It’s possible that you’re being overly strongly encouraged on all sides to follow a particular diet or nutrition strategy designed exclusively for marathon runners, cyclists or triathletes.
In most cases, you might be advised to leave these nutritional systems alone. After all, so far no special value has been found in their use for general health, athletic performance, or even weight loss.
No, of course, it does not say not to eat foods that are valuable to the body and contain vital nutrients, to give up lots of fruits and vegetables, to become a vegan and not eat a lot of eggs. Not at all. It’s just that we shouldn’t put so much emphasis on the process and the way we eat.
In fact, a fanatical attitude toward food selection, dieting, counting calories, and discussing the latest trends on profile forums is observed only among amateur beginners and fitness enthusiasts. Like the endless and useless discussion of running shoes, parsing and testing various diets has a tinge of a fetish. Among other things, it’s all fashionable and has a huge influence of marketing strategies on the minds of consumers.
However, at a more advanced level, the situation is completely different: half (and probably most) of the elite athletes run their classics and ultramarathons without bothering at all about the diet. It’s not without a huge amount of carbohydrates, of course, which are the basis of any track and field athlete’s diet. But the products from which they are derived are determined solely by individual taste.
You don’t have to go far to find examples: the most famous (promoted) ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes is a fan of pizza, buns and all kinds of floury and “unhealthy” foods in any configuration. It’s a never-ending stream he puts into his furnace during training and competitions. But during rest periods he tries to eat simply less, including even fruit.
Anton Krupichka – in fact, a trailrunning icon – has never had any diet at all (it is possible that he simply does not know about them) and eats only what he wants at the moment. However, Tony has not only no diet, but nothing at all, including GPS and smartphone, the only thing he always has is shorts.
Timothy Olson similarly, being a total minimalist runner, yoga and meditation enthusiast, prefers to just eat whatever tastes good and can provide his body with energy, from fruit and cereal to chicken breasts with wine.
A certain percentage of researchers are inclined to suggest that although there is nothing wrong with diets and food systems for sports (and weight loss) themselves. But not everyone’s body likes to be tamed to certain restrictions and imposed on foods that may be inherently foreign to the particular digestive system of a particular individual in a particular geographic region.
The main requirement for nutrition should be to consume as many natural products as possible and not to create discomfort for the body with unfamiliar conditions. The only problem is that most of us have forgotten how to listen to and understand our bodies.