In this informative episode of the Athletes Compass podcast, hosts Paul Warloski and Dr. Paul Laursen, alongside guest Marjaana Rakai, delve into the intricacies of nutrition for early morning workouts. They discuss whether it’s necessary to fuel before high-intensity training sessions, particularly when they occur first thing in the morning. Dr. Laursen emphasizes the importance of understanding personal dietary habits and encourages experimenting with nutrition to discover what enhances individual performance. They tackle listener questions, dissect common misconceptions about caloric intake, and advise on optimal post-workout nourishment, focusing on whole foods and proper protein intake, and they discuss nutritional strategies for vegan and vegetarian athletes.

Key Takeaways:

  • For short, early morning workouts, pre-fueling may not be necessary as the body has sufficient stores from dinner the night before.
  • Eating natural, whole foods is recommended over processed sports nutrition products for both pre- and post-workout meals.
  • It’s important to experiment with nutrition individually to observe its impact on performance.
  • Post-exercise fueling with whole foods is crucial for recovery, and athletes should not neglect the intake of protein.
  • Nutritional needs can vary widely on rest days versus training days, and hunger cues should guide eating decisions.
  • Calorie counting can be flawed; instead, focusing on the quality of food and its nutrient content is more beneficial.
  • Vegan and vegetarian athletes may face challenges in meeting protein and nutrient requirements and may need supplements.



Paul Warloski (00:36)

Hello and welcome to the Athletes Compass podcast where we navigate training, fitness and health for everyday athletes. Today we have two listener questions that focus on nutrition specifically for women but their lessons can apply to men as well. We did a deep dive in two recent podcasts about low carbohydrate, high fat diets. So we're excited to talk through these answers. So first of all, we have Cindy Maloney from Revelstoke. Before we get to Cindy's question.

Paul you must know Cindy from being in Revelstoke.

Paul Laursen (01:07)

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We were just saying off air before, like Cindy is an absolute legend. She was the original test guinea pig for Athletica. And she's been with us every step of the way since we launched in 2000, 2001, whatever it was. But yeah, she was, I think Marjaana was saying that Cindy was saying she used to just do all the manual uploads of the data.

with her watch and yeah, she's just been instrumental in terms of her feedback and whatnot in helping us build and then grow Athletica from the earlier days. And we spoke last one about patience. Well, Cindy's been very patient with me and with Athletica. So thank you, Cindy, for all you do.

Paul Warloski (02:00)

Well, here is her question. I typically work out first thing in the AM during the week for one hour and don't feel like eating first thing. If I have, especially if I have a hit session or something hard, should I be trying to fuel prior to that by not fueling? Am I leaving Watts on the table? What about on a longer, harder rides on the weekend that start early such as an over under session? Should I fuel before?

and or during. And you know, and my Athletica client and athlete and friend, David, asked me the same question about early morning workouts. So let's dive in. What should everyday athletes eat before and after an early morning workout before they head to their jobs?

Paul Laursen (02:42)

Yeah, okay, so let's start. There's a lot of pieces in this. So let's just kind of start at the beginning So if you got let's imagine you've got a hard session and it's you're gonna do it shortly after you wake up so what do you what do you do and Context is everything right? So you're you know with nutrition you'll be biased or not I don't know you just you'll have your own thoughts on what you normally do, but keep in mind This is this is a lease for me

I wouldn't want to necessarily hop on the bike with a whole bunch in my stomach if I was about to do a hard hit session before work. I just wouldn't. Why don't you? Well, because you don't want a bunch of... Imagine you had a big breakfast, whatever it might be. You don't want blood flow being diverted to the stomach to have to digest it because that's what it has to do. Right?

So you wouldn't want to, say you had an early morning session at 6am, you've woken up at maybe 5.30 and you're going to ride from 6 to 7 and then you've got to get ready and what not and then get in the car and go to work. Just imagine that's your scenario. You really don't want to have any, there's no need to have anything in your stomach before you start that hit session. Now, think of it from a fueling standpoint. You've had your dinner at night.

