load compounded is already high enough.

SOREN JENSEN
It's already high, yeah. No, I can definitely relate to that, Dani. And it's something always new even from the old days when I was racing my bike. But you can also just feel it yourself, you know, that you're just feeling that there's something that is off and you're not performing.

DANI HOFSTETTER
Yes, and that's an important thing. Obviously, yes, we match the amount of carbohydrate to the activity level, but we're often misled by okay, this is a hard day, tomorrow is an easy day, and how long the loading or the recuperating of an effort takes is often misunderstood. So I would say if you know that you're going out for two long days on the weekend, then then you can easily start having a higher carb intake on Thursday night through Friday because you fill up your glycogen stores and then you're happy mostly Sunday afternoon because you notice only at the later end of your effort, have I fueled properly or not. That goes for loading before a ride as much as during a ride. So if you notice it, it's actually too late.

SOREN JENSEN
What is a daily recommendation of carbohydrate for a cyclist or an athlete?

DANI HOFSTETTER
An average recommendation is for easy days, you're sitting somewhere around three to four grams of carbohydrate per kilogram body weight. On your average training day, where you're out there for two hours-ish, you're around five to six grams. On a very intense day where you do quality and or longer rides, you're more in the realm of six to seven grams. And then if you really want to load up or if you really ride hard, then you're between eight and 12 grams. And that's an area that we touched on in the Grand Tour stuff. It's not fun to eat eight grams of carbohydrates. I was about to say. That must be difficult. And we should mention here that it's not something that people should go out and do starting from tomorrow. Eating is kind of the part of your training regimen. Eating a lot if you don't feel like it is necessary if you want to perform well and perform on an exceptional level. And one thing that's also very important that we haven't touched on yet is obviously cycling Obviously cycling is a sport where gravity is really punishing you, meaning you need to be lean and light to be fast on every terrain. If you're not a sprinter, watt per kilo is super important. It's the measure that defines your performance and whether you're ahead or behind your competition. And here we see very extreme physiques, especially in pro cycling. I mean, you can tell, you tailor the clothes for the pros, so you see how physique changed from a professional rider in the last two or three decades. And such a lean physique is not something I recommend for an athlete that's just riding for fun, because attaining it in a healthy way is super difficult, needs to be monitored properly, and it's not something that goes well within, I would say, quality of living. And that's why I always try to give amateur athletes a bit of a peace of mind and say, look, if we focus more on training right instead of losing another six kilos, which is hard and a potential risk for your health, then better off here.

SOREN JENSEN
No, you're right. Thanks for pointing that out, Dan. Like Dan, you were also referring to the clothing when we go and fit the riders. It's funny you should say this because this morning or before we jumped on this call, I had a text message from Gianni Moscon, as we all know now, just had signed for Soudal Quickstep for 2024. And we worked a ton with him also because he's based just an hour drive from the office and he knew his size when he was on Ineos Grenadiers and in Castelli. But even Gianni, when I texted him yesterday, if he needed a fit, wanted to come over to the office and have him fit him again. He was like, yeah, definitely, because I'm more lean now. I definitely want to make sure that I'm the right size because I'll gain a bit more muscle mass here and there. So you're right. Nutrition has definitely changed over the past five, 10, 15 years and nutrition now. At days, what I see with the professional athletes that we are working with, professional cyclists and triathletes, and you know this as well, is that nutrition is not separated from training plans. Today, the riders know exactly how much carb there is in the bottle or in the pockets or how to refuel for tomorrow's race or training, even when they're home. And I think that's what a lot of amateurs probably where they still need to be educated about their nutrition and the quality of the training and recovery. All they should start at development level, you know, with the younger guys. What different types of training needs different kinds of nutrition. I mean, it's a big learning curve, just like everyday training.

DANI HOFSTETTER
Absolutely. And if you start early, it's like if you learn a language. At the beginning, you need to look up every second word and it's very tantalizing. And at some point, you become fluent. And that's the same thing with nutrition. And if you learn it early, and if I work with young athletes, then once they hit kind of the U23 or pro-competitive level, then they know what they have to do, and they are on a much better level than we've seen the senior pros from today because so much knowledge has emerged in the past 15 years. And also so many more sophisticated products that enable a proper fueling have only come recently to the market.

