Before training, consult your DNA Analysis?

2 years 21 hours ago #34779 by robin.mousley
Athletes like Oscar Chalupsky and Dean Gardiner are famous (notorious?) for not using fluids during the Molokai Challenge...  

And Oscar currently promotes the Keto diet - and on, he claims, he didn't need any fluids during this years Molokai.  He didn't carry any on his surfski (he paddled doubles), but he did say that he had a small amount on his escort boat just in case.

So... I'm just a mid-packer (or slightly better if it's downwind!) paddler and for long races I've always used some form of sports drink using a formula of "take a sip or two every half hour" with an energy gel or two, also every half hour in the last hour or so of a long race.  

I've never felt motivated to try what seems to me to be the radical option of Keto or Banting diets - but I can see that they work for some people some of the time - and I've wondered whether that's just because they do work if you're sufficiently motivated to follow them religiously, or wether they only work for some people.  I mean, let's face it, Oscar is a freak - as is Dean Gardiner...  Maybe they're constructed differently...

Well, look what popped into my inbox, but an ad for one of those DNA testing products...  Only usually they offer to tell you what you'r ethnic background is...  or they're from a genealogy site that offers to find all your long-lost relatives.

But this one's different - this lot purport to be able to tell you how your body is likely to respond to nutrition and exercise...  And it makes sense - it would explain why some people thrive on a zero-fluid or zero-fat diet, while others don't.

Anyone tried it?  What do you think?!


Currently Fenn Swordfish S, Epic V10 Double.
Previously: Think Evo II, Carbonology Zest, Fenn Swordfish, Epic V10, Fenn Elite, Red7 Surf70 Pro, Epic V10 Sport, Genius Blu, Kayak Centre Zeplin, Fenn Mako6, Custom Kayaks ICON, Brian's Kayaks Molokai, Brian's Kayaks Wedge and several others...

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2 years 16 hours ago - 2 years 16 hours ago #34782 by Jef58
I'm on a Keto type diet and it works for me. I cycle more than paddle and it helps with the bike riding more than loading on carbs. I feel better with protein than carbs. There is an acclimation period with a protein diet that some people can't adjust to. Oscar may have natural talent like high VO2 max like elite aerobic athletes have, so he may use his 'fuel' more efficiently and with his honed technique makes him stand out. From the pictures I've seen of you, you are very lean, so a Keto diet has a tendency of loosing weight or fat, so some kind of modified protein diet to focus on energy instead of weight loss could work. I am certainly no dietician or health professional, but have had good results from a protein based diet over carbs. Most pro cyclists (and paddlers) have extreme VO2 max numbers that allow them to seem like supermen compared to us working part timers that want to enjoy our sports and stay healthy.
I use plain water to hydrate on both bike and ski...even in Florida summers. I drink less than I should or is recommended when active, but drink a lot of water during the day and after I get home. I do not drink soda or any other sugar based drinks so that helps too. That said, I always have ample water with me...

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2 years 13 hours ago #34783 by leolinha
Very interesting topic.
I recently read the book "The endurance diet" by sports nutritionist Matt Fitzgerald, which I strongly recommend. After having interviewed many many endurance athletes all over the world (Kenyan marathoners, Brazilian triathletes, Spanish bikers, you name it), the author claims that almost all of them follow more or less the same 5 dietary principles. One of these principles is "eat carb-centered".
My experience with one sports nutritionist is the same: he advised me to increase my carb intake.
According to the author of the book and to my nutritionist, there is plenty of science research available to support the "carb-centered" claim.
Before seeking any advice, over some time I tried lots of "low carb" diets but always felt miserable when paddling.

When I first read about Oscar's dietary tips, I was appaled. No water, no carbs, but the man still paddles like a freaking machine. Maybe this has to do with his incredible low heart rating while paddling. I've seen some of his VIRB videos with the speed indication on screen, and it is amazing how effortlessly he can accelerate to 16km/h to catch a run at 130 bpm, like he was taking a light stroll.
At high exertion levels with higher heart rates, the body consumes preferably carbs, so the scientists say. It makes sense that a guy that works well at such a low level of exertion doesn't need so much carb after all.

For us lesser mortals, however, or at least for the majority of us lesser mortals, a diet too rich in protein and poor in carbs seems to work against high performance in endurance sports. The author of the aforementioned book even cites a Japanese study indicating that a diet too rich in protein (like 30% of overall calories coming from protein) would hinder the development of endurance fitness by reducing the number of mitochondria in muscle cells.

Current: Epic V8 PRO, Think Evo 3
Past: Epic V8, Epic V10 Sport

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2 years 12 hours ago - 2 years 12 hours ago #34784 by Jef58
That is interesting, though the typical American diet is overloaded in carbs (as in sugars) and starches and sodium. I'm not familiar with South African foods, but understand that Italy, for instance does not have the amounts of sugar, glutens and sodium as American foods. I am not on a total Keto but a balance of proteins with minimal carbs as in breads and even less sugars and feel good with that. I know pro cyclist eat a ton load of complex carbs in their diets, but they are burning well above 5k calories in a typical race. They already have low body fat so the carbs work for them. I think most people who do Keto do it for quick weight  (fat) loss but tend to think it isn't a long term eating lifestyle.  Maybe a typical Italian diet would be a way to go, but it is hard to do where I live with higher sugars and sodium in processed foods.

I suspect Oscar has that natural aerobic physiology and over his many years of paddling, his heart is in good condition, especially since he has trimmed his weight down. He is a very active and fit guy relative to the typical male his age. 

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1 year 11 months ago #34787 by Fath2o

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1 year 11 months ago #34788 by SpaceSputnik
Some layman comments about the water. This "drink 10 gallons a day approach is relatively recent isn't it"? I remember my childhood and early adulthood. Nobody ever carried water bottles. As teenagers, we worked fields and orchards in southern Russia/Ukraine in the summer (voluntarily, for money :)). We had a bucket of water with some metal mugs scattered around. We would only drink when we felt thirsty. Once the thirst was satisfied we would get back to work (or crafty slacking off in my case). Don't recall anybody to be impaired in any way.
Same when I was on the kettlebell lifting team during university years. We would train for 2+ hours at a time with. Nobody was sipping anything, in fact it was mildly discouraged (although we could drink tap water freely, we just didn't do it all that much).
Nowadays we carry water with us all the time, myself included. It feels nice to hydrate regularly but I often wonder what does that actually do beyond feeling nice and satisfying a habit I developed over time.

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1 year 11 months ago #34790 by Impala
As for the modern waterloading ideology: I never drank during running competitions, but most of those were 20km or (much) less, so carrying water with you or stopping would have brought any gain after all. My only marathon would definitely have benefited from some water and energy supplementation. On the water, I observe that I get thirsty quite quickly. When my mouth gets dry (which I rarely experience when running, no idea why), I have to drink, full stop.

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1 year 11 months ago #34791 by Jef58
I guess one of Rob's original questions about the DNA tests really didn't get answered. I never had any DNA analysis done, but it would seem like a good idea for people that do high level activities. Like Fath2o posted link about each body acts differently, I can agree with that. That concept would fall in line with what type of training and diet will work for a specific person. Maybe that is why all these miracle diets and training programs seem to come and go if they are intended to be a 'one size fits all' approach. 
I still believe you have to be fit to have good technique, and having good technique reduces wasted it is a win win.

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