I would imagine that most of us have dinner at night and then we sleep over overnight. The job of the body in that time is to deposit everything, all the fuel that you've taken on in your dinner into the body, mostly in the form of stored triglyceride for fat stores, as energy, and stored glycogen in both your liver and your muscles. You really have everything on board that you need.

for that HIIT session. You might want a little bit of central nervous system stimulant. You might want a little bit of coffee. You might want, if that's what your practice is, doesn't have to be coffee, it could be tea, or you might just want some water. I just don't think you need anything in your stomach per se because it should actually distract you from your one hour workout. You just don't need anything for one hour.

And a lot of people sort of say that, I think Marjaana said this before too, you fall into this trap of almost habit and believing that we need something in the system before we go and do that, whether it's something that's kind of sugary and maybe you feel that because you, it lifts your central nervous system and it heightens you up and you feel you're getting something from that, but you really don't need it. And it's probably blunting adaptations that you wanna have.

you want to probably become a better fat burner. And if you don't have sugar on board, it's going to force you to be a better fat burner in those sessions. So that's the first question. I think you don't need much. And I think Marjaana gave a great example on this, where it's almost like a mental thing first. So just try an experiment with either start with an aerobic session and then try to do a HIIT session.

And measure, we're all measuring things now too, right? Like is your power any different than if you had your feed versus when you didn't? Answer the question for you yourself. So that's just the first one. Notice there's, I really nailed down the context because there's different contexts that are coming up. I'm gonna stop there and see if Marjaana has anything to say on.

Paul Warloski (06:16)


Marjaana Rakai (06:26)

So that's just the first of those things. I really nailed down the context. There's a different context. So I'm going to stop there and see if there's anything you can say. Yeah, I... First of all, Cindy is such a rock star. She shows up on our VO2Max sessions early in the morning, 6.30 her time. She's got her coffee.

So she gets to drink a little bit of coffee during our warm up and then we go hard. So if you wanted to change anything, I would test it and see if your watch, like Paul says, if your watch is affected by your fuel intake, but I think you're doing just fine, Cindy. The other one I echo is the mental thing. Like we so bombarded with, oh, you have to fuel.

Paul Warloski (06:43)

Thanks for having me.

Marjaana Rakai (07:07)

You have to take extra carbs for heat sessions. And it took me a long time to, you know, be confident that I can do heat sessions without decreased watts or power output, uh, without that extra banana right before, or, you know, any other fuel before I do, I do a little bit of a trick.

With my coffee, I put some half-half and coconut oil, cinnamon in there, and egg yolk. So I get that protein and the fat. So that's my breakfast before my early morning workouts.

Paul Warloski (07:46)

So can you repeat that? What do you put in your coffee?

Marjaana Rakai (07:49)

So really dark coffee, I love my dark coffee. I put half and half cream, a little bit of coconut oil, cinnamon, and an egg yolk. Yeah, it sounds horrible. But yeah, it's rocket fuel, I love it.

Paul Warloski (07:53)

Hell yeah.

and an egg yolk, okay?

It doesn't sound...

Paul Laursen (08:06)

Oh, that sounds amazing to me.

Yeah, I mean, like all that, I love that too. Like that's, because those are just all really good fats, good amino acids, all natural. That's really good.

So, we've been talking in the context of before, but now Cindy or whoever has finished their workout and still has to go to work. Now what do we do? Well, now is a great time to fuel, right? Like, you might not be hungry, and that's okay. If you're not hungry, you probably don't have to eat. But you probably better take something with you that's good and healthy, because you've got a full day ahead of you.

And you know you're gonna be hungry soon. So you better take something in the car or have something in the office if that's your context. Yeah, and if you happen to work from home, just when you're hungry, don't keep fasting. There's no point. You gotta listen to the apostat, listen to the person that's in your head. It's probably, trust that and it knows. And then have the right fuel to refuel. So how much...

you know, again, natural food, can you have things like, you know, things from mother nature, right? Whether it's a animal or, you know, vegetable or fruit, you know, again, plant or animal, just make sure it's natural. So that's the after of the short context, short workout in the morning before work context. Cindy's question continues. Well, what about longer?

longer, harder rides on the weekend that start early, such as an over-under session. Now, this is my opinion, is that you can really, if you're starting early in the morning, you probably start the same sort of way. Again, I just personally, I don't really want to have too much more in my stomach if I'm leaving early. Because you think you've had that overnight fast, I don't wake up hungry. That's myself personally.