SOREN JENSEN
To the market, yeah. So, Dani, in our everyday life, we make decisions, especially you said today, we got all the variables, we got all these fancy apps where we add in all our daily notes and stuff. I mean, we make decisions based on how we are feeling and coping with stress, family, work, training, and when we come home, we rate the day and training in our own mind or take notes about how the session went or RPE. Should we be doing the same thing about fueling? I mean, did I think I fueled myself well today? Do I feel tired? Did I get enough energy into myself today? Is that how we're measuring whether we are being effective?

DANI HOFSTETTER
Yes, that's a very good way of assessing how was my fueling, was my performance even to the very end and that goes for business as much as for your sports performance. Do I feel well? Of course, we can be exhausted after a good training or after a hard day of work, but but we don't have to be kind of almost close to coma, headache and almost fainting. So that's a good indicator. I would though put an asterisk on it and say, don't over analyze it because if you track your food, whether it's with a journal or an app, day in, day out, this is completely straight leading into a very fixed mind on food, a very disordered eating behavior. And I'd rather go and say, okay, I have simple goals such as, yes, I drink enough water during the day, I make sure I have good snacks and not just the candy bars that are laying around in the office. Then these are simple steps that you can take in order to improve your diet and it doesn't need to be monitored and measured with an app because the potential thought or accuracy that is missing in the app is misleading you as much. So one of the best things that we always have with us is appetite and well-being. more on that side and you gauge your day with these metrics, then you're definitely doing better. Yeah, yeah. No, yeah, like you said, I mean, we don't really want to get to the feeling where we start having a headache or we're having some strange feelings in your body that we didn't fuel up correctly. I think some of the symptoms will come out and will show if you go for a ride or run and you just, after 10, 15 minutes, you just feel like there's just nothing. For a lunchtime run, but maybe I was a little quick in the morning to skip breakfast or the night before I only had salad or something, I think about it straight away. You feel it.

DANI HOFSTETTER
One thing you said earlier is basically the most important point. If you prepare well, then your day goes better. Failing to plan means planning to fail, that's how the quote goes. That's absolutely right for nutrition as well.

SOREN JENSEN
You're right. And it's so easy when you come home late in the evening, you'd have to work after a training ride and just be too tired and just really to cook yourself a good meal, but that could already have been prepped beforehand. I usually also, when I prepare my rice or quinoa, I always cook a bunch of eggs there and I just have it sitting in the fridge and then just take whatever I need and I keep it there for two or three days. And it's easy to get around with. Absolutely. And that's all you need to prepare.

DANI HOFSTETTER
And that's already a champion's toolbox that you're applying. And also, you can cook in one pan within 50 minutes a complete meal. Correct. If you know your ingredients, if you have your staple foods at home. And if you come home before you're hitting the shower, you just put everything on the stove and by the time you're done, your meal's basically ready. That's how I teach my athletes.

SOREN JENSEN
Yeah, yeah, no, you're right. So Dan, one thing that have happened to all of us at some point in our cycling or athlete career is bonking. So when hitting a wall bonking, let's say that you're even one or two hours away from home, what's the best way to pull yourself out of that and make sure you get home without having to call someone to pick you up?

DANI HOFSTETTER
I would say it's the red soda pop can that you get on every gas station. No, basically Coca-Cola is a very good lifesaver in these moments because it contains a lot of sugar, obviously, it contains caffeine. Caffeine is boosting your energy metabolism as much as it fights the perception of fatigue in your brain. And so that leads quickly out of this kind of very faint state where you almost run around cross-eyed and can't turn the pedal anymore. Basically, and that's what you referred to earlier, there are moments for elite riders where you want to ride on a low carbohydrate availability in order to challenge your fat metabolism, but that shouldn't go to the very moment that you bunk completely. Because what happens is your cortisol level, so the stress hormone in your body, goes through the roof and you want to avoid the stress because that shifts your metabolism towards catabolism, so a negative state of your metabolism where you lose muscles, where you recover much worse than when you're well fed. But if you hit the wall, make sure you get simple sugar, mostly through drinking because then that's digested faster. That can be Coca-Cola, that can be what you often see in pro cycling is some sort of orange or fruit based soda drink because more fructose helps to replenish glycogen in the liver faster. So basically you can easily go for any soda that you can cope with. Make sure not to be overly carbonated drink so that you don't have to throw up if you drink a lot of gassy drinks. I wouldn't recommend necessarily energy drinks of any brand because they're not helping better than any other sweet drinks. And what helps as well is maybe add to your Coca-Cola a shot or two of espresso and then you should make it home.

