Here is TriSpecific’s first podcast and I am excited to be discussing Nutrient Timing for Endurance Athletes with Steph Lowe of TheNaturalNutritionist.com.au

Kristian Manietta: Hey, guys. Welcome to TriSpecific. I’m really excited to bring you TriSpecific’s first podcast and I feel very grateful to have Steph Lowe of The Natural Nutritionist as my first guest for episode 1.

Step has become a fast friend of mine after I reached out to her via email. She’s based in Melbourne and just got back from racing Honu70.3 in Kona. And look, I already know that Steph and I are going to have to do multiple of these podcasts as there’s just so much to cover.

And I’m really excited and I feel I finally found a nutritionist that gets it both in terms of long-term health and improving sports performance. And that’s what I’m stoked about.

So today’s podcast, we’re going to be talking about nutrient timing and it’s something that every athlete needs to be aware of. But before we get into that, I want to welcome Steph and I want Steph to give a little bit of a background about how she became a natural nutritionist. Welcome Steph.

Steph Lowe: Hi, and thanks for having me.

Steph Lowe "The Natural Nutritionist"

Steph Lowe “The Natural Nutritionist”

Kristian Manietta: No problem.

Steph Lowe: So my background is in human movement. I first studied my undergraduate degree in sport and exercise science. So I guess early on, I was working in the industry and I really noticed the gap that there was and to some extent, ease in nutrition education. In particular, I noticed a load of confusion between what we’ve been taught and what we now know as the actual truth.

So I guess I went on to study nutrition at a post graduate level so that I can help bridge the gap and get the truth out there. And The Natural Nutritionist is about exactly that. Educating everyone and making sure that the facts are out there.

Kristian Manietta: That’s great. And I think people need to kind of be shown a way like a way through a lot of the BS, what’s myth and what’s a fact because I think a lot of other things that we’re being led to believe especially when it comes to not only health and long-term health, it’s just very easy to look outside and see the state of nutrition we’re being fed. I love doing that at the airport. But yeah, it is worse when we – obviously, in our sport because it’s exacerbated so much more of what we’re being led to believe, what we actually need to consume to recover. But we’ll get into that. So Steph, let’s jump right in and discuss nutrient timing and how it underpins the potential of our performance. So I’ll let you go. What is nutrient timing?

Steph Lowe: OK. So nutrient timing is really about looking at food as fuel and eating to support your training and your recovery. So I guess we can look at it quite simply from a macro nutrient point of view. And all I mean by that is carbohydrates, protein, and fat. We won’t worry about alcohol in this conversation. But these macro nutrients play specific roles and they need to be timed in line with training to accelerate results.

Kristian Manietta: Excellent. That gives a good overview. And I love that the nutrition needs to support what we’re doing.

Steph Lowe: Yeah, training and recovery.

Kristian Manietta: Training and recovery and I believe it shouldn’t support fat gain either. So it should support either losing weight or keeping it steady. But definitely in terms of what we do in training and in recovery.

Steph Lowe: Absolutely.

Kristian Manietta: So, let’s talk about pre-session and then pre-race nutrition. And I know our thoughts slightly differ here on what we do before our session but that’s OK and let’s discuss it.

Steph Lowe: Sure. So I guess first things first. We’re dealing with endurance athletes here. So, what we need to look at is how to become a fat-adapted athlete because from an endurance point of view, we know that our ability to burn fat can be a limiting factor. So nutrient timing first comes into play always based on the duration of the session. So what we’re looking at here is for shorter sessions, if we’re looking at something like a 60 to 90 minutes, we actually need to be training empty. So training in a fasted state allows your body to become more efficient so you become more of a fat-adapted athlete and you therefore use a greater percentage of fat as a source of fuel.

And that needs to be done a couple of times a week before your morning sessions, usually mid week sessions are about that length. So that’s pretty easy to start and implement that. For longer sessions, I always advise my athletes to eat prior so we know that our muscle glycogen, our stores in the muscle are limited to about 90 minutes of exercise. So we use food as fuel which will extend performance beyond this duration. Otherwise we know that when we get the hitting the wall or that dreaded bunk.