And I kind of just want to use the toilet, have my coffee and get out the door and get to work. But I might want to have something on my person, in my pouches and whatnot, if I think that I'm going to need that. And I kind of, again, remember I've got all my triglycerides unlimited. Remember we learned that we've got unlimited amount of fats on board.

sorry, 400 grams, 2000 calories of carbohydrates stored on average, you know, in terms of muscle glycogen liver. So we've got a good base there as well. But we might get, might get peckish, we might feel we need something. And there's just, there's no right or wrong thing to this. I would be careful with too much sugary kind of drinks, because those tend to be a little bit.

I think they're almost like a little bit addictive and they're more dopamine as opposed to anything that's nourishing. My bias is that I go as natural as I can. Marjaana mentioned having some nuts available. There could be, you can make homemade, a lot of athletes that are into the same nutrition practices that I'm in, they'll actually make like their own homemade nut bars and stuff and they'll take those and they're delicious. And then of course, make sure you have

Paul Warloski (11:33)

Thanks for watching!

Paul Laursen (11:44)

have lots of water. But you could even have an apple at a stop kind of thing, right? Because you're probably going to get a slow release from the fiber in that. And if you've got stores along the way, you could just have a little bit of money just in case you sort of need it. Do you need it? Again, I'd go back to the experimentation. Try with, try without, check the power.

and heart rate on all of them. And again, remember, there's no right or wrong answer, but do your own kind of experimentation. So that's my diatribe, Marjaana.

Marjaana Rakai (12:21)

And I, I would encourage everybody to keep trying because it might not, like you might feel that it's not working the first time. So do it again. Uh, we, we can, after it might take some time to get used to a different kind of fueling and not just using sugar. I, I usually, if I go for a long ride, um, I've.

when I first started experimenting with the low carb, I would have eggs and avocado and some cherry tomatoes and like more of a protein and fat based breakfast before I went on a long ride. And that would just, it's such a stable energy and not none of those like, oh, oh my God, I'm getting hungry after an hour that I used to have. But I want to go back to

post-exercise fueling. Like, what should people fuel with? Do they need the 20, 40 grams of carbs? No, protein or like what kind of mixture would you recommend, Paul?

Paul Laursen (13:36)

Oh, I'm all about whole foods after there's no, like, I don't think there's any need for a sport or recovery drinks versus food. Like to me, like the bioavailability of the food, if it's natural, is always going to trump any sort of sports kind of product that is going to be well marketed. So to me, it's, you know, eggs, bacon.

Paul Warloski (13:53)

Thanks for watching!

Paul Laursen (14:05)

vegetables, low carb veg, those are things that really appeal to me, right? Like you can just imagine the types of things you can make that you're going to feel satiated by and they're just going to hold you for the rest of the day. So that's what I love in the post exercise period. That's me personally, right? Like other people are like, oh God, no, it's too fatty. I couldn't deal with that. And they might need something that's more.

granola and yogurt sort of based, right? And that's kind of what they're used to. But yeah, I think there's, as we've spoke about last time, nutrition is very personal. And I think your point or our point is just that keep tweaking and experimenting with these sorts of things and trust your feel in all of them.

Paul Warloski (15:00)

for a morning workout and then fuel with whole foods and whatever else you need after the workout once you're hungry.

