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Coffee & Questions - 15th July 2021

Jul 15, 2021

Coffee & Questions β˜•οΈ

Today we had some great questions that I answered live for you:

🌟  Tiredness and what could be the answer?
🌟 A calorie deficit that’s not causing weight loss
🌟  Foods to boost recovery from being sick with a cold (thanks daycare)
🌟  Anti-inflammatory foods for sore joints from an old retired athletes perspective (her words! πŸ™ˆ)
🌟  Issues to solve cramping in the legs during 4-6hour long rides

Catch the replay for the goods or read the transcript below...

If you want to get your very own #dietitianapprovedcrew cycling kit as featured today, email me at [email protected] with your sizing and I’ll hook you up! 🚴🏼‍β™€οΈπŸš΄πŸΌπŸš΄πŸΌ‍β™‚οΈπŸ’¨  

If you are looking for a Sports Dietitian to help you with training and racing nutrition, learn how you can work with me


Alright! Good morning and welcome to Coffee and Questions! I've got my cycling kit on this morning because I am about to or trying to do another order for Cycling kit. If you haven't got a cycling kit and you want one, please send me an email at [email protected]. I think we're chasing maybe two. Two or three female orders and a couple of male orders as well. Before that goes in.

Now these are top of the range – Castelli Ghia. I’m super particular with cycling kit. I don't like uncomfortable shammies they've got to be really top-quality because they hurt your bits otherwise. So this is actually a top of the range, Castelli custom. It's what team any of us are actually riding in. So the current designs a little bit different to this. It’s got a slightly longer sleeve which is kind of what's in fashion at the moment and it's quite tight. It's like a race cut because they've done some testing in the wind tunnels and got the design super aerodynamic, so it is quite tight. If you like loose, comfortable kit, then maybe go two sizes bigger. But if you're happy with what is the current fashion with cycling kit – it's nice and tight. It's aerodynamic, then you'll love it. If you want one, please let me know. I'm kind of not advertising it necessarily because I don't want to do apparel. This is the last time I'm ever ordering cycling kit. I'm never doing it again, ever. So if you want cost price, Castelli, top of the range, it's unless I change the prices on it again – $280 AUD for big Knicks and Jersey and that's cost price. Plus whatever shipping is to get to you. I think it's a $600 kit if you buy it off them, just off the shelf.

Definitely a good deal. If you want one, hit me up, send me an email. If you want a cycling kit, I've got some sample kits for sizing in the office. If you're in Brisbane, I can get some too or you can also just go to a cycling shop and get, try on their latest Castelli stuff and figure out what size you are as well.

Alright, so that's one cool thing. And the other thing that's happening, I don't know if you can see behind me, we're starting a podcast! I've done a few recordings of episodes and just trying to edit them up and get the whole sort of system and process of podcasting up and running but hoping to launch that this month. So keep your ears to the ground for when that's going to happen.

I can't set a firm date just yet because there's a little bit of logistics in the back to try and get that happening, but I will let you know when it is coming. Super cool! So it's very triathlon nutrition-specific. If you're a triathlete and you need help with your nutrition, whether you’re a complete beginner and you've never had any nutrition advice before you’re kind of new to the sport, or you've been doing the sport for quite a while now and you've still not really kind of nailed your nutrition. You think you have, but there's probably a few little elements that you need help with then it's definitely the podcast for you. So it's called the Triathlon Nutrition Academy in line with my program that starting in September, and I will let you know when it is coming.

I'm super excited! Not so excited to hear my own voice back. It’s definitely weird speaking into a little microphone and then having to listen to yourself back. But I guess that's what coffee and questions is too. I'm used to talking to myself on here so it's not too different.

Alright, so they're the two most exciting things that are happening in my world.
Cycling kit – let me know if you want one and podcasts coming soon which I'm super stoked about. There's no theme for today. I'm really just here to answer your questions live. So if you've got anything that you want to know, pop it in the chatbox now and let me know, don't wait until the end. I'm on a strict time limit today. I'm going to try and keep it to 20 to 30 minutes maximum. Because we're getting out of hand here. I want this to be a really short, sharp session, some good information. Answer your questions for what you're struggling with and then get all my bad days. I'm actually going to make love with this guy today, it's my favourite new toy. So I have had one sort of comment to a question come through from somebody in Insta. So if you're watching on Facebook, there's a couple of people here on Facebook watching. If you have anything you want to know about, type it in now, it can take a little while for that to come through on Facebook and same as Insta. If you have any questions you want to know about, type it in the chat box now. I'll answer it after this one. So somebody has sent me a like comment or question on Instagram just saying that they're really struggling with Tiredness and I wanted to try and talk through that a little bit today.

