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My Tri Life
A blog about Triathlon and how it has changed my life. There are inspirational stories about triathlon as related to everyday life and how the two(life and triathlon) intertwine. The blog contains training and nutritional information as well. Race reviews are also included.  

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July 21 2011
Ladies Nite at Trek Bike Shop In Raleigh, NC

Normally I would not let so much time pass without posting to my blog, but if you've been reading than you'll know that I recently moved back to North Carolina after living in Central Pennsylvania for the last five years. My husband's job has taken us back to what we call, "home," even though we weren't born here.
     Anyway it is great to be back here and last week I had the opportunity to attend a ladies night out at Trek Bike Shop in Raleigh. There was a clinic last Thursday July 14th from 6pm- 9pm geared for women. They had a local nutritionist, a pro-triathlete named Stacey Richardson who recently won the Triangle Triathlon for the women. I was really excited about the prospect of meeting a pro-triathlete as well as a nutritionist.
     I love learning anything new but especially something new about my passion triathlon. I figured this night was going to be a win-win plus the clinic was women-specific which I thought was very cool as well.
     The bike portion of the clinic was a slam dunk in my opinion. They had several people from the bike shop give some information of why a women's specific bike is advantageous. A few reasons given are that women's torso's are generally shorter than men's, that our arm reach is also generally shorter and even our seats( not bike) are different from a man's so why would it make sense to ride a men's bike? They have specific bikes made to make it more comfortable for a woman. I never really gave it too much thought but the points were valid and I remember my first road bike was designed by a man and the reach to the handle bars for me was always a little more of a stretch than I wanted. Gender specific gear makes sense.
     They also spent time showing us the proper way to change a tire. While this was not new information for me it was still really great information. The review was great for me and I learned some new tips in which to make this usually gruelling process less intimidating. I even got to try doing it myself on the bike they had to demo. This exercise really helped boost my confidence even though I've changed a tire or two before.
     There was also some good information given on the difference between a triathlon bike shoe and mountain or road bike shoe; the mountain bike shoe being heavier and more stable, the tri-bike shoe being easier to get in and out of for a quick transition during a triathlon. Again, I obviously know the difference but it was good information especially for someone new to the sport of triathlon. The triathlete was honest with the audience when she explained that for children doing triathlons she would not recommend a tri-bike shoe because of the expense. I agree, some of those shoes are over $200.00 so unless your child is very competitive I would agree with Stacy and stick with sneakers and toe clips on their bike.
     Where I got very disappointed was the nutrition part of the program. They had a certified nutritionist and a pro-athlete there together so I had high expectations for this portion. I am not "certified," in nutrition but I am very educated in that I have been a successful triathlete for nine plus years and I have done a ton of reading on the subject for myself, but also for my son who has ADHD to try to control his symptoms through a healthy diet.
     One of the areas the nutritionist covered was the importance of refuelling after a heavy workout or a race. I couldn't agree more here but where I disagree is with what she said to refuel with. When I offered what I refuel with she was very negative and said I needed to change my drink. I use a watered down Gatorade and a cliff or protein bar after a work out or hard race. The reason I water down the Gatorade is digestive issues. She said I need to find something else to drink and that watering down the Gatorade defeats the purpose of the drink. Okay fine but she offered no other suggestions on what sports drink to try. She said,"just try something else," or," try a product containing whey." I was looking for what she uses or even a list of others. When I mentioned Heed she also returned with a negative comment that she didn't like the food coloring in it. Okay, so again give me an alternative sports drink.I figured the pro-triathlete would offer up what sports recovery drink she uses but nothing was mentioned.
     The nutritionist continued her recovery-drink portion by offering chocolate milk as a,"cheap," alternative to some of the sports drinks out there. I was cringing the whole time she was talking about chocolate milk as a recovery drink because I know it has become a new fad but that doesn't make it good.
      There has been a lot of talk of chocolate milk as a recovery drink, but upon doing some more research on the topic I found that it really isn't a great recovery drink. Here is why; first of all you want three things in a recovery drink-electrolytes, sugars, and water. Electrolytes enable our cell membranes to carry electric impulses between cells. During intense exercise we lose potassium and sodium so we need to replace. We need simple(easily digestible) sugars to be replaced because during intense exercise we tap into our glycogen stores and when we don't replace those within two hours we start tapping into our blood sugar and this will cause muscle fatigue. Water is important for hydration.
     Chocolate milk would be okay to restore some hydration as it is liquid; okay so the water or hydration area is covered. Here is where the problem starts: milk has a slower absorption rate than water, meaning that for milk to get through your,"gut," it takes much longer than water and the goal is to get a fast absorption rate so the liquid reaches your circulatory system quickly. So milk can't compete with water or a sports drink. Another problem with milk is that it's main carbohydrate is lactose which has a low glycemic index which means it digests slowly. Also commercial chocolate milk contains high fructose corn syrup which also has a low glycemic index. Research also shows that while high fructose corn syrup will give you a "sugar," boost it is a manufactured product which means you can never completely get it out of your system.
     Chocolate milk's glycemic index has a value of 24. Most sport drinks contain maltodextrin or dextrose which has a glycemic value of 100. Again the chocolate milk just doesn't add up. I haven't even touched on the fact that  according to the NDDIC a large portion of the population in The United States has some sort of lactose intolerance. So how does milk fit in as a recovery for those of us who can't digest milk? Milk is not practical to store either as it needs refrigeration and who has time to remember a cooler on those long runs or rides?
     Okay so the nutritionist struck out on the chocolate milk recovery drink with me but what was more disturbing was the fact that when asked what the nutritional value of chocolate milk was she only answered two of the three things needed in a recovery drink. She mentioned re hydration and the sugar aspect, nothing on muscle recovery.
     I was also disappointed further when someone from the audience asked the pro-triathlete what she ate while she was training. I was drooling at this question and waited for some epiphany in her answer only to be disappointed again by her response of ,"Oh everything. And peanut butter." Really? Come on this was such a missed opportunity in my opinion to talk about the importance of a balanced diet. She basically said do what works for you. There are so many ,"super," foods out there and supplements et cetera that I felt like this seminar had so many missed opportunities to help us become better athletes through what we eat. After all information is power.
     There were some really good raffles and sales going on during the ladies night. I even won an entry into a triathlon for next year which I am really excited about. I had a fun night out with the girls and a decent glass of wine at the restaurant across the street. The bike information was great so all was not lost.

Tri-On Friends,
check out these websites for some more info on chocolate milk as  recovery drink and what to use to make your own healthy recovery drink using fruit and veggies.


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