In terms of how much, really, we can just start with a small amount like 30 grams which is actually quite an easy amount because it’s one banana or one bar or a couple of pieces of toast and that’s sufficient to fuel those I guess medium length sessions.

Kristian Manietta: OK. And then we’re talking long, so let’s say, so you just said these sessions between 60 and 90 minutes going without taking anything on board so that helps us become fat-adapted. And you recommended only a couple of times a week. Is there any problem with doing that? Because most time-poor athletes in reality, Monday to Friday, aren’t going to be doing sessions much longer than 60 minutes, maybe 70 minutes.

Steph Lowe: Yeah.

Kristian Manietta: Some may get to 90 but it wouldn’t go over that for a typical age group time-poor athlete. So would there be any problem with them doing that each day as long as they’ve got their recovery nutrition sorted which we’ll get to later on anyway in this call?

Steph Lowe: Yeah. No, definitely no problem in them doing that more than a couple of times a week. But I guess it depends on where you’re starting from. So it’s always going to be goal-relative. So if you’ve been eating before 5 out of 5 sessions, it’s probably best that you start with two empty sessions or three and just see how you feel and hence, see what your performance is like. The reality is, is that some people won’t perform as well if they’re training empty.

Kristian Manietta: OK.

Steph Lowe: So, there are some people that may need to eat before some sessions. So say, like a harder group ride or a longer swimming session. But if you’re just doing like a shorter run, you might find that you can get away with it and still have the same outcome, still the same intensity.

Kristian Manietta: Yeah, absolutely. And I think – you know my big thing is, I personally don’t eat before any session even my long sessions. However, I put a caveat on that. Like my long sessions, yeah, because I believe most people wake up with a hungry tummy and I believe that’s a learned response because we eat at that certain time every day so we’re going to get hungry at that time. But if we’ve recovered well then our muscle glycogen is stocked. The only thing we’ve lost a little bit of is the – maybe glycogen. And that’s not here nor there. We can top that up very easily with a couple – two or three hundred calories.

But if I go – OK. So Monday to Friday, I’ve got my shorter sessions and I don’t take anything on, on those sessions but then I get to my longer session. Last weekend I rode five and a half hours of hilly ride for a big ride I’ve got coming up, a multiple-day ride I’ve got coming up. So I didn’t eat any breakfast. I had a black coffee. But then I’m starting to fuel within 15 minutes of that session. So I’m not waiting 60 or 90 minutes to go by and then go because I will hit the wall.

Steph Lowe: Yeah.

Kristian Manietta: But as long as I’m starting to drip-feed in that time then I find I’m fuelling well. And my belief of that is if I eat, let’s say, an hour before I started that long ride, always I’m going to get elevated blood sugar.

Steph Lowe: Yeah.

Kristian Manietta: An insulin release, which will then lead to low glucose levels in the blood. But the thing that I am concerned about is that if we have these higher insulin levels, well, that inhibits lipid mobilization so a utilization of fat. And we’re starting to burn our muscle glycogen stores very early, kind of putting of putting us on the back foot and then potentially letting ourselves to hitting the wall anyway.

Steph Lowe: Yeah. So I think what you’re doing is a great strategy. And it just depends on what time of the year it is as well. So, obviously, 8 weeks out from a race for example, what you do in your long training needs to be what you’re doing on race day because nothing new happens on race day. So if you’re going to do that on race day and not eat and drip-feed then that’s fine. But if you’re the kind of person that’s going to have your breakfast two or three hours out from race day and you’re going to eat XYZ, then that needs to be what you’re doing in those longer sessions in the lead up to the race.

Kristian Manietta: I understand that. But wouldn’t that – if we do have that issue of not using our lipids and so therefore, we’re trying to become fat-adapted athlete but then we can kind of stifle that by eating at the wrong time for our longer session where in reality, we’ve got 90 minutes and that 90 minutes is still glycogen in our muscles as long as we’ve done the right stuff recovering nutrition. That’s actually 90 minutes going at much harder pace than an Ironman swim would be.

Steph Lowe: Yeah.