Paul Laursen (15:11)

Yeah, well, yep. But again, remember that everything is progressive and individual at the same time, too, right? So it's like you, like, again, you're talking me doing a three hour fast to drive, done this forever, right? So it's like, there's a different context, you're not going to do I, I've said before, when I went and started doing that, I couldn't, you know, when I started out, I couldn't go an hour without a gel, right? Like, so and had I, I would have been eating grass

Paul Warloski (15:16)


Marjaana Rakai (15:18)

So it's like, you get company, you get a faster ride, you get this urban ride, it's like a different context. It's not going to be like I said before, where I went and stuck it out, I think, for an hour. And I had my little bit of grass in the ditch, and I had a fish before that. So it's like, really, there's no blanket.

Paul Warloski (15:34)


Paul Laursen (15:40)

without the adaptation before that. So it's like, you really, yeah, there's no blanket recipe, unfortunately. Everything is progressive and everything is a work in progress and you're always at end of one experiment. And just be cool with that and play with it and have fun with it.

Marjaana Rakai (15:49)


And I want to come back to that because it depends on the context of your life too. Like if your mom and you're rushing to get the kids or whatever, and you know you can't eat the next three hours, maybe right after your ride is a good time to get something in if you know that you can't or you have business meetings or whatever. Get it in before your blood sugar levels are so low that you're like fainting on here.

Paul Warloski (16:13)


Paul Laursen (16:27)


Marjaana Rakai (16:27)

on your meeting. Like, yeah, so plan ahead.

Paul Warloski (16:28)

Good point, good point.

Marjaana Rakai (16:34)

We have another listener question from Kim in Michigan. And it is a superb question. I love this one. What's the easiest way with lowest planning effort for average female athlete to balance her daily nutrition? I haven't figured out if I should eat a similar daily baseline and tune my extra calories to match my workouts. Or if I should be eating higher overall calories each day.

Essentially, Kim is asking about prioritization of nutrition, planning our food intake according to our workout schedule. What's the best way to manage this?

Paul Laursen (17:11)

What do you think, Marjaana?

Marjaana Rakai (17:15)

love this because I've thought of this so many times myself and I haven't really figured out because when you're working out a lot, your baseline energy expenditure is huge. It's really hard to get enough calories or energy. And sometimes when we work really hard, we're not hungry. Like we're not feeling the hunger.

And then some days, especially I find when I was a gel girl or a gummy bear girl, I would be hungry and hangry all the time.

That was until I met the prof and he encouraged me to experiment. And now I'm not hungry anymore and hangry anymore because I'm eating lots of good fats and protein which help the hunger hormones too, and feeling satisfied for longer. But I do, I see the, I see the, the problem, a lot of

A lot of athletes, and not just females, but a lot of athletes are trying to figure out how to match calorie intake with calorie outtake. The problem is that we don't really, we can't really trust our garments to say how, how many calories we use during our run or bike ride. So you're really guessing, but I would encourage everyone to rather eat a little too much than too little.

and I'm hoping Paul you can explain why.

Paul Laursen (19:00)

Yeah, well, because why would you want to eat more than too little? Because your cells demand nutrients, right? So whenever you're feeling hungry, that is a little center in your brain, the hypothalamus called your apostat, and your apostat is an overall sensor

for your need for nutrition. And sometimes that little apestat gets confused by a, you know, in terms of the fuel that it really wants on board. It's not going to distinguish between a dopamine hit that's giving you a sugar rush or, you know, a nice whole food alternate. And that's kind of where your

You know, your own mind has to get smart and put the brake on the dopamine hit and the sugar and reach for the quality. This is where you have to, you know, this is really where the, you know, fast versus slow thinking, this is where the slow thinking process has to come into play and you have to think about, you know what, you know, I don't, I really feel like I need a suite right now.

Paul Warloski (19:59)

Thank you.

Paul Laursen (20:23)

but I know what my body is really craving are nutrients in the form of, you know, good quality fats, proteins and carbohydrates and all the micronutrients and whatnot. So this is where Marjaana was making a really good point when she was talking about, I guess, ultimately Kim's question around the calories in versus calories out debate. And

Again, I follow a guy by the name of Ben Bickman, Professor Ben Bickman, and he really puts this, he really puts the nail into this thing. And it's, we're really, we're mixing things up if we really think we can do anything to try to get this right and to try to match calories in with calories out. It's just almost impossible.

