If you were in my “EAT BIG/PLAY BIG” class at Beat Me Halfway, you know we jumped around a little bit. This is not going to be a thorough explanation of the notes nearly as much as a bullet point list of what we covered. For more information, explanation, or to work with me on your nutrition plan, message me at DerbyAmerica@gmail.com
I will remind you that I’m not going into all the biochemistry of this. You don’t care about it anyway, you just want to know the what and the basic why. So this is like 1st grade chemistry when we are told “This is how it is!” and then in high school they say “Yea, ok BASICALLY that’s how it is, but it’s actually more like THIS.” So keep that in mind.
The 5 ‘Pillars’ of Athlete nutrition
– Calorie Count
You must eat for YOUR goals. Roller derby is a contact sport, and a high energy one. You should not be designing your food plan in order to meet society’s view of beauty. If your personal situation demands weight loss, then eat for weight loss. If you already are low body fat percentage, then don’t obsess over six pack abs, worry about your strength and progress instead.
I am going to focus on strength and athletic performance, not ‘weight loss’. Note – if you eat for sports performance and pair it with a proper training program, chances are you will lean out anyway. So it’s a win win.
Basic idea: your metabolism is your energy mechanism and how your body gets vitamins distributed around the body. So if the metabolism slows, then your body can’t burn as effectively or get the vitamins you eat around to the places it needs to get to.
We keep the metabolism running by eating. Your body is like a bonfire. If you stop feeding the fire, it dies. If you stop feeding your body, the metabolism slows to a crawl. Think of simple carbs (like bread, sugar, rice) as newspaper, leafy greens as large branches, and proteins as giant logs of oak.
If you are doing heavy lifting (which we all should be doing) you can and should eat more simple carbs than someone who is primarily doing cardio.
You’re not eating enough. I’m making this judgment call based on the fact that you were interested enough in this topic to read. But chances are: you’re not eating enough.
How much should you be eating? Step one is to find out your “RMR” (Resting Metabolic Rate). There is a big long equation that you can google or go to my favorite cheat sheet right here!
To make it easier for you, I went and did some EXTRA research to see if I could find something a little more uniform. What I found they most for athletes that participate in an intense training routine:
MEN: 23 – 30 calories per pound of body weight
WOMEN: 19 – 25 calories per pound of body weight
If you are weight lifting at least twice a week with heavy weights, you should be at the higher end of the spectrum. On your rest days, go on the lower end of the spectrum.
If you’re eating 3000 calories a day, you should be breaking down your calories into many meals and snacks, not trying to eat three 1000 calories meals each day. If you plan out six meals, that means 500 calories per meal! These can be protein shakes, full ‘classic’ meals, bars, snacks, etc.
How do you know what to eat to hit that intake? Here’s a quick cheat:
1g of Protein = 4 calories
1g of Carbs = 4 calories
1g of Fat = 9 calories
I like to give myself a range, so I’m 150# right now. That means I should be eating between 3000 and 3400 calories. (Which means even I haven’t been eating enough!) Giving yourself just a ceiling can cause you to not hit a minimum. I’d rather you say “I’m going to eat at LEAST __________” as opposed to “I can’t eat more than ________”.
THE DIRTY BULK
Here’s where it comes in. We talked about “The Dirty Bulk” – the time where you just eat whatever you want (primarily brownies and fast food) and then you get ‘huge and strong’. Guess what? It kind of works in the temporary, but not for long term results, and not for what we are focused on. If you are a strict powerlifter, a dirty bulk is appealing. You don’t have to be strict on what you’re eating, you can stuff your face, you get big, you pull big numbers.
Powerlifters don’t have to try and catch The Smacktivist on wheels occasionally. Powerlifters don’t have to be as quick as Gnat King Kill. Powerlifters don’t have to out skate Mercy.
For roller derby skaters (and any athlete that treasures their cardio health), the dirty bulk packs on fat, cholesterol, and poundage that weighs you down instead of pushing you forward. There are times you could dirty bulk (a true offseason), but you would have to counter it with a very specific, strict period of eating afterwards.
We are made of protein. If you do not give your body protein, you cannot build muscle. You cannot repair or create new cells with optimal performance. If you don’t give your body protein to burn during competition and training, your body will burn the protein it can find – your muscles.
Is your hair thin, skin flakey, nails weak? Part of your problem could be a lack of protein.
Here’s your easy equation: Athletes need to eat 1g of protein per 1 pound of body weight.
Eating more will certainly not hurt you!
Because protein is the biggest piece of your caloric puzzle, you want to calculate that first! I’m 150# … I want to eat between 150 and 175g of protein per day. So that means 600-700 calories of my day come from protein. BAM. Now I know that about 2300-2700 calories have to come from carbohydrates and good fats.
Side Note: Good Fats = mono- and poly- non-saturated fats. Nuts, avocados, beans, etc.
Ok, so something I hear all the time is “But Khaos, I don’t want to get big”. Guess what? You have to be super super dedicated for many many years to get big and bulky (especially women). You know what actually happens when you increase your calories and you start weight lifting and doing a hefty training routine? You lean the hell out. Your body takes the fat on your body and makes it into muscle.