Kristian Manietta: And most people by the time they’ve got out of the water – now I know there’s – I’ve got athletes that swim over 90 minutes or around that pace but still are fine within that 10, 15 minutes of getting on the bike, allowing stuff to settle. And then they’re using their fats more and they’re still getting that. But I understand if you need it. But I just need to push the – I need to make sure they eat, they eat three hours beforehand.

Steph Lowe: Yeah.

Kristian Manietta: Which is unrealistic in training. Who’s going to get up three hours before a long ride when the long ride starts at 5 in the morning or 5:30? No one. So it’s better to get the sleep, which I think I believe I saw in one of your old posts, which is great.

Steph Lowe: Yes.

Kristian Manietta: But then maybe I’ll throw a banana or something or some gluten-free toast with whatever on it as you’re heading out the door. That way, that might stop that insulin thing as you start the training. It’s not going to have any effect.

Steph Lowe: Yeah. And I think it’s important to discuss here that there’s not – I don’t believe there’s a one answer either. There are multiple strategies that need to be trialed. And I think an athlete’s responsibility is to undertake that trial and error and then assess performance, recovery, digestion, and make the call on what’s right for them. And that’s what the part of the training needs to be, that nutrition practice in training.

Kristian Manietta: Steph, you hit the nail on the head there. And that’s becoming what I’d love to say is intuitive athlete.

Steph Lowe: Yes.

Kristian Manietta: Because there are times we can feel like crap and we just go, “Oh, we’re meant to feel like crap.” But you go, “Hang on. Why is that? Was it the training session? Was it what I ate before the training session?” And if we don’t actually look at it or take note of it then how would we ever know?

Steph Lowe: Absolutely.

Kristian Manietta: So – and I 100% agree N equals 1. So everyone is slightly different for how much we are the same and we really need to test that day in and day out, what is going to work well for us. And you obviously can’t critic something until we’ve tried it.

Steph Lowe: Absolutely.

Kristian Manietta: And tried it well. And I think that’s – you post a good point. See what works for you and you could only find out that by testing.

Steph Lowe: Absolutely.

Kristian Manietta: And doing it. So, awesome. Well, let’s move into what we should do during our sessions. What kind of fuel should we consume? We talked about the fuel, going 30 – I mean 60 to 90 minutes without fuel either beforehand. But should we have any fuel in that 60-minute session or a grey zone between 60 and 90 minutes and then what are the types of fuels above that, liquids versus solids? Let’s go and have a look into all of that.

Steph Lowe: Sure. I think obviously, it comes down to the session as well. If we’re looking the – like grey zone depends on obviously, what session you’re doing whether it’s a swim, bike, or run. I think if you’ve allowed yourself to become more fat-adapted like as in by following some of the guidelines that we’ve already discussed, you’ll be able to get up to 90 minutes without fuelling. Obviously, we’re talking about a training session that might be a lower intensity as well. It’s more 90 minutes and beyond. So from a time-poor athlete point of view, we’re looking at the weekend sessions usually or if they’ve got maybe the long Wednesday ride.

We need to look at basically the energy cost of digestion. Solids obviously require a far greater energy cost for digestion, absorption, assimilation, all the important things. But this takes energy away from the working muscles, heart, and the lungs.

Kristian Manietta: And fluids.

Steph Lowe: Yes, all the important things. But – so liquid fuel should be the dominant source of fuel. So, relying on the drip-feed as you call it, from a liquid fuel should be where everybody starts on their longer sessions.

Kristian Manietta: Yeah. I think people don’t realize as you said, that it actually takes a lot of energy to break down the bars and solids foods and also takes a lot of fluid in terms of hydration status as well. So people can get dehydrated just by the simple fact of needing to break down their food if they haven’t met those needs.

So, in terms of fluids like I like using – and again, this is N equals 1. But I’ve been happy with using some of the Hammer products like Perpetuem and that because one, I don’t believe they put a lot of crap ingredients into their product and two, it gives a nice range of fuel that you need to fuel your long sessions. And you don’t get what I call, the flavour fatigue from it.

