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The Rise of the Female Triathlete with Stef Hanson

Nov 25, 2021

This episode of the Triathlon Nutrition Academy Podcast is with total legend and one of my favourite humans, Stef Hanson. Stef is the founder of WITSUP, which stands for Women In Triathlon, Sup?

In this episode we chat about:

  • Her many talents, skills, and untapped knowledge
  • Her motivation for starting WITSUP
  • Key learnings from the business
  • Why she decided to close the chapter of WITSUP
  • How things have changed for women in sport/triathlon thanks to Stef
  • Perceptions of triathletes
  • Lowering the barrier to entry into triathlon and encouraging others to compete in the sport
  • How she has held people/companies accountable for leaving women as an afterthought in sporting events
  • Her journey and personal stories working as a photographer for triathlons
  • What the future holds for her businesses and family

To go deeper, listen to the Triathlon Nutrition Academy Podcast Episode 18:  The Rise of The Female Athlete Interview - Stef Hanson for more!


Instagram handles to link:

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What is Sweat Testing and should you do one?

Nov 04, 2021

What is Sweat Testing?

Sweat testing is a way to measuring your sweat sodium concentration during exercise. Simply, we put patches on your skin, you exercise for a defined period of time and then take them off and analyse them. Combine with measuring your body weight pre and post, we can also calculate your sweat rate in ml/hr and then calculate sweat sodium concentration in mg/L of sweat.

In the field, we use sweat patches at certain sites on the body to calculate your sweat sodium concentration and then use mathematical equations to calculate total body sweat sodium.

Many things impact your sweat rate; genetics, your fitness level, intensity, the environmental conditions of the day, your pre-test diet – there are many things we want to try and control for to give you the most accurate results.

Who is sweat testing best suited for?

  • Athletes competing in endurance events 10hrs + e.g. ironman, ultra-marathons, 24hour mountain bikers
  • Shorter events if having issues
  • If...
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Do You Need Salt Tablets?

Oct 28, 2021

Many endurance athletes take salt tablets, but do we really need them? I spoke with the sodium and hydration master aka Alan McCubbin to break down everything you need to know about sodium, hydration and endurance exercise.

Here’s what we discussed:
 

Why is sodium is important for sports like triathlon?

  • When we sweat during exercise, sodium is the main mineral we lose along with chloride
  • The main electrolyte in our blood is also mainly sodium, and this plays a big role in moving water around the body

 Are there currently any guidelines around sodium replacement?

  • The guidelines are currently very vague
  • There aren’t really any specific guidelines around sodium replacement during exercise apart from a broad statement from the American College of Sports Medicine indicating that people should replace sodium when large losses occur, but they don't define what a large loss is

What research is currently underway to find some answers?

  • A study to survey what...
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How to Lose Weight & Maintain Energy for Ironman Training

Oct 14, 2021


Most athletes are looking to be in peak physical condition for their A race. For endurance events like Ironman where you have to carry your weight across a long distance, performance can be improved with a good power to weight ratio. But it’s a delicate balance between being light, strong and fast and falling into a hole because you’ve under fuelled too aggressively to get there.


Here are my 7 Tips To Drop Body Fat While Still Maintaining Energy Levels And Performance Through An Ironman Build:


1. Eat Strategically

  • Have a periodised approach to your nutrition
  • You shouldn’t eat the same thing every day – your nutrition should match your training load
  • Your nutrition should look completely different on your lighter training days vs a double session hard training day vs a long endurance ride & run off the bike type day
  • Without a specific nutrition plan perfect for you, you run the risk of getting sick or injured
  • Offseason vs training season nutrition should...
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7 Nutrition Tips for Exercising in the Heat

May 13, 2021
 

With Cairns Ironman just around the corner, I’m deep into writing race nutrition plans for our athletes. This morning on Coffee & Questions I wanted to share with you some strategies to assist with training and racing in the heat.

One of the biggest impacts of heat exposure when exercising is its effects on the gut. This is exacerbated when our core temperature gets >39°C

 

What happens to the gastrointestinal tract (GIT)?

  • Redistribution of blood flow away from the GIT towards working muscles and peripheral circulation
  • Results in decreased perfusion of organs in the abdominal cavity causing GIT ischemia (lack of oxygen)
  • PLUS sympathetic activation – fight or flight response – you don’t want to spend energy digesting food when you’re trying to run away from a lion
  • Suppressed gastric emptying, digestion and absorption

 

All of this happens with exercise – the longer and more intense – the worse it is. And it is...