This is from one of the most prominent professors in this whole thing. And for him to say this, like, you know, he studies this sort of stuff, like to actually, if you're actually counting the number of calories that are in any sort of food stuff and you're trying to count your calorie expenditure with your Garmin device or whatever, um, you're re you know, it's just almost an impossible job. And this is why, if you actually go into all the research, you'll see how.

disparate the data is, how random the studies are, and how they just don't work. And this kind of leads us back to this feel, premise that we're trying to teach on this podcast and otherwise, the process that we're all still on, but you've got to trust that epistate. And that's what you're best to start learning to follow. Learn.

what the key ingredients are that you should have in your cupboard, in your pantry, in your fridge, and around you. Know what those good whole food sources are, and it's not rocket science. And have more of those around and reach for those. Learn to build really healthy meals that are going to nourish your bodies. And that's...

Yeah, if you trust your feel and you're feeding it with things that it needs and having those around you, then you are going to be off to the races. And I know this with the girl that's in front of me, Marjaana, because she's just, you know, she's been transformative, what she's done in the past six months, really. It's been magic.

Marjaana Rakai (23:09)

I noticed with the drawings of the planet of man and the species, it's been transformative in terms of the study of the process and the spirit of man. It's been amazing. And I will not just maybe explain what has happened. And I went from, you know, a typical high carb to lower carb, but I think that's the way it is now. And I think that's the way it is now.

I would say also that I'm eating more calories. Like when I started first training for Ironman, I don't think I got enough energy because I was so focused on getting a lot of carbs in.

And I was doing low fat yogurt. Everything was low fat. So if you're thinking of the energy content of, of the mac, macronutrients, when you're eating full fat yogurt, instead of low fat yogurt, you're getting all that extra energy in. And as an athlete, endurance athlete working hard, it's almost impossible to get enough energy. So what happens with, uh, low energy availability? We're talking about.

You know, um.

risk of osteoporosis. Paul, help me out here.

Paul Laursen (24:23)

Well, yeah, it's disturbing your menstrual cycle, right? And remember, yeah, we've talked about the HPA axis and its connection to the gonadal axis, right? And that's, yeah, it's throwing off your menstrual cycle. So it's a real, remember what we learned, it's a litmus test for you being really ultimately unhealthy. There's something off. You're not getting probably enough calories and nutrients. So, you know, you were starting to say that you took on more calories, not less.

Marjaana Rakai (24:26)

menstrual cycle.



Paul Laursen (24:52)

and to do this transformation. That doesn't make sense.

Marjaana Rakai (24:55)

It doesn't make sense. And my weight just kept dropping. So I think part of myself getting over trained was the energy. I wasn't getting enough energy. And now when I'm getting enough energy, like I have so much more, you know, overall energy throughout the day, but also for training as well. So.

Paul Warloski (25:09)


Marjaana Rakai (25:23)

To answer Kim's questions, I think you really have to look at your nutrition, the quality instead of counting calories. Maybe it helps to count calories for a while and see where you are at, but it's so hard to say how many calories you've burned during your ride. So it's...

Paul Laursen (25:48)

there's so many flaws in the calorie counting thing. I'm just remembering some of the like, what's your basal metabolic rate? Who knows, right? You're gonna go and get that assessed. It's like, you know, you're, and then, yeah, what is the absolute caloric expenditure of X workout? You don't really know. And then what's in the post exercise period? And you know, how much, you know, what's happening during sleep? None of this stuff. You...

Marjaana Rakai (25:55)


really know what's in the post exercise.

Paul Laursen (26:14)

really actually know. So you're just wasting your time. And this is where you got to get back to the feel. And to your point, it's like making these calculated, I guess they're guesses, but like you generally know that a whole food product is going to have a lot more nutrients that you need versus any sports nutrition product. So the bioavailability difference, right?

Marjaana Rakai (26:16)



Paul Laursen (26:42)

And then like you said, you err on the side of more versus less, which again is totally counterintuitive to what we're led to believe.