Steph Lowe: Yeah. I think Hammer is one of the great brands out there. What we’re looking for is complex carbohydrates. So they have obviously, a far greater absorption rate versus simple sugars which are quite limited in absorption ability. You want to avoid having anything that’s high fructose because usually, that can lead to some sort of gas or intestinal upset which is the last thing we need during training. So I always suggest that the brand is the choice of the athlete but look for something that contains like a maltodextrin or a complex carbohydrate and try to avoid fructose. So you read the ingredients please and make your choice.

Kristian Manietta: That’s kind of interesting because there’s a few companies out there that are pushing very hard that the studies show that when you mix complex, let’s say, a maltodextrin, what most people use, which is what we need, but then they add a fructose or high fructose to it that it helps fasten the absorption rate but you can super load – you can get so much more calories in which I think it’s a fallacy and I think it’s a false economy.

They’re pointing to a few scientific studies that they’re showing that these studies or if you have actually looked into the studies, the pool group is not that big but also, the intensity to exactly going isn’t that hard. It’s not a like a race intensity and that’s where I think again, and you just mentioned it, GI distress, when we’re starting to use fructose. Now, what is GI distress or your stomach gastrointestinal distress happen from this fructose?

Steph Lowe: Well, I mean I guess from an alkalinity point of view, fructose is the exact opposite of what we’re trying to achieve. Like it’s quite inflammatory and in terms of the absorption rate, it’s certainly not great and when you’re exercising at a higher intensity, obviously, your digestion is different to when you’re at a rested state. I think the studies that you mentioned are certainly a lot older now as well. And I do believe there was only or two that sort of led to that mainstream knowledge of two to one. So it’s glucose two to one fructose.

But that doesn’t mean that that’s going to be right for everyone either. And I think particularly from an anti-inflammatory point of view, we don’t need that excess fructose.

Kristian Manietta: Absolutely. And I think that anti-inflammatory is probably something we could nearly do a whole podcast on, the types of food that does that and why we want to stay out of that and have some pretty good thoughts and theories on that. But let’s keep going with this and go – that kind of is actually leading to that inflammatory state and to this next question. Some of the short-term in terms of minutes post exercise fuelling goals and long-term in hours goals, what we should have, the types of food that we should be putting back into our bodies because as we’re talking now, this is about nutrient timing.

And I believe there are some windows that we could look at. We could look at obviously, pre-sessions which we’ve spoken about during post-session but within a certain window like the 30-minute window, which most people should know about. And then we have an extra window which we could probably eat a little bit more starchy foods, the better ones, and then a longer term health window where we want to look at nutrient density versus caloric-density.

Steph Lowe: Absolutely. So, the short-term window that you mentioned is certainly that 30-minute window post exercise. It’s the most important window. The key here is the muscle glycogen replenishment. So we know that nutrition is essential for recovery so we need to get those good quality carbohydrates in the window. So basically, as soon as you finished the session, to allow you to top up the muscle glycogen that you’ve depleted during your session.

Obviously, the type of food that you eat is relative to where you are. I always say that if you’ve got travel time to get home before your meal that you need to have even if it’s just a banana or a bar in your training bag so you can get something in that window. And then you can obviously worry about getting to a complete meal when you’ve got a bit more time.

If you’re going straight home to have breaky obviously, something like you mentioned the gluten-free bread so you’re getting protein, have a good fats, eggs as well or you can do like quinoa porridge, plenty of examples. And obviously, I’m happy to share recipes. But yeah, you’re looking at those good quality complex carbohydrates.

Kristian Manietta: And one of the things that we’re talking about inflammation and you said – you mentioned alkalinity before. One thing I guess can’t be stressed enough is that the exercise we do is acid-forming. So we get this acidic nature in the body and acid can break down the body. So, we have this high-acid load. But a lot of the foods that we’re being told to eat which is your refined carbohydrates, your sugary foods because you need to get that glycogen back in are also acid-forming.

Steph Lowe: Very true.

