Mission Apolo: Built With Chocolate Milk
World-champion short-track speedskater Apolo Ohno has embarked upon training for the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. That’s a huge switch from doing a short, intense burst of effort in a cold ice rink to enduring hours of grueling work in the hot Hawaiian lava fields!
Apolo accepted the BUILT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK campaign’s challenge (www.gotchocolatemilk.com) and is training like he has never trained before. He has excellent coaches and I have been invited to be one of his food coaches/sports nutritionists.
I talked with Apolo about his daily sports diet and was delighted to learn he is well attuned to the benefits of eating well, not only to enhance performance but also to enhance recovery and minimize the risk of becoming injured. His previous sports dietitian Nanna Meyer RD taught him well!
Apolo now needs to figure out how to balance hours of training with full-time employment that involves business travel to Asia and London. My initial words of wisdom for Apolo – as well as for any hard working athlete (such as you?) who is juggling food, sport, work, and life – include:
1. Front-load your fuel, so you are well-nourished during the active part of your day. “No time to eat” is no excuse. If you have time to train, you can make time to fuel for training.
2. Plan ahead. Good nutrition starts in the food market. Figure out how to have the right foods available at the right time to fuel up, refuel, and prevent hunger so that you do not get too hungry. Getting too hungry leads to the demise of a healthful sports diet because hungry athletes easily succumb to devouring “the wrong foods” – especially if they are traveling and surrounded by fast food options.
3. Eat what you enjoy. Keep enjoying your childhood favorite chocolate milk for a quick and easy recovery food that is backed by science. Chocolate milk offers fluids (to replace water lost in sweat), electrolytes (to replace the sodium, potassium, and calcium lost in sweat), protein (to repair and build muscles), carbohydrate (to refuel muscles), and other abundant life-sustaining nutrients (essential for an athlete’s overall health).
Good luck, Apolo. You will always win with good nutrition!!!
For additional fueling tips:
Mission Apolo: BUILT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK (www.gotchocolatemilk.com )
Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook (www.nancyclarkrd.com)