I guess it depends why she's tired, whether it's not getting enough sleep is a big one. Whether that's just from really heavy training load or work, whether it's stress from work or shift work, or sometimes it's hard to go to sleep if you're thinking about work stuff at night a lot and maybe some of the behaviours around sleep too, as you're heading towards bed like – are you the type of person that spends a lot of time on their phone in bed at night? So spending a lot of time on your phone right before you go to bed, it does, I mean, a blue light, which affects our melatonin, which is our sleep hormone. So you can turn on a lot of the phones.

So I've got an iPhone, but the other Android ones have it as well. Turn on what's called “night shift” and that shifts your phone screen to more of a yellow-orange hue after a certain time. So I think I've got mine set up to do that hue colour. From a sort of 6:00 PM-ish. I think when I'm starting to wind down for bed to make sure that my melatonin, my sleep hormone is not being affected by the blue light emitted from my phone screen. And that goes on all overnight until maybe 6:00 AM. It stays there as well so that I'm not sort of being woken up in the morning by a really bright blue light. So a couple of I guess sleep hygiene things might be good to look at if that's not happening for you. If you're getting really tired for that reason. One other factor to think about is whether your iron levels are okay or not. Sometimes we can get really tired and fatigued and run down if our iron stores are low. And I think it's important to note that the iron cut-offs in a lab from your GP, different to what the athlete guidelines are.

So if you're an active person, particularly being a female, if you're an endurance athlete, you're at high risk of having low iron because we've got high needs. You’ve got regular monthly iron losses. And then if you're an endurance athlete or somebody that runs or does quite high-intensity training frequently, then one, we have heel strike hemolysis so when you pound the pavement and you smashed your heels onto the pavement, you actually burst to open your red blood cells and that can be on loss every time you run. Or if you're doing more high intensity or sustained endurance type training, you do actually bleed through your gut too. So there are iron losses that way. Having a look at your iron levels if you're feeling tired all the time and you kind of can't understand why that might be a reason. And the other big thing to think about if you're feeling tired all the time is, are you eating enough? So I guess one indicator for me is if people falling into a heap at the end of a training week and say, come Friday, then chances are, you're probably not doing a good job of fuelling and recovering and eating to your training load through the week.

If you are feeling like that come to the end of the week, like, yes, obviously, life can be stressful and busy and come Friday like Phew! I'm ready for the weekend. But if you're just feeling really flat and fatigued and tired and run down by Friday and you know, then maybe have big weekend training sessions and you might struggle to get through them, just being more mindful of around how you're eating to support training during the week could be a good way to fix that and that's something I do with my clients is I look at their training load. I guess this is what a sports dietitian does in relation to food and training and nutrition compared to a regular dietitian that wouldn't necessarily do this is I look at your week's training load and I match food to that so that you eat differently on a lot of training day and then also eat differently on a big double session hard day and your weekend-long session days look different as well. So you're not eating the same thing every day. And I think that's really important because that's commonly, what I see clients do when they come into private practice is they have like I get them to fill out a food diary and exercise diary. And a lot of the time the food is exactly the same. So that's obviously not going to meet your needs for your training load. If your training load varies, you can totally do the same thing day in, day out. If you're bodybuilding, body sculpting gym goer type person, because your training is relatively similar, but chances are, if you're on my coffee and questions, then you're not that person. You're probably more of an endurance athlete and therefore your training's not the same every day, particularly for triathlon. So we know that your training load. Definitely peaks and troughs through the week. You’ll have a lot or a day-long day, generally. And then you also load changes and evolves over the month or the training cycle, depending on what event you're into or what your event you're locked into next as well.

So just making sure that your food matches that. You shouldn't be eating the same thing all year, wanting to make sure that you are scaling when you need to and up and scaling down when you need to too. So they're kind of three things. If you, if you really being affected by tiredness to have a look into and make sure that you're really ticking all those boxes:

  • Getting enough sleep and whether there's a few sort of sleep hygiene habits you need to do
  • Getting your iron checked
  • Whether your actual energy availability is good and your food matches training load


So we've had a couple of questions come through while I've been talking about that.

So on Instagram, Isa Garcia says “If I'm having a calorie deficit, but not losing weight, why could it be?”