Kristian Manietta: And I’ll look at that on a muscle tissue health level and go, “Well, hang on. If we’ve got a load of blood acidosis and then we’re throwing more of that on because proteins and carbs are acid-forming, what are we doing to the body if we’re not allowing it to get to that homeostasis and get that alkalinity back in?” And the body goes, “Well, hang on. I’m going to do it myself.” And how does the body do that itself? It demineralizes bone tissue and takes the nitrogen out of the muscle, i.e., it breaks down the muscle to get that alkalinity back. And as an endurance athlete or as anyone, we really don’t want to be breaking down structure.

Steph Lowe: Definitely not. So I guess that’s why you look at the source of carbohydrates. We certainly don’t need refined sources or we don’t need to be relying on packaged foods or juices or lollies or the traditional old school sports nutrition approaches. I mean the best sources of complex carbohydrates are most actually veggies like sweet potato. Quinoa is fantastic because it’s actually a sage. It’s not a grain. And also, fruit is a great complex carbohydrate and perfect to eat post-training.

Kristian Manietta: Yeah, I think people can eat all those other bits as long as they have fruit and it helps that alkalinity, which is great. And then just making sure they cover all bases. So if we cover all those bases in then what you need to do, I personally usually will make some sort of shake, which will have everything in it.

Steph Lowe: Absolutely.

Kristian Manietta: Straight away especially – but then, yeah, I’m fortunate I don’t – I usually finish my own sessions at home. I don’t have to drive anywhere to – those days are long gone. But you brought up a decent thing. I remember when Charlotte and I did that, we do some long rides when we lived in Sydney and we’d be having to drive an hour from where we would start. We have a little esky made up with whatever our recovering nutrition was back then already made up. So you can make a quinoa bircher.

Steph Lowe: Absolutely.

Kristian Manietta: Have it in there so you’re getting the stuff that you need and not waiting an hour or whatever. So that’s your 30-minute. So what’s the athlete’s next thing now? I guess that 30-minute also – let’s say, someone is looking at wanting to lose weight and needs to drop some kilos for performance. What do you recommend? Because obviously, we want to not impact the body’s recovery by trying to give it less calories than it needs in that specific window but how do you go about that with your clientele that are trying to lose a little bit weight or something to improve in performance?

Steph Lowe: Sure. So we just start with a small volume. So like I said before, it’s going to be goal-relative. So if you have fat loss goal, obviously, you still need to be careful of the volume of carbohydrate you consume but starting with a portion which is about the 30 grams that I mentioned earlier. That’s a great place to start so that you can at least start the muscle glycogen replenishment. But from there, we need to assess the recovery and the subsequent performance. So the volume can certainly be increased with a little bit of trial and error provided that it’s still helping the athlete works towards those fat loss goals.

Kristian Manietta: OK, cool. And then – so for everyone – so we’ve done that 30 minutes. And then what’s the next focus in terms of nutritional things that need to be done?

Steph Lowe: Yeah. So I think say mid way, if we’re talking about just the 60 to 90-minute sessions, you can pretty much just move straight back into getting the main source of fuel from protein and good fats. The nutrient timing principle comes down to putting those carbohydrates before longer sessions and always after but relying less on them when you’re not training. And that’s the second way to become more fat-adapted. So relying less on carbohydrates when you’re not training is another way to become more efficient fat burner.

If we’re talking about longer sessions so the weekends usually, you usually got a window of up to four hours. So like once the four hours post exercise where I guess you can get away with eating a high volume of carbohydrate but obviously, that comes back to whether you got a fat loss goal or not.

Certainly, it’s the best time for you to eat like a treat meal of if you’re a bread person. Obviously, I would always advise gluten-free. But eat those foods after your longer sessions and that’s a great time to obviously, still to continue muscle glycogen replenishment without excess which leads to fat storage.

Kristian Manietta: Absolutely. That’s a good point. I think that’s where if you do need a so called cheat meal is to do it right after your long sessions. Myself personally, my weakness, I love sourdough bread.

Steph Lowe: You said that.

