Thursday, November 14, 2013

DARC Lessons Learned, Part 3: Nutrition

DARC Lessons Learned, Part 3: Nutrition

Obviously, nutrition is essential to every day life. Most any personal trainer, fitness expert, nutritionist, etc will say that fitness is 80% Nutrition and 20% exercise. How did this play in regards to DARC? If you don’t feed the machine, it won’t matter how much you PT’d in advance, you will hit your wall and hit your body hard.

What I found worked, worked for me. I based it on my research and my personal experience. Research wise, there is plenty out there that is free for you to peruse, on top of the paid for stuff. You’ll have to test these theories out yourself if you don’t want to pay the money to have a nutritionist to draw one up for you.

Take a look at various diets, but mostly focus on diets for high performance for individuals like Olympic Athletes, SOF “Tactical Athletes,” Long distance hikers, etc. I also spoke with Paleo diet following athletes in planning. A lot of my diet is the same, regardless if I’m in a DARC training environment, work, backpacking or working stuff around the house. 

What did I find worked?

Hydration. Lots of water and a 2 to 1 ration of water to Vitalyte. Hydrate constantly. The age old adage, if you don’t have to pee your dehydrated, is true. 1 liter before bed, 1 liter upon waking up.

Good breakfast (no matter when you actually start, always start your day off with a good breakfast). I got protein shakes and apples for my daily breakfast. ‘

Lunch/Dinner: Subway. You can save money and just get sandwich makings, but getting a 12” sub was nice each day. Get a heavy meat one, light on dairy condiments!

High protein snacks. Beef Jerky/Beef Sticks. A jar of Peanut Butter on hand and was eating from it all the time. Peanut butter crackers and packets of peanuts are great for while observing runs, during the lectures, etc.

Foods that gave a good boost: Banana, Milky Way (or your choice chocolate candy bar). If you need it, you’ll know it. I prefer to avoid chocolate or sugary foods, but sometimes you need it. Cliff Gel Bites and Gel Shots or the Camelback or Power Bar versions.

One of the nights, we had an extremely long run. That night I was happy I had a few Campbell’s microwave soups on hand.  

For further reading, I’d suggest reading or obtaining the following:
  • ·      Special Operations Forces Nutritional Guide.
  • ·      Paleo diet
  • ·      Appalachian Trail packing list

This is kind of a crash course overview, but will hopefully help any future students at DARC, as well as any other high physical endurance class, event, etc. you do.