Srsly. Your body needs fat to make muscle. It’s part of the process. So don’t worry about the “I’m going to get big”. You may gain some weight at first, but keep with it! A year from now you will look like a different person.
Not eating protein, not lifting weights because “I’m going to become a bodybuilder” is like not driving a car because “I’m going to become a Nascar driver” … it just doesn’t happen that way.
Yes, there are some studies out there that say that soy is bad. However, there are just as many studies that say that you would have to eat SO MUCH SOY to get those effects that … well… I hope you have stock investments in Silk. I can show you photos of men and women who have been consuming soy protein as part of their meal replacements and snacks (edamame!) on a daily basis for a long time and they do not have extra fat. They do not have breast cancers. Coincidence SHOULD NOT imply correlation. If you’re allergic to soy, don’t eat soy. If your doctor tells you not to eat soy because ‘it’s bad’ then … well…
DOCTORS AREN’T NUTRITIONISTS SO HE PROBABLY GOT HIS INFO FROM THE TV.
We are 70% water. If we do not give ourselves enough water, our body will not have anything to use for…
Cell creation processes, our joints, our brains, our endocrine system, our blood, to flush out extra stuff in our digestive tracks, etc etc
Have you ever gone to practice and you tell your feet to do things and there is some kind of disconnect? You can usually do the things, but you just feel like there’s a lag? Could be dehydration.
Here’s your equation for athletes:
75% x body weight = Ounces of water to drink daily
A gallon of water is 128oz of water.
If you are more than 170# this means you must drink more than a gallon of water per day. If you have never drank that much before, and are super nervous about doing so, go to the grocery store. Buy 7 gallon jugs. Label with a day of the week. That’s your water for that day.
You will hate me for the first few days. Your body won’t know what to do with the extra water you’re taking in. KEEP AT IT! The water you drink today hydrates you a few days from now. You have to keep going.
WATER DROWNING MYTH
Ok, here’s the time of the day where people send me nasty messages about ‘not needing that much water’. When it comes down to it, I don’t know the exact, precise number of ounces my body needs from day to day. It could be 87.7oz. Do I get water from the veg I eat? Sure. But guess what? It’s easier to just drink my gallon a day and be done with it than to overanalyze and hope that I got enough in that day.
To think that every person can drink eight 8oz glasses of water and be good is silly. My body needs less water than Spectral Abyrration. He’s a dude. He’s bigger than me. For us to use ANY of the same measures for nutrition is odd.
Sorry guys. Alcohol is bad for you. No matter how you try and frame it. Is there carbs in a beer that are great for recovery post bout? Yes. But there’s also ALCOHOL. And that saps your body of water and vitamins. The negative outweigh the positive. Subscribe to my blog, I’m going to be rebooting my article about this pretty soon.
Vitamins are what your body uses to create new cells. They are molecules that your body needs to initiate certain processes. Most vitamins and nutrients cannot be made by your body, your body cannot hold onto vitamins, and your body needs them throughout the day.
So moral of the story? You need vitamins all the time.
Why take a multivitamin? Mostly because we have such high vitamin needs as athletes (think of all those chemical processes going on in your body ANYWAY – then add all that training in? Your body is a madhouse of cell creation), that eating your vitamins through food sources only is damn near impossible. Considering that our food supply is much less nutrient dense than it used to be due to over-farming, picking before ripeness, and shipping long distance.
You can argue with me if you want, but seriously, it’s true. You can tell me that you “eat frozen, and buy local, and do all the things that make me wrong”, but guess what? Still not as nutrient dense. Sorry. And again, if you can take a multi and cover the gaps in your vitamins that you may not know you had: Why wouldn’t you?
I don’t know about you, but I don’t analyze myself for vitamin and nutrient intake through bloodwork daily. I’d rather just take my multi 3x a day, eat veggies, drink properly balanced meal replacement shakes, and not have to worry about it.
Yes. 3x a day. If your multi is one a day, you need to change multis.
WHAT YOU’RE EATING
So supplements are exactly that – supplements. You should build your whole foods, healthy diet and then fill in the gaps of what you’re missing with your supps. Some basics that I make sure I have?
Multivitamin, Meal Replacement shake (it’s an easy snack), my Cell Activator keeps my digestive track healthy and happy, pre-workout, post-workout, 24 Hydrate is my electrolyte supplement, and my fish oil/heart health for injury recovery (mine is flavored with vanilla so I don’t get fish burps).
Otherwise, my food involves a lot of rice, eggs, pasteurized egg whites (for protein shakes), PB2 (also for shakes), black bean pasta, all the veggies, chicken, ground turkey, wheat pasta….
I eat the same things all the time. MAKE A PLAN. Make a plan and know what you’re eating every day.
If you don’t make a plan, then you won’t know what you’re eating at 3p, which means when that time rolls around and you’re hungry – you’ll grab whatever you can. If you know on Sunday that at 3p Wednesday you are eating a protein bar, you better believe you’ll have that protein bar in your desk at work.
Also, this allows you to meal prep! Take a couple hours at the beginning of the week to pre-make and pre-portion all of your meals… or at least everything that you need to take with you.