Kristian Manietta: The good thing is, that is just doesn’t exist on the Sunshine Coast, not good ones. If I was in Sydney, it would be little bit more of a problem. So yeah, I don’t have that problem so much anymore. But yeah, that would be something. Even if I was down in Sydney, I would do that if I would say, if I was going a 100% gluten-free. Well then, I wouldn’t be a 100% but I know, I’d have that little what I’d call as a little treat as a post-session, my longer sessions. And I think that’s a good point to bring up. That’s when – especially as you’re trying to transition in and out of different things to take it slowly and add those foods in. But be wary that you need to recover and get that great supply of glycogen. And that’s what happens.

And I guess that kind of brings it into a point – I’m going to jump a little bit forward here because I think it segues into something good here in this post-session recovery. And what it actually does – because one of my favourite topics is to dispel the myth about is carbohydrate loading because it’s been so wiped up over the years. And really, carbo loading has become an event of its own during race week. It’s like how much more can we shove down the gullet.

But isn’t carbohydrate loading what we do or actually storage ability is what we do every time we look at our post exercise fuelling? Because that’s where we actually increase the ability to get up to that 90 minutes, not everyone is going to have that 90 minutes storage ability when they started especially not being a fat-adapted athlete.

Steph Lowe: Correct.

Kristian Manietta: Their stores can be much smaller. So how do we extend those stores? My belief is we extend those stores in that post session exercise recovery window not in race week. What’s your thoughts?

Steph Lowe: Yeah, that’s absolutely correct. So I mean the increasing and the maximizing of the muscle glycogen stores takes weeks of consistent training and focusing on that post training nutrition. So that should always be priority number one. I think we’ve made that pretty clear. Our bodies only have that top level of muscle glycogen stores and beyond that, any excess will go to fat storage.

So I like the analogy of the sink. So our muscle glycogen stores are like a sink. When we train, the sink drains so we have that food to top us back up so the sink is full again. If we keep eating, the sink will only overflow. And that will lead to fat storage. And if we’re doing that in race week, we’re only going to be carrying like more weight, maybe putting on weight, and those sorts of things are certainly not what we need in race week.

Kristian Manietta: Yeah. That brings up a good point. What I like to say or try to get across to an athlete is, OK, so race week is here. Both your training volume and training intensity is way down.

Steph Lowe: That’s another point.

Kristian Manietta: Absolutely way down. But unless you really consciously reduce your normal diet, you’re effectively carb loading anyway.

Steph Lowe: You are because yeah, because of your training volume.

Kristian Manietta: So then you want to think about – and then people going, “Oh, you need to add more.” And you’re like, “Well, the body can’t …” your muscles are full.

Steph Lowe: And I think you’re right because it comes back to this nutrient timing principle. If you are training less then you’re certainly eating less. And if you’ve got track days when you’re not training then you’re not really needing those carbohydrates much at all provided that you have topped up from the previous session.

Kristian Manietta: Yeah, absolutely. And I think that’s the big point is as long as we’re topped up then we’re fine. But I think we need to be conscious in race week that we actually don’t need to eat as much as what we’ve been eating normally. Let alone extending that because the only thing you’re going to be doing is going, I believe is going to go, “Well, hang on. I can’t do anything with this so it’s all fat.”

Steph Lowe: Absolutely. And that’s part of what you said about being – I’m really big on intuitive eating like you are about being an intuitive athlete. So intuitive eating is what you want to actually be able to recognize hunger signals and not just eat because that’s what you did yesterday or that’s what you did last week. You want to be able to eat according to what you’re doing and obviously, eat sensibly.

So if someone tells you that you need to eat every two or three hours, that’s BS because that certainly doesn’t apply to everybody. You might need to eat every four hours and that’s part of what intuitive or being an intuitive eater is. And that certainly applies in race week when you’re doing less.

Kristian Manietta: Yeah. I think eating comes down to a lot of boredom as well.

Steph Lowe: Yes, habitual.

Kristian Manietta: Yeah. Say, “Hang on. I’ve got some work to do. That’s uncomfortable. Let me go and have a look in the fridge.” I think we can all said, we’re guilty of that all the time.

Steph Lowe: I’m guilty of that, yes.

Kristian Manietta: Let’s talk about carbohydrates specifically. What are some of the advantages? What are the disadvantages for endurance athletes? Why type should we avoid? What type should we have and why? And let’s really kind of push the understanding on information there.