So depends if you're actually in a calorie deficit or not and how you've calculated that, I guess is my first thought. If your calorie deficit is too low, then sometimes that can stunt weight loss too. I don't see, well, I sometimes see this, but not so much anymore. Back in the day when I did a bit more gym goer type client work, people would come to me on say a 1200 calorie deficit calorie plan, which is a huge deficit and then not losing weight. And that's because that's way too low is probably below the rest of their resting metabolic rate. And so the body is really good at then just, you know, maintaining or not dropping any fat because you're not giving it enough energy. So I would look at that as something, if your calorie deficit is too low, if it is actually a calorie deficit, and I guess having a look at your training load to making sure that training matches food and you are in a calorie deficit 7 days a week. Some people put themselves in a calorie deficit for 5 days and then the weekend's just a free for all. So, therefore, that's enough to kick you out of that calorie deficit and you can maintain your weight ongoing if that's the case too.


So a couple of things to look at, obviously I don't know who you are and what you need or anything about you, but a couple of thoughts, I guess, if you're not losing any weight, if you're just maintaining a couple of things to think about, if you are actually in a calorie deficit or not, or if it's too low if you are.


Alright! Bec said “Best foods when sick to boost recovery. Thanks, daycare.”

I guess so cold or flu type recovery. We're talking about Bec. I guess, you know, if you're sick, take it easy, right? Don't burn the candle at both ends. If you're working, looking after little ones and you're trying to do triathlon training, just take it easy. It's okay to back off training. A lot of triathletes really struggle with that. It's okay to not train for a few days.

Bec said “Yep. To cold and flu.”

So maybe like, de-load your training. Look after yourself. And then in terms of food things – try and really boost up your antioxidants and all the colour sort of foods. So lots of fresh fruit, lots of salad and vegetables to get a huge range of vitamins and minerals across your week. Regular hits of protein is really important so that you can still maintain your muscle mass and you don't lose too much for your resting.


Make sure you've got no intensity to your training. And the other thing you can do is take a sort of vitamin C and zinc combination supplement. So something like, I'm not sponsored by Swiss, but Swiss immune. They do a C-Zinc combo that can be useful. There’s a little bit of evidence around taking that as a way to reduce the severity and duration of colds and flu's if you hit that early. Make sure you're taking a probiotic and there's some good evidence around maybe this few actually Bec. I know you're not good at taking things and we've talked about this before. I'm pretty sure. But take one of the probiotics that’s got the good strain in it that can help lower the incidents of upper respiratory tract infections if you've got little ones in daycare, Swiss do one. And again, I'm not sponsored. It's just what we used for the Olympics, which is why it's in my head. It's called “Immune” or something like that. “Immune booster” or something along those lines of probiotic. I think in health plus do one as well and probably good for rebody take. Something like that. If he's in daycare, getting sick all the time, there is a kid's one, that's the same sort of thing. And immune-boosting sort of probiotic. And what's in it is a particular strain of bacteria or probiotic that has been researched to lower the incidents and severity of upper respiratory tract infections.

So there's a kid one that's a powder that you can mix into like yogurt or something and that would be a good thing for him to take every day. And why are you doing it for him? Do it for you as well? Because you're the bus driver. Remember you've got to look after yourself to keep him functional. But as moms, we tend to look after everyone else first and Jo just joined. Jo and I have talked about her being the bus driver a lot. You’re the bus driver. If you go down, the whole ship goes down. So making sure that you are looking after yourself too.

Bec said “On the couch resting which is killing me.”

Yup! Most triathletes don't know how to stop. So it's important that you do stop and rest and the better you are at that now the faster you'll get back to training. But if you try and push through that, then I've had people ended up in hospital with pneumonia. Because I've tried to push through things because they don't know how to stop. So just be careful, like obviously if it's on your chest, I'm not a doctor, but if it's on your chest, shouldn't be exercising an intensity. Like it's just in your head. You can get away with it a bit more. Just rest. Get it done and dusted quickly. And then you'll be back to doing what you love.

I think I've got those questions on Insta sorted. Now on Facebook, we've got Tina who wants to know.
“Best foods to cut out for inflammation and sore joints please – old, retired athlete problems.”

So there's a little bit in the media, I guess, on the internet, around cutting out animal products to inflammation. Not a lot of evidence for that necessarily, but if you are a big meat eater, then just looking at your overall load of that can be something that can be of benefit. I had an athlete come in the other day, who's trying to go vegetarian because he feels it makes him feel better. And I asked him if it's the lack of red meat that he's been cutting out or trying to cut out, or if it's just that he's eating better when he does that, when he starts to think about the food choices that he's making, he actually eats better.

