28 06, 2016

WCA Nutrition Blog – Research Survey

By |June 28th, 2016|News, Nutrition|Comments Off on WCA Nutrition Blog – Research Survey|

Hello cycling members!

To date, there is little research in the nutritional practices of women in cycling, with most of the research being done on male cyclists. Why is this? Instantly, a flood of thoughts come to my mind. But in my best attempt to keep this posting as unbiased as possible, I will refrain from sharing my opinion on unjust treatment of women in sports. Rather, I hope to remedy this situation and contribute to a small but growing number of interesting studies done with looking at different nutritional practices between men and women, blended with current nutrition interest for endurance athletes of all levels.

That said, I dedicate this month’s Nutrition blog to giving you a chance to voice your opinion on your nutritional practices. I want to learn from you, and further the research being done to meet endurance athlete’s needs, and acknowledge the different approaches taken by men and women, and some possible reasons behind it. With these results, I will write an article describing these differences! Additionally, you will receive a specialized e-book on 7 different nutrient-dense grains, endurance specific benefits and use, and a scrumptious recipe to enjoy.

I would really appreciate you taking 10 minutes of your time to contribute. Click HERE to take the WCA Nutrition Survey.

I’ll be back next month with the usual Nutrition interest blog, including great recipes…

Best of Health,
Sarah Weber, RD.

17 02, 2016

WCA February Nutrition Blog – Black Currant- the New Superfood?

By |February 17th, 2016|Health, News, Nutrition|Comments Off on WCA February Nutrition Blog – Black Currant- the New Superfood?|

Most of us are looking for a “nutritional edge.” The one food or combination of foods/supplements that will excel our body faster than any other racer in the pack. It is this phenomenon that drives research to investigate foods that may enhance performance. Within the recent decade, the potent antioxidant anthocyanin has been identified in many different red, purple, and blue fruits, vegetables, cereal grains, and flowers. This category of antioxidant has been shown to have significant health and performance benefits.

Towards the end of this past year, the New Zealand black currant berry (CurraNZ) has been identified as a potent source of anthocyanin. Further research needs to be conducted on this intriguing berry before I conclude it reliably beneficial and begin recommending pre-race dosing, but the emerging data is interesting. One of these studies uses black current during repeated running sprints to exhaustion, but can be comparable to sprints and surges experienced regularly in cycling.

Perkins et al. (2015) have tested the New Zealand black currant extract containing 300mg/day CurraNZ with 105mg anthocyanin for 7 days versus a placebo when performing multiple short high-intensity running sprints with the same length recovery in between sessions. The results indicated those taking CurraNZ covered a greater total distance with repeated sprints (10.6% increase distance), had higher lactate at exhaustion, and larger changes in lactate during early stages of recovery after repeated sprints to exhaustion. I don’t doubt that future studies including this berry will quickly emerge.

This berry, like many others, in my mind acts as nature’s platform to deliver anthocyanin. Anthocyanin can be found in many foods though, and deserves to be consumed regularly in an athlete’s [...]

18 12, 2015

December WCA Nutrition Blog; Rosemary Benefits

By |December 18th, 2015|News, Nutrition|Comments Off on December WCA Nutrition Blog; Rosemary Benefits|

From Backyards To Kitchen Tables – Rosemary Has Many Delicious Benefits

Rosemary is a common cooking herb, but does it have other beneficial effects besides tasting good?
The rosemary plant is native to the Mediterranean area, but can now be found all over the world- from backyard gardens to indoor planters as a perennial herb. The plant itself has an inedible woody stalk, but the rosemary needles are a consumable treat. There are many different and beautiful varieties, so make sure to buy the “cooking rosemary” to grow indoors or outdoors, but make sure to place it in a sunny place. The plant is extremely resilient, so even I couldn’t kill one with over-watering and long spells of neglect! Don’t want to grow it? No problem! You can easily buy fresh rosemary, dried whole rosemary needles, dried powdered rosemary, and rosemary oils. When buying fresh rosemary, keep it in a Ziploc bag in the refrigerator, and it will stay good for several weeks.