You know what else this does? It gives you a very specific grocery list. Now you will be saving money because you’re not grabbing everything that sounds kind of appealing. You will buy what it is on your list.
Get with me to talk about pre- and post-workout shakes, but in the meantime… what I like to do is eat a meal about 2 hours before training, and then something small right before I train. After, I get 24g of protein RIGHT AWAY (you have a 45 minute “window of opportunity”) and then eat a meal within 2 hours.
Here’s the point where I start making friends. We talked about GMOs during the clinic. First of all, only about 3 people knew what the O in GMO stands for: “Genetically Modified Organism”.
Here’s what’s up people: We are not pulling a Jurassic Park on our food sources. We have been selectively choosing strains of fruits and veg to replant since the start of farming. Are there some foods that have been tweaked in a lab? Yes. But guess what… natural selection and our own farming practices have made EVERY FOOD SOURCE genetically modified.
I have two apples. One apple is SUPER JUICY but is kind of small and not perfectly red. The other apple has that perfect apple shape, and is much larger, but doesn’t taste as good. Guess what? The larger, perfect apple sells better! WOOT! MONEY! We’re going to replant the apple that people BUY.
The small apple does not get another growing season. The large apple does. BOOM. GMO.
This is the other place I make friends.
Organic is just a label that farms buy. There are a lot of things about “organic” that you may not think about … like the fact that arsenic is on the approved list (it’s natural!), or that runoff from the farm next door is common. So just because your big farm doesn’t spray that specific pesticide on your green pepper, doesn’t mean that the neighbors don’t use that pesticide on their apples… which wash off in rain. And get on your peppers through water transfer.
Also, just because it says organic, it doesn’t make it healthy. A lot of big farms have hopped on the “organic” bandwagon because they charge a lot more for [essentially] the same veg.
Want to know what you’re buying? BUY LOCAL! Go to farmers markets, become a part of a CSA. Research other labels, like “Food Alliance Certified”. Talk to the people growing your food. Or [gasp] start growing some of your own. Not all of us have the space for it, but there’s something rad about never-ending kale and tomatoes from your backyard.
Ok! So that’s the gist of things. I can help you create a specific plan based on ALL the things. I personally use Derbalife products, but that’s me. If you wanted to hop on Skype and talk about YOUR training plan, and YOUR nutrition, than let’s do it!! Drop me a line at DerbyAmerica@gmail.com or send me a message on Skype at KMGrey.
There is a little bit of trial and error involved in nutrition. Even the days when you’re “bad” you’re probably not doing THAT bad. I also incorporate nutrition in my in person coaching, so if your derby/football/soccer/softball/any other sport team is looking for classes, training, nutrition – let’s get it set up!! Let’s do it!!
I hear this all the time as a health coach with Derbalife. It’s what we do. We help people ‘get better’ at roller derby. I spend a lot of time thinking and researching what that really means to each individual person who contacts me. A 200lb female is going to have different challenges than a 135lb male in the sport.
I’m going to do a series of blogs about how to “get better at roller derby” off the track, and I’m going to do my best to include science (or at least link science articles for you to read up on and try and translate the jargon).
Training for any sport is not simple. If you decide to compete in a marathon, you may think, “Oh, I’ll just run!” but there are different philosophies, different styles of running, different techniques to prepare for the marathon.
With contact sports, you must train your long endurance, short endurance, capacity for large muscle power, stability and strength in tiny ligaments and minor muscle groups, coordination, sensory reaction, mental power and cognitive understand, and the recovery time from constant impact. “Oh, is that all, Khaos?” No, it is not all. Within each individual piece are an infinite number or focuses you can take. So I like focusing on a few things at a time.
Themes of upcoming blogs:
Can’t Knock Me Down (Balance and Core Strength)
Big Power (Power lifting and large muscle group leg strength)
Feet like Hands (Busting power, acceleration, and agility)
Hands like Feet (Training and using your upper body)
Skittles Don’t Count (Pre- and Post-Workout Nutrition)
The Forrest Gump of Roller Derby (Long endurance training)
So I Had a Bad Practice (Mental recovery and forgiveness)
If Only I Had Better Wheels (Overcoming fear and mental blocks in training)
Wait it’s that Thing! (Mental understanding of the game and translation to muscle movement)
The Mighty Ducks Approach (How to prep your body for impact)
Again! Again! (How to train multiple times a day safely)
Gallons and Gallons (Hydration and the importance of water to the body)
Micro and Macro and Phyto, Oh My! (Nutrients, Minerals and more)
If you have any other themes that you’d like to see me research and write about, please do comment and let me know! Also, if anyone would like to see these turned into Rollercon classes or seminars – let me know if I should submit. I’m always looking for cool things to teach that are inspired by blogs. I figured I’d list them out here so that I know what I’m writing about in the upcoming weeks! I need to plan out and put it out there, otherwise I lose focus sometimes.
Remember, every person has different thoughts, opinions, and techniques for training and improving. I hope to offer up some information from within the community of roller derby. The information will be useful for many sport disciplines, but hopefully these blogs will help us all get a little more awesome in upcoming months.