And so it's not necessarily that the meat is the problem, the red meat. But that he increases his intake of like salads and vegetables and he cuts out crap food when he does that. And then there, he feels better. So I guess there's two schools of thoughts in terms of meat intake and inflammation and it's an individualized thing depending if that's what you want to do or not. And then if you do that, then making sure you're getting good quality protein sources from other places. You could do some like put some anti-inflammatory foods in, so making sure you've got things like olive oil and avocado, plenty of nuts and seeds and things like fatty fish. So salmon, tuna, herring mackerel. Those sorts of things are good to include. And if you like - Bec, who doesn't eat fish, then taking a fish oil supplement can be beneficial as well. And you can actually even just kind of boost intake of those anti-inflammatory fats by taking a fish oil supplement even if you do eat fish, just to make sure you're getting enough.

Alright! Tracy has asked “How do you avoid cramping and leg muscles on long bike rides? 4 to 6 hours.”

Good question. Cramping is a big, big, big topic, but I'll quickly try and summarize a few points for you. So cramping – a lot of people blame electrolyte, imbalance, or salt for it. Really at the end of the day, it probably comes down to dehydration and fatigue would be two of the main things that cause cramping. So if you constantly cramping, just one muscle, say legs, like if you're cramping in your quads, then chances are you probably more fatigued in the quad. If it was a whole electrolyte imbalance, then you're more likely to cramp whole body. Okay? Because it doesn't make sense for you to just cramping one muscle if it's a total body electrolyte imbalance, right? So I would, if it's just like quads or calves or something on the bike, a lot of people cramping their calves in the swim. Because when you're kicking your legs, your calves in a contracted state and it's held there and then you push off the wall and it quickly shortens. So cramping is quite common in the pool and that's probably because your calves are tight. The fatigue from the run that you did that morning or yesterday and you need to do some more stretching. So a couple of things to avoid cramping is making sure that you're not tight. Make sure you do some strength training through your legs.

A lot of triathletes are not good at doing strength and it's definitely an important discipline for a sport where you're doing 3 different sports. You've got to run, cycle and swim. You need to put some strength in there as well. I can't remember what the first one I said was, but hydration, strength and stretching and making sure, I guess your positioning on the bike is okay as well. So you might need a slight shift in where your saddle is to get more sort of posterior chain glute involvement. If you're finding that your quads are doing a lot of the work, it could just be totally positional thing, but 4 to 6 hours is a long time. If you're not used to sitting in a saddle doing rides at that length, then obviously doing more of that sort of stuff is going to increase your strength so that you don't cramp so much. But you're in a weird sort of position for a long period of times too so, it's probably just positioning could be hydration. It's unlikely to be fixed by eating more salt and there's also no evidence for magnesium and cramping. But you could do that too because everyone seems to. So there's a couple of pointers for you, Tracy. Hopefully that helps.

Alright. Is there any other question? Any other questions for me? If you've just joined me and we're talking about bikes. If you're watching the replay, you'll have heard this, but if you want to dietitian approve cycling kit, please let me know him because I'm putting you in one more order and then that's it. I'm done. So that's why I've got it on today. I haven't been for a ride. It's a bit drizzly. I wish I'd been for a ride. But send me an email. If you would like one, it is cost price Castelli. So it's $280 for whole kit, which is normally a $600 kit. And it's top of the range, like really good shammy, it's not going to hurt your bits which is really important if you're riding for 4 to 6 hours, Tracy. So hit me up if you need one.

Jo said, “Stand up and U-turns out of saddle.”

Yeah, stand up, stretch your legs is a good tip from an ex-Ironman athlete.

Alex said, “Love my kits so much!”

You are welcome, Alex! Do you want another one, Alex?

So I'm just chasing a couple more orders, a couple of females, a couple of males, and then the orders going in. Got to meet minimum orders to get it. And then it takes a couple of months to arrive as well. Because it comes from Italy and there's been a whole heap of delays with COVID, but it should be okay now because Italy's kind of opened up.

Alright. Is there any other questions? And if there's not, then we might try and wrap up. But hopefully Tina, that gave you some hot tips. Tracy, that gave you some hot tips as well. And the person who asked about calorie deficit to…and Bec.

So a couple of good questions today. And then that question about being tired, a couple of things to consider. If you are tired. If there's no other questions, it's 9:30 already. I might jump off and I will see you next week!

So let me know if you have any questions in between now and then. Otherwise, I'll always pop a little question box in the Instagram story 24 hours before, so you can pop them in there as well. Just helps to keep a bit of structure and less ramble to these things. But Tina said, “Thank you.” - You're welcome. And Tracy said, “Thank you too.” Over on Facebook, over here. It doesn't seem to be any other questions, so I will sign out and I'll see you all next week!


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