Is an healthy diet that important to running performance

Addicted to chocolate

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20/02/2013 at 20:22
Hi my names Lee and I'm addicted to sweet things. I do a lot of running and swim a couple of times a week and cycle at least once, so am fit. Is my love of chocolate and sweets undoing all my hard work. I'm not over weight 5.7 10 stone and male, relatively quick,hoping to run my first half after a 3 yr break and am doing an ultra in July . Because I do all this is it ok to eat what I like.
20/02/2013 at 20:30

don;t be daft - of course not. You are what you eat - you eat crap - that's the raw ingredients that your body has to use to repair your muscles, repair cells, etc etc Your body is a constant work in progress - it's not just about fuel.  If you get adequate nutrients and macronutrients and have a few treats then go for it.  However if you are subsituting chcolate for proper food then eventually it will come back to bite you. Whether it's this year or next is totally up to your own individual make up. 

 

However you can get away with a lot more than the average person.

20/02/2013 at 22:52

Another way of phrasing your question would be "Is my heart going to thank me for putting me under strain whilst piling up the cholesterol?" short answer -NO

There is no doubt that with high levels of exercise you need to consume more to fuel the workload and as mentioned above running repairs (no pun intended) which gives you more leeway in terms of treats than say a "dieter" trying to lose weight but it's not open season on all food.........

I probably pay more attention to nutrition now than I have ever done as I can't maintain my training by winging it.  All that said the odd treat here and there does no one any harm, I'm training for fitness not for sainthood. If there is a Jaffa cake or Haribo famine shoot me.

On a more sombre note a running pal of mine had a medical complaint a few years back, made to quit all exercise and needed 4500 calories a day just to maintain a very slender frame and he use to love waving his kebabs or whatever else he was chomping on whilst flashing the six pack at me. I helped him into the ambulance after his heart attack aged 36. He now eats very regularly and very sensibly, you are what you eat.

20/02/2013 at 23:33

I don't think diet makes any - or at least hardly any - difference to running performance - unless you are eating too much and putting on weight.  Or at least it'd have to be a spectacularly poor diet to have an impact.

Long term though a poor diet can store up health problems even if you've never been over weight.   

21/02/2013 at 12:55

Eating too much fat (which chocolate has lots of) can lead to all sorts of health issues, even if you don't put on any weight.

Sweets are also really not good for your teeth!

If you are doing OK on a diet of lots of sweets, you'll do even better on a healthier diet!

WiB
21/02/2013 at 13:13
Lirish wrote (see)
Maybe this needs a little Expanding to be clear about what I mean. I think people in general, not just us as runners, define themselves a little too much by the standards of others and find a little too much validation in that.
I think some find more pleasure in telling others they're ultra runners than they actually do in running them. And please don't think this is directed at you, it's just me putting some thoughts on paper. It's like there's a ladder of running kudos and ultras are somewhere near the top. It's like ' oh you're an ultra runner, you must be so fit, I only run marathons' oh ' look at me, I'm so mad, I'm an ultra runner'
For me it's about finding the pleasure in the challenge and enjoying the outdoors, I'm incredibly proud of some of my shorter runs, as proud as I am of the longer runs. Take pride in the achievement, whatever it happens to be

 

Wilkie wrote (see)

Eating too much fat (which chocolate has lots of) can lead to all sorts of health issues, even if you don't put on any weight.

Sweets are also really not good for your teeth!

If you are doing OK on a diet of lots of sweets, you'll do even better on a healthier diet!

Which fat is the problem? I would say that the sugar content of the chocolate is far worse. If you are sticking to soem good dark choc 85%+ cocoa then you are not so bad

WiB
21/02/2013 at 13:17

If i run 100 miles a week, and need to consume approx 4000 calories a day to maintain calorific balance, can i live off a daily diet of 60 chocolate hobnobs?

21/02/2013 at 13:19
AgentGinger wrote (see)

If i run 100 miles a week, and need to consume approx 4000 calories a day to maintain calorific balance, can i live off a daily diet of 60 chocolate hobnobs?

Now thats my kind of diet 

WiB
21/02/2013 at 13:28
David Falconer 3 wrote (see)

Do you know how bitter chocolate gets at 85%??

70% is my limit.

 

Yes and 85% or 90% is very nice

Are you suggesting people post about things they do not know about when using the internet?

Edited: 21/02/2013 at 13:29
WiB
21/02/2013 at 14:10
Ok, so that's chocolate sorted, it's a percentage game. My name is Also-ran and my addiction is pic-n-mix. It has been 51 days since my last pic-n-mix

Which bits of pic-n-mix can I eat that are healthy. I will only be going up to marathon distance so assume the rules are a bit more relaxed?
21/02/2013 at 14:17

mini bananas all the way 

21/02/2013 at 14:24
I Should have thought about the mini banana.
21/02/2013 at 15:25
AgentGinger wrote (see)

If i run 100 miles a week, and need to consume approx 4000 calories a day to maintain calorific balance, can i live off a daily diet of 60 chocolate hobnobs?

Yes. I'll book you into one of my cardiac rehab clinics now if you like?

I've had this discussion with a fair few athletic types. Just because you exercise regularly, you are not 100% guarded against diet-related diseases. You may maintain energy balance and not gain weight, but the excess sugars/fats/synthetic crap will still have an adverse effect on your body. If anything, it's more important that you eat a nutritious diet, as the physiological stress of training demands more nutrients for recovery and repair.

As for pic-n-mix, I like those little white chocolate buttons that have sprinkles on them But fruit pastilles are clearly the healthy option *nods wisely*

21/02/2013 at 15:31

you'll be surprised how easy it is to get hold of 

like the black market of sweets 

21/02/2013 at 15:37
David Falconer 3 wrote (see)

I thought pick'n'mix died when Woolworths went under???

Would you like a sweetie, little boy?

21/02/2013 at 16:54

I heard that Ranulph Feinnes trekked for weeks in the Antarctic fuelled on packets of lurpack and dead huskies.

21/02/2013 at 17:09

Speaking as a diabetic, it's possible (though the jury is out, and will probably remain out for a long while) that eating too many carbohydrates will make you more susceptible to developing late-onset diabetes. Of course, even for someone like me, anything within reason can be consumed in moderation.

21/02/2013 at 17:12

I don't think the jury is really out to be honest - especially if you stick 'refined' in front of carbohydrate.

21/02/2013 at 17:34

Of course, the most important factors are a genetic predisposition, getting older, obesity (and too many carbs can play a part in making one obese) and physical inactivity. The jury is out because of people like me - slim, not that old, no genetic predisposition, active all my life. I think it's clear that 'simply eating too much sugar causes diabetes' is a myth - people get confused anyway about what it is we have to be careful with: it's all carbs, not just sugar, which is a type of carb.

21/02/2013 at 17:47

I am assuming you are type II then from what you are saying.  I know it is possible for fit otherwise healthy individuals to develop type 1 as adults ( a la steve redgrave) but it not be type 2 - i.e. it's not diet related but because of pancreatic problems.  

 

 

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