SOREN JENSEN
You should make it home. And I think it's also important here to underline that maybe for some people, that you will never be empty of muscle glycogen. I mean, you always still have a little bit of some in your liver because else I assume we would be dead otherwise.

DANI HOFSTETTER
Absolutely. But, I mean, the reason why we feel so shitty is our perception, our awareness, our coordination relies on our blood sugar levels and if we can really drive them south, we feel performance declining and also the reason why we feel so bad or why we have to slow down is if we are relying on fat as a fuel, we need to get enough oxygen and that's only possible depending on your fitness level obviously. That's only possible if you turn down your RPMs.

SOREN JENSEN
Yeah, correct, correct. How long does it take then to to fill up a fuel tank after we're pretty much empty at it?

DANI HOFSTETTER
Yeah, longer than we think. I mean if you fueled up before a long ride, let's say you plan a six-hour ride on the weekend and you fuel properly before that, so you have your glycogen stores topped up and you empty them completely, or 90% because you don't wanna bonk, then it takes easily 48 hours, rather 72 until you are on the same level. In order to avoid this, you need to make two things. You need to fuel better. So most casual riders, they start fueling, drinking their sports drink or eating bars and gels kind of two hours into a ride. But the hole or the damage that's been done in the first 120 minutes is something that you cannot catch up in the later hours of the ride. So it makes sense to start fueling from the very first hour on. That helps with recovery mainly, that helps with having the best last hour that you ever had on a ride. And after the ride, as I said, have fast carbs in the recovery phase, so the first one to two hours after your ride, little but quickly digestible protein, not much fat because that slows down how the energy reaches your system. And keep eating carb-focused for the next 24 hours in order to replenish what you've expended.

SOREN JENSEN
What you've expended, yeah. Coming down almost to the end of this interview, the golden question here, we got these founding principles. We are understanding the varieties of food sources. So what do I eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner during a regular training week or maybe I have a longer event on the weekend? If you just can sum that up without going a little bit too deep into this, that would be fantastic for all of us, I think.

DANI HOFSTETTER
For breakfast, I would always start with a good portion of slow carbs. So let's make it oats, let's make it a whole wheat bread with enough protein because the protein makes sure that the carbs are digested slower and that your satiety levels are better. And don't forget, you've slept hopefully eight hours and your blood sugar levels are rather low when you stand up. So you need carbs and protein. And then throughout the day, make sure to kind of allocate your protein portions over the day that improves protein efficiency in your body and stick for your little snacks between the main meal stick to slow carbs, to fruits, to nuts. That also helps in having stabilized your blood sugar levels and then as athletes, whether we prepare for a long weekend or we're in our everyday training process, make sure you have enough carbs with your main, so lunch and supper, have whole food carbohydrate sources, the ones we mentioned earlier, and make sure they cover probably 50% of your plate. Then if you have this kind of individual plate separation, make sure about a third is fruits and vegetables, and then the last sector that's to be covered is your protein sources. And then with every main meal, obviously, at least one serving of protein in order to get these amounts throughout the day. And then something that is often misunderstood is you should need to late in order not to compromise your sleep quality. But if you're moving regularly, there's no need to be afraid of carbs for dinner. So no need to cut out the carbs for dinner. As long as you're not eating only ice cream or I mean basically sugar, but also kind of fiber-rich carbohydrate sources. You need this point of the day also to kind of top up your carbohydrate portion of the day.

SOREN JENSEN
Yeah. No, I think that's a good recommendation and it's also easy for everyone, I think, to follow. I know it sounds simple, but sometimes you just need to get into, I think, the routine of just thinking also ahead how your week will look like and what you can do to prepare for the week. So maybe on your recovery day, you spend a little more time pre-cooking, preparing the things that you will be eating during the week or at the office or at work. So yeah. Daniel, last but not least, are there any nutrition myths floating around that we should point out here.