Marjaana Rakai (26:43)

there on the side of the door, there's less to get is, it's fully tenacious. Yeah, because we're taught that if you want to lose weight, and she doesn't say anything about body composition change, but we've traditionally been taught if you want to lose weight, you have to eat less than what your output is.

Paul Laursen (27:07)

Yeah, I know. And some will say we're being completely irresponsible because we're telling people to eat more and not less. But there's the nutrients that your body is craving. Just listen to that apostat. It's craving for certain nutrients. So give it what it needs. And it's not asking for more sugar. It's not asking for a dopamine hit if you truly listen.

It's asking for all the building blocks that you need. And that's usually amino acids. It's usually to run on fat, which endurance athletes are built to run on. And then, and it's all the micros that are around that. Mostly B vitamins to build mitochondria, but all the other various cofactors and vitamins, et cetera, et cetera.

Marjaana Rakai (27:53)

But think about like pregnant women. When we're pregnant, we have these cravings. Like you have to be intuitive and listen to that because typically a pregnant woman's body will tell the brain, what do you need? For me, it was like crazy stuff like tomato soup. I couldn't get enough tomato soup.

Paul Laursen (28:17)

And you listen, but you probably like, you heard you and your baby talking, right? And you probably listened to that person that was in your head, yeah?

Marjaana Rakai (28:22)


Yeah, yeah, we were, I don't remember where we were, but we were going out for dinner somewhere in Dubai and I'm like, I only want tomato soup. And my husband was like, what? Okay, cheap date.

Paul Laursen (28:37)


Paul Warloski (28:41)

Yeah. So if I did a lot of riding on Saturday and Sunday and big long workouts, and then today is an off day, should I eat more on the weekends and eat less today because it's an off day or I mean, how does that play out?

Paul Laursen (29:00)

oh, that's a good one. That's a heated one, Paul. So you'd think that you'd probably want to, again, this goes back to the calories in, calories out debate. In theory, you should probably be matching the calories that you are, that you're expending for those two big weekend days, right? And then on your off day, on your rest day, you should be keeping pretty quiet because you're not expending anything, so you shouldn't eat anything. And I...

Again, I know me, it's completely the opposite. I'm not gonna feel very hungry. Ketones are gonna be up there and stuff and I'm gonna, on my big weekend, but I know on my rest day on my Monday, I am going to be just ravenous hungry and I'm just gonna probably eat the house down. I might have five meals in the day kind of thing, right? But if I'm hungry, I'm listening and I'm feeding it that, I'm feeding that.

And that's what I'm gonna really do on that recovery day. I'm really gonna focus on getting my quality, I'm really gonna focus on cooking and building a whole bunch of really good products I'm gonna eat kind of during the week. But again, I'm kind of giving you my gut feel and what other athletes do. I don't have any peer-reviewed refereed papers to...

to tell you that this is the best way to go. This is how I roll with me and my athletes. And I don't know, over to you, Marjaana, what do you think?

Marjaana Rakai (30:34)

What would you what you feel hunger after that big weekend? What if you don't feel hunger?

Paul Laursen (30:42)

Well, probably on the day after, after recovery, if you still don't, that's a good question. I think you should probably still listen harder and probably still have some stuff around. Because you should need some more fuel by that point in time. And you should in the form of quality nutrition.

Marjaana Rakai (30:59)



Paul Laursen (31:08)

So yeah, I mean, certainly there's other contexts and there's situations that could be going around, other stress factors that could be blocking that, right? Like, so imagine a personal problem, anything, like stress is really what kills us at the end of the day, right? So it's like, stress blocks that feeling. And if you've had a huge weekend, you've had a big stress cascade that's in front of you. And there's probably something there also that's not making you hunger.

hungry, feeling your apistat. And what should happen on the recovery day is there should be a stress mediation, a stress lowering at that point in the game. But in our type A personalities that listen to this, they might be really go, go and they might not feel that. So that's a really important point and they may need to be some building of good quality nutrition.

things to have in the fridge to take away and whatnot to shovel some good quality food in during that recovery day or that off day that just to still meet the demand that's needed. You still got to put back all of those nutrients. The cells need rebuilding and returning over. We've spoken about that before in other podcasts and you got to give it the right building blocks. You don't want to be...

you know, ladening yourself with sugar all day to get you through.