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What Do I Eat Before a Triathlon Race?

Jul 19, 2020


A question I get asked frequently in the clinic – What do I eat before a race?

Generally, I'd suggest organising a specific RACE NUTRITION PLAN for your specific event as everyone is different, but here are a few general guidelines to help you get started...

Pre-Race Meal Timing - How long do you have?

What you eat before a race depends on how long you’ve got to digest and absorb it. If you have multiple hours (for e.g. Byron Bay OD which doesn't start to lunchtime), something heavier and more solid is probably going to be ok.

Compared to a shorter time-frame i.e. 1 hour or less, something smaller and easily digestible will work best. In saying that, everyone is different and you need to figure out what works best for you.

If you know you are a nervous racer and food sits in your stomach for a while, I'd suggest getting up a little earlier to ensure you have something to eat 2-2.5 hours prior to the race start.

Go for a smaller volume but...

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5 Strategies for Managing your 'Return' to Training

May 15, 2020
 

Coffee & Questions - 15th May 2020

 
Now that Coronavirus restrictions are starting to be lifted and group training sessions are kicking off here in QLD, it’s the perfect time to make sure you’ve got your nutrition sorted to maximise training and continue to support your immune system.

Today on Coffee & Questions I run through...

My Top 5 Strategies for Managing your 'Return' to Training

1. Match your Daily Fuelling to your Training Load

It's really important you quickly align your day to day nutrition to your change in training routine to ensure you're eating enough to support your overall energy needs. Just 3 days of not doing a good job of your nutrition is enough to impact your sex hormones and for females, drop a menstrual function for the month.
Appetite is a terrible indicator of your needs so work with a Sports Dietitian if you need help with a day-to-day training meal plan to support you through this phase
 

2. Get enough protein and ensure...

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Coffee & Questions - 8th May 2020

May 08, 2020
 

 

Coffee & Questions - 8th May 2020

Happy Fri-Yay !!

 
Today we went a little deep on Coffee & Questions as I tried to channel my Dr Karl to answer Liam's question on lactic acid and Jo's question on Nitrate .
 
To kick-off, Ben wanted to know if I deliver my cooking! The answer is no... but if anyone is interested in doing some online cooking classes please hola! I ran one during the week for QLD Health's Finance Department and it was a blast! A great way to learn some new skills and get some nutrition education in the current climate.
 
He also asked what My Top 5 Tips for Weight Loss are but I don't think this is the right focus for right now (sorry Benny ).
 
So instead, here are my Top 4 Tips for what you should be focusing on to support your overall health and immune system right now (3:00 minutes into the video) :
 
1. Getting 2 serves of fruit and 5 serves of veggies every day
2. Getting at least 30g of...
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Which Sports Drink is the Best?

Feb 13, 2020


When it comes to Sports Drinks, there are far too many choices!

Which sports drink has the most electrolytes? Which sports drink has the most sodium? Which sports drink is isotonic? What sports drink has the least sugar? Which sports drink is the best for hydration?

And most importantly, what sports drink is the best choice for optimal performance? Let’s have a look… 

What are we looking for in a sports drink?

Ultimately, we’re looking for a product that helps meet our fuelling and hydration needs. Sports drinks should be designed with a combination of different carbohydrates, electrolytes and of course fluid to keep you hydrated and performing at your best. But not all sports drinks are created equal…

Carbohydrate

As a general rule, most sports drinks contain between 6-8% carbohydrate. So, in 100mL of the product (made up to the correct concentration), they contain between 6-8g of carbohydrate. Anything higher can delay the rate your stomach empties...

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Dehydration: The Negative Effects

Feb 12, 2020
 


We lose water on a daily basis. We exhale water when we breathe, we lose water through our skin as sweat and we excrete water in our urine. Without regularly replacing this fluid we become dehydrated. We can’t train our bodies to adapt to dehydration, unfortunately. It’s not something you can become good at. Even mild dehydration can have noticeable negative effects. Let’s take a look…

1. Fatigue

Perhaps the most noticeable effect of dehydration is a general feeling of fatigue. Being dehydrated is often the cause of headaches or headache-type symptoms such as reduced focus, dizziness, light-headedness, feeling tired and low mood. If you are feeling these effects, try drinking more water before jumping straight to taking painkillers.

2. Mental function

As dehydration increases, mental performance decreases. There is a noticeable impairment in short-term and working memory and our visual-motor function. Dehydration also impacts concentration and the ability to...

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