Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Health and Nutrition

The transformation from three-toed sloth (no disrespect to sloths intended) to marathoner involved little more than the discipline to get out of the house and start running. Some minor changes to diet followed, as the need for energy increased. Even so, all of the changes came about subconciously.

The transformation from marathoner to triathlete may require a bit more active change and planning. While this first sprint triathlon should pose little challenge in the nutrition and energy category, Olympic or half-IM distances will certainly require a bit more thought. The training and race duration are sure to demand improvements in diet.

At the moment, I see two big challenges to address. The first is relatively easy. Calcium. It dawned on me that a big part of the foot issues I've been dealing with may be calcium related. Three-toed Sloth Pol had lots of heartburn from GERD and a hiatal hernia. Tums were a regular part of the diet, and Tums have calcium. Running Pol carries quite a bit less weight, and has stronger stomach and back muscles. The heartburn issue has gone away, and Tums went with it.

Therein lies the problem. I've lost my primary source of calcium. So, I'll be adding some vitamins, for both calcium and niacin. The niacin is supposed to help with some cholesterol issues (despite the decent diet and intense training, my good cholesterol is sort of low).

The second issue is more complicated. It's soda. Three-toed Sloth Pol, you know, the one with GERD and heartburn, drank on the order of a six-pack of soda a day, sometimes more. Over the years, that has been cut back to a couple sodas a day, depending on what we have for dinner. And I know that any transformation into a triathlete tackling any significant distance might require that consumption to be further reduced.

Switching from Doritos to pretzels is a snap. Replacing candy with fruit is a breeze. Adjusting daily intake based on exercise level is already part of what I do. Replacing soda, that's a sticking point. It may take an intervention (insert image of sharks from "Finding Nemo" shouting, "INTERVENTION" when Bruce smells blood in the water).

The question becomes, "What is reasonable?" Or is reasonable based entirely on where I'm at with weight and fitness? My gut tells me that even two sodas a day is too much. What about anyone else's guts?

1 comment:

Kewl Nitrox said...

Hey Iron Pol,

Stay away from soda, they are evil things. :) I have maybe one or max two sodas a week.

Then again, I have beer once or twice a week too. :(