DANI HOFSTETTER
Just before wrapping up this episode, I think I touched on a few. So like my favorite ones are keep on drinking milk if you're not allergic to lactose or milk protein. And again, that's a very limited amount of people that are. Milk is a good thing. Gluten is not your enemy. Carbs are an endurance athlete's best friend if you go for the right quality at the right point of time. And in the Western world, or let's say the developed world, where we are not having any kind of scarcity of food, we hardly ever have not enough protein, like from a general population point of view, but for athletes that try to be very lean, that are maybe plant-based, there we see that the protein amount is not enough, and that's detrimental to your performance. So the myth that protein is only for strength athletes, for the cross-fitter, the bodybuilder, whatnot, is definitely wrong, because what we try to achieve through endurance training needs protein as well, as we touched on earlier. Other myths, I'm not a big fan of time-restricted eating, intermittent fasting or how you can call it as well. Because for the athlete that trains regularly, the phases of activity is a more important side gabor. So a more important point in your metabolic to dictate what you need, when you need it, than to restrict your calorie intake window to whatever, eight hours or what kind of number. And by reducing that time to a restricted number, you most often cut short on calories or best protein supply. And that's why for athletes it's definitely not suitable.

SOREN JENSEN
It's not suitable, no. Basically, the fasting is something that I forgot to ask you. I'm happy that you actually brought this out now because that's also something that I have seen myself about 10 plus years ago falling into and that definitely didn't work for me. So I'm happy that you pointed this out. Hey man, look, it's been brilliant to get you on the Castelli pod again and I really appreciate everything that you're doing. I know it's hard to be specific, but the general comments you're making are really, really helpful to the people who are listening. Most people, we are in the same boat. A lot of us are uneducated and it's people like you that can make everyday athletes become better versions of themselves, not only on the bike or in the run, but also in their everyday life. So if they're just willing to put the time in into listening to the advice. So in the podcast description, I will track a link to your social handle and also to your website. So people can go and click there and check out more information about you. And then Dan, we will be coming back. We should schedule also already next jump on fooling up for race day and I think also sports drinks which is also a thing is a big hype at the moment. It's a jungle to find out what what's out there already on the market and also what works for you. So if you're up for that then if you have time next week I will love to jump on the episode with you because we've been on for almost two hours now.

DANI HOFSTETTER
So as I said at the beginning I can't wait to get back and I'm happy if I can shed some light on simple tips that can make athletes cope better with that.

SOREN JENSEN
Now, we appreciate it. We appreciate it, man. Thank you so much. Thanks again, Dani. It's been amazing to have you on and we hope that athletes continue to learn more of this stuff including ourselves because it's just so important. So yeah, we hope that everyone, all the listeners here, you enjoyed this episode and we'll see you on the next one. So Dani, thank you again for taking the time to meet us.

DANI HOFSTETTER
Thank you, sir. Take care, eat well and ciao, ciao.

SOREN JENSEN
Ciao, ciao. That's it for the second episode of Sports Nutrition. Tune in to the third episode on December 19 where we'll discuss fueling strategy for race day and endurance events. On December 27th, we'll wrap up Sports Nutrition, talking about how to fuel for cold winter training rides and indoor cycling, including how to fuel for long indoor riding. And talking about indoor riding, next week we will actually have the first episode discussing eSports and especially Castelli's Swift Series. With Castelli's eSports Division Manager, Rich Lovelock, and one of our old time leaders Lars Blesvik of Norway. They will take you through all the details about eSports in general and Castelli's Swift series. If you enjoyed this episode, please make sure to subscribe, give us a 5 star rating to help us be seen by other cyclists in the algorithm. And if you want to suggest a future podcast topic, just shoot us a line at podcast at castelli-cycling.com or hit us up on socials. I'll drop Dani's contact details and other important information from this episode in the show notes. We hope you all enjoyed this episode and see you next week. We hope you all enjoyed this episode and see you next week. Take care and ride safe.

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