Rosemary has been used for centuries as a medicinal component to treat and improve memory, relieve muscle pain and spasm, prevent indigestion, and support the circulatory and nervous systems. Rosemary branches were placed on the floors of medieval homes to combat diseases during the “black plaque,” and used as an incense due to the wonderful scent it emits.

In more recent scientific research studies, rosemary has been shown to have potent antioxidant properties and may have antimicrobial capabilities. Just a reminder that antioxidants act to neutralize free radicals in our body- this protects the cellular membrane and cellular DNA from being damaged which can cause our cells to die. We [...]

12 11, 2015

November WCA Nutrition Blog

By |November 12th, 2015|News, Nutrition|Comments Off on November WCA Nutrition Blog|

The Incredible, Edible Egg!

People have many beliefs about eggs. Some think they are bad for you and will raise your blood cholesterol levels, whilst others think they are a meatless superfood. Here’s the facts about eggs, and how they can be a part of a healthy athlete’s diet…

Eggs are protein packed- an average sized egg contains ~7 grams protein per egg. This little package comes as a complete protein source, which means they contain all the essential amino acids your body needs to use for muscle and tissue recovery, adaptation, and growth. This makes eggs a fantastic choice for a vegetarian diet where most plant-based proteins are incomplete.

Eggs contain ~5-7 grams of fat per 80-90 Calories, which mainly comes as unsaturated fatty acids. This small amount of fat is ideal for absorbing the fat-soluble vitamins eggs contain in their yolks. The egg yolk contains vitamin D (a fat-soluble vitamin), which is essential for absorbing calcium which is primarily used for building and maintaining healthy bones. Vitamin D also blocks the release of parathyroid hormone which acts to resorb bone tissue, making them brittle and weak. Research indicates this essential vitamin also plays a role with muscle function and the immune system. The egg yolk also contains vitamin B12, which is needed for keeping a healthy metabolic and nervous system. Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin needed to live, but is limited in a plant-based vegetarian and vegan diet. Eggs are a great solution obtain vitamin B12 rather than relying on supplements. Eggs do contain a small amount of cholesterol, which can contribute to high cholesterol levels when eaten with other foods that are [...]

18 09, 2015

Hydration Up High – Altitude Training/Racing Nutrition

By |September 18th, 2015|News, Nutrition|Comments Off on Hydration Up High – Altitude Training/Racing Nutrition|

Many of you have already experienced training and racing at moderate to high altitudes (less than 5000m). Why might you do this? To achieve potential performance benefits… I’ll start with a reminder about how “training high and racing low” works.

The higher in elevation you go, the lower level of oxygen is in the air that you breathe. When you spend time at moderately high altitudes, physiological acclimatization to the area occurs with an increase in red blood cell production, blood flow, and oxygen binding capacity*. With more blood and oxygen delivered to your muscles and throughout the body, there’s a greater circulation of nutrients and oxygen, which may result in better performance.
This adaptation can be hard on the body when rushed and/or done improperly. Some adverse effects can include a weakened immune system, reduced training intensity, dehydration, loss of appetite, and reduced muscle adaptation. Don’t let this happen to you! This is completely avoidable with a few key nutritional strategies…. This month, I will focus on hydration at altitude since it’s easy to forget about when in a new environment.

How can my hydration assist with the body’s adaptation to promote the best results? I’m so glad you asked….
At higher altitudes, your respiration and ventilation increase, which leads to a greater loss of water from your body into the air. This happens both rest and during submaximal exercise. It is not uncommon to see a loss of ~200 – 1500mL/day of water! That’s about 1 – 6 fluid cups, or up to 1.5 large Nalgene bottles! Therefore, it’s essential to hydrate properly before, during, and after your training/racing- especially [...]

5 06, 2015

June Nutrition Blog

By |June 5th, 2015|Health, Nutrition|Comments Off on June Nutrition Blog|

Food Safety While Traveling
Traveling for races can be a great experience when prepared for in advance.  Give yourself the week before leaving to pack all the necessary supplies, and remember any initially forgotten items.  Unfortunately, most of us forget to include nutrition and food-preparation items during this process.  Leaving it to the last minute and arriving unprepared only escalates stress levels, reduces the immune system, and increases the chance of sickness and food borne illness.  When food hygiene standards, sanitation, and water quality are questionable- take all precautions necessary to protect yourself!

