Friday, May 13, 2011

All Hail Three Square Meals a Day

In the life of an athlete almost as much time is dedicated to eating as it is to training.  As any athlete knows consuming 3000+calories a day is not at all that uncommon.  In fact this can be a daily routine.  This would be relatively simple if humans had cravings for bags of flour and sugar.  Alas this is not the case and even the simplest pallets crave flavor and preparation.  Kraft-dinner just doesn`t cut it.  The amount of time an athlete spends obsessing over nutrition can often parallel them with religious nut jobs.  I suppose I am not excluded.

I am not going to profess nutritional values and rhetoric.  I just want to express phenomenon of "athletic food worship."  Athletes are notoriously OCD, and nutritional awareness only fuels that fire.  Always on your mind are thoughts such as, "am I eating too much? not enough how many grams of fat? carbs? protein? vitamins?"  I was discussing with another cyclist the other day that I do not shop based on price/weight rather I calculate price/calorie.  Its just to pricy otherwise.

As soon as you finish breakfast you ask yourself, "what should I make for lunch?"  Lunch is followed by the question, "What should I make for dinner?"  And before you go to bed you already decided what you will eat in the morning.  Not that traditional meal labels mean very much.  Meals are always timed around your training.  Breakfast may be at 6am or at 9am, Lunch might happen any time between 11am and 330pm dinner could be any time after that.

With so much brain power going to food amount and quality, I think it heightens your sense of taste.  Now longer will Kraft dinner and hotdogs satisfy the pallet.  In everything I make my taste-buds demand that no flavor be underrepresented.  The OCD athlete may spend 1-2 hours preparing a meal that they will devour in less than 10 min.  psychotic really.

Training shall be based solely on feel,
while racing shall be guided by sensations and instinct.

Cuylar Conly

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