Marjaana Rakai (32:40)

I want to maybe put emphasis on protein because I know female athletes often have a really hard time getting enough protein. So even if you're not feeling good, no feeling hunger on Monday after a big weekend, if you start building your meals with a little bit of a protein, a little extra protein actually, that can help with the...

rebuilding of muscles and recovery. And like you said, with whole food, good, yeah.

Paul Laursen (33:16)

Yep, couldn't agree more yet. As a general rule, you wanna be getting close to two grams per kilogram body weight in your proteins for athletes. So it is, yeah.

Marjaana Rakai (33:27)

And it's hard to do.

Paul Warloski (33:29)

It's a lot. Because that's one of the biggest conversations that I have with my athletes is male and female, juniors or masters is getting enough protein because it is so much. You just don't think that you need that much, but your muscles are not going to rebuild without that kind of level of protein.

Paul Laursen (33:54)

That's right. Yeah. And yeah, remember through gluconeogenesis, it's not even just the building of everything else. It's also the like you can actually get energy from this as well too, right? So through gluconeogenesis, we can get protein gets converted into glucose. So but there's all the other various different cofactors and things that were good protein sources. I'm specifically talking, you know,

free-range animal products. It comes with so many cofactors and vitamins and minerals and that really makes athletes robust and ability to generate energy through building mitochondria mostly. But also all the, you know, think of all the connective tissue, the fascia, the, you know, the muscles themselves and the elastic components that you want to be a good runner or

you know even the neuromuscular demands of cycling all of that requires connective tissue and uh... myofibrils that there are their protein based elements you've got a you gotta get the that protein on board so to Marjaana's point paul's point absolutely protein

Marjaana Rakai (35:06)

what would your advice be for a vegan or vegetarian athlete?

Paul Laursen (35:11)

Yeah, veganism is really difficult. And most people will tell you that. And most vegans even know that. Remember when vegan, you're completely void of any animal products, period. And you're limiting your choices of the protein and amino acids that you get. So you're really limited to things like legumes, beans, nuts.

And then if you go to lacto-ovo vegetarianism, you've got a few more pieces, tools in your disposal because now you've got dairy products and then you've got your eggs that you can have. And that's probably a superior quality diet. But even that diet will still need supplementation with things like, you know,

B12 vitamins, iron supplements, and even the fact that, mentally, when you think about this, if you have to supplement your diet, you're probably deficient in something, right? There's no other real reason why you're supplementing a diet. It's not to say that all supplements are bad, and far from it, the right ones, it can be very helpful, but it should just, it kind of speaks to the fact that something might be a little off.

versus if you go more towards the, I gotta be careful what I call it, but like a carnivore kind of dominant, well formulated, low carb diet, then you start to get, you start to see that all the nutrients come in and you don't need to do any of that supplementation. You can do it wrong. You can do any of these diets right and you can do any of these diets wrong. So, but,

Marjaana Rakai (36:55)

that you start to get.

Paul Laursen (37:08)

But yeah, I always just try, as a general rule, a general principle, choose free range animals and choose farm-based vegetables and fruit and vegetables if you can get it organic. And if that is like the staple of your diet, even if you're over on the, even if you're vegetarian, then that's, you're probably, with whole food, you're, as opposed to processed in the middle aisles, you're in the right, you're heading in the right direction.

Paul Warloski (37:39)

All right. Well, thank you, Kim. Thank you, Cindy, for your questions. That's all for this week. Thanks for listening. Join us next week for the Athletes Compass where you can help us by asking training questions like these in the comments, liking and sharing the podcast, giving us five star reviews because of course, and engaging with us on our social media. We appreciate those who have been doing that. For Marjaana Rakai and Dr. Paul Laursen.

I'm Paul Wurlowski and this has been the Athletes Compass

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