Organize Ahead:

~ Know your training and race schedule to plan meals and snacks accordingly.  Know your lodging and meal situation- are they supplied for you?  If so, what hours/times are the meals available?  Or do you need to make meals on your own?

~ Pre-plan your meals and snacks for the travel to site, during site, and the return home

~ Contact the airlines to select healthy airline meals for the plane trip, but bring your own food too.

~ When flying- check with the airlines or security about what foods passengers are unable to bring onto the flight (ex. Liquids, yogurt, fresh fruits and vegetables with seeds).

~ Research restaurants and grocery stores/markets in the area you are staying where you can buy bottled water and fresh foods if needed.

~ Consider making your own Nutrition Travel Bag with:

Non-perishable foods*, instant coffee/tea, international plug adaptor, measuring cups/spoons, measuring bowl, microwave safe Tupperware, small cutting board, Ziploc bags, eating utensils, hand sanitizer, antibacterial wet wipes (or baby wipes), dozen paper towels.

  *Foods to consider:


Instant or pre-cooked rice, noodles, couscous, grits, quinoa, mashed potatoes
Bread, English muffins, crackers, rice cakes
Instant oatmeal, cream of rice, cream of wheat, [...]

12 04, 2015

April Nutrition Blog

By |April 12th, 2015|Nutrition|Comments Off on April Nutrition Blog|

Our April Nutrition Blog features Dr. Stacy Sims, Co-Founder of Osmo Nutrition. We asked Stacy for a sample meal plan for the workday with two-a-day workouts.

With two-a-day training sessions, there are several goals to keep in mind. The first is hydrating and fueling for the first workout to be able to effectively achieve the stress needed to trigger adaptations. The second goal is to recover quickly from this workout, maintain even energy throughout the busy work day, and boost energy for the second workout. The final goal is to recover well from the second workout to hit it all again the next day. (An additional complication may be fatigue and calorie intake- with fatigue, an increase in carbohydrate cravings occurs; and inadequate recovery will promote fatigue and cravings; which may increase overall calorie intake). The overarching idea to mitigate fatigue and improve recovery is increasing overall protein intake, in particular, high leucine content protein.
How might this look?

Wake up/5:30 a.m.

Pre-training snack 5:45
Espresso with 4oz almond milk and 1 scoop protein powder(15g) OR 5g BCAAs

Training: 6:00-7:30
DURING the 90 mins: ~20-24oz fluid (Osmo or 20oz water with 1/16th tsp salt and 1 tsp maple syrup).

Breakfast BY 8 a.m.: your high protein recovery!! Within 30 min of finishing your session (If it takes longer to get to your breakfast, then have 16oz fluid- ½ water, ½ milk alternative, with 20g protein powder+5g BCAAs):

Quinoa bowl (4 servings):
1 cup organic almond milk (unsweetened)
1 cup water
1 cup organic quinoa, (note: rinse quinoa)
2 cups fresh blackberries, organic preferred
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted*
4 teaspoons maple syrup
Combine milk, water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to [...]

13 03, 2015

March Nutrition Blog

By |March 13th, 2015|News, Nutrition|Comments Off on March Nutrition Blog|

This month’s blog features a few delicious and healthy recipes for your enjoyment! The WCA Nutrition Blog is “Under Construction”. We’re cooking up a delicious surprise for our readers…Look for a new Nutrition Development soon! Happy Cooking!


To add variety to your breakfast!  Here is an easy and quick meal – just add your protein of choice to round this out.  Perfectly enjoyed as leftovers the next day, simple to pack for commute to work, or take with you to enjoy during a long day at training camp.…

Energizing Cold Fruit and Rice Salad

Mix together until well blended:
1-1.5 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoons olive oil
½ Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½-1 Tablespoon brown rice syrup
½ teaspoon mustard powder

Pour over:
2 cups white + brown rice – cooked and cooled completely
1 orange – peeled and quartered
1/4 cup raisins
Fresh cilantro – minced

Mix all ingredients together and enjoy.
*Optional – top with chopped peanuts
Makes ~1-2 servings