Steph Lowe: Yeah, sure. So I think we’ve discussed these throughout the podcast so far so it will be great to do a little summary here. The main thing is to look at that refined sugar and excess fructose are both highly inflammatory. So from an athletic point of view, that’s the enemy to recovery and obviously, subsequent performance.

As an athlete, our goal is to be alkaline or as an anti-inflammatory as possible. So we want to avoid the refined sugars. So we certainly don’t need packaged foods or juices or lollies or we don’t need to add sugar to tea and coffee. An excess fructose can even be from too much fruit. So we know two to three pieces of low-fructose fruit is plenty per day. From there, our best carbohydrate choices are natural unrefined and certainly gluten-free because we want to avoid that inflammation that comes from grains and particularly, gluten.

My favourite carbohydrate is sweet potato, and we spoke about quinoa quite a lot and of course, the low-fructose fruit.

Kristian Manietta: Excellent. That’s a good thing to bring up. And it comes down to I guess we are going to do another podcast on this one because we really need to get into carbohydrates specifically or just eating for health. And so, I think we’ll stem this one on that. But sweet potato should be an endurance athlete’s best friend.

Steph Lowe: Absolutely.

Kristian Manietta: And it’s pretty simple. Buy a whole lot of them and just prepare them whether you bake them in the oven or mash them or do – there are so many things you can do. And on your website, there are so many different recipes anyway, which is great.

Let’s – before we wrap up, let’s just do a quick overview of sports drinks. I know a lot athletes use sports drinks that are marketed heavily. What are your thoughts on them in terms of fuelling and used as a recovery drink?

Steph Lowe: The short answer is no. So I think most sports drinks are actually being designed on those research and studies that we mentioned. So out comes one research, a study showing us that two to one glucose to fructose accelerates performance. Along comes a sports drink manufacturer and they make their formula based on that one research article and it sells.

In terms of the artificial sugar, the preservatives, the colours, all the ingredients that we don’t even know what they are, we certainly don’t need them. And they’re certainly not alkaline-forming. So I think it’s also actually quite cost effective and easy to make your own. So if you find that you’re not really into water, there are other choices. And you certainly don’t need to be relying on the refined sugars that you get in commercial sports drink.

Kristian Manietta: How can you not be into water?

Steph Lowe: You hear the flavour fatigue. I get that a lot.

Kristian Manietta: It’s water.

Steph Lowe: Trust me.

Kristian Manietta: We need to get used to it.

Steph Lowe: Add some lemon.

Kristian Manietta: Yeah, add some lemon. Good electrolyte the lemon is.

Steph Lowe: Yes.

Kristian Manietta: Excellent. Well, it has been great to talk to you, Steph. And I think there’s been so much awesome information shared on here. And we got so much more to talk about so I know we can do a whole podcast on performance nutrition, on recovery nutrition on its own. Obviously, that’s something I really want to do with you. And we mentioned before the call is how endurance athlete can go gluten-free. And I’d be really interested in learning more about that. I know a couple of my athletes are already working with you one-on-one which is great.

So what are – where can people find the best information about you? And let me tell you, I’ve made a couple of Steph’s recipes this week. I did this amazing spicy carrot and coconut soup, which didn’t last very long. And I just did the banana bread. And that exceptionally didn’t last long at all. And it’s so healthy for you and it’s a great recipe. And how easy was it to make?

Steph Lowe: Very easy. All gluten-free and refined sugar free so you can access the recipes online at TheNaturalNutritionist.com.au. And there’s quite a few articles out there as well that are related to sports performance and recovery. So certainly, jump on there. And find me on Facebook too, The Natural Nutritionist.

Kristian Manietta: Yeah, I recommend you liking Steph’s page on Facebook because there are so much good information on there. And I just want to say thank you for being on the call and being TriSpecific’s podcast number one. It’s been fantastic and I really feel privileged for it.

Steph Lowe: Thanks so much for having me. It was great.

Kristian Manietta: All right. Thanks, Steph.

Steph Lowe: Bye.

Kristian Manietta: Bye.

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