Super Quick and Ultra-Delicious Gluten-free Coconut Stew

Boil together with water until soft:
¼ teaspoon salt
½ small sweet potato- chopped small
½ cup butternut squash- chopped small
½ cup cauliflower- chopped small

Add and mix until blended:
1 teaspoon dry Thai chili paste (Trader Joes – small jar on shelf)
½ can lite coconut milk

1 chicken breast- (pre-cooked.  Or boil with the vegetables to cook through)
1 cup cooked rice

Warm until all ingredients are mixed and cooked though.
Makes/serves: 1


1 large onion, chopped
1-2 Tablespoons olive or coconut oil
2 carrots, sliced or diced
2-4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 pound lean ground turkey (preferably all-natural)
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

2 02, 2015

February Nutrition Blog

By |February 2nd, 2015|Health, News, Nutrition|Comments Off on February Nutrition Blog|

“Real” Ride Foods
aka. “Training the Gut”

The gut (or gastrointestinal system) is a very trainable organ. Much like physical training of the muscles to endure long hours on the bike, the gastrointestinal system can be trained to endure larger amounts of food during riding. The gut contains approximately 100 trillion microbes, all of which respond to external and internal stressors/cues for digestion. Therefore by giving ourselves small amounts of “real food” successfully while under lower intensity work, we can slowly train our body to take larger amounts of food while enduring higher intensity training.


The Head vs. The Gut

The types of foods your gut and head desire while training can be similar or completely
different. I make this distinction between the ‘gut’ and the ‘head’ because often times
what you are craving in the moments of entertainment/distraction on long training rides is
not what you should eat at that time. For example, how many of us distract ourselves
with thoughts of limitless pancakes or waffles topped with butter and real maple syrup?
Or allow ourselves to become dehydrated while salivating over the thought of freshly
baked salty tortilla chips or burgers? Obviously, this is not what we should be eating
while in the middle of training! So, we force down another gel, gel block, gummy candy,
or peanut butter and jelly bite on stale white bread feel sick from overly sweet
mouthfuls, but see our performance improve all because we know we should be eating

It is true that these quick sources of carbohydrates can be performance saving
convenience. However, I think that the gels, gel blocks, etc. can be put aside while doing
base training and saved for more critical times like when you are racing, times of higher
intensity [...]

12 12, 2014

December Nutrition post

By |December 12th, 2014|Nutrition|Comments Off on December Nutrition post|

The Holidays are Here!

Healthy Eating Tips for Holidays Gatherings….

Holidays can be a very fun time full of family and friends, and often revolve around food.  This can be a challenge for those trying to lose or even maintain their weight through the off-season.  You can still avoid the typical holiday weight gain while celebrating with everyone else!  When going to a holiday gathering, keep the following in mind:

Never go Hungry:

Be sure to eat a small healthy snack before going to a gathering or waiting for a holiday meal.  This will help prevent you from over-eating…

Include 10-20 grams protein, high fiber grains, and some veggies/fruit for a satisfying pre-meal.


 Salad topped with tuna and white beans and light dressing
 Small whole grain tortilla filled with lean meats and veggies
 Shelled edamame steamed with cauliflower and broccoli
 Green smoothie
 Greek yogurt topped with small amount of granola or muesli
 Poached egg sandwich on 1/2 whole wheat English muffin with spinach and roasted peppers

Spread the Happiness:

Bring something deliciously healthy to share with everyone!


Cheve or other cheese with French bread or your favorite crackers
Hummus with veggies and whole grain crackers/matza
Baked spiced sweet potatoes
Charcuterie plate or smoked salmon plate
Pumpkin or sweet potato pie/cookies
Salad topped with dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds
Tropical fruit salad
Rice pudding

Plateful of Ideas:

Fill your plate with the healthiest offerings first.  Then, selectively choose small amounts of the more calorie dense items (the “treats”) to garnish the meal.
Concentrate on your meal when you are eating it.  Bite, chew fully, and assess the food to see if you like it.  You can even discuss flavors with your buddy, or complement the chef- “does this have cinnamon in it?  It’s fantastic!”

Deck Your Plate [...]

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