General Nutrition For Athletes

by Judith G. Cobb, MH, CI, NCP

This article is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. It is meant for educational purposes only. Judith Cobb, Cobblestone Health, and Nature’s Sunshine Products accept no responsibility for results you get, whether good or bad, from using this information. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.

Note: More information about the Nature’s Sunshine products mentioned can be found at the end of the article.

A lot of people think that to get fit they simply need to work out. While working out does play a big role in fitness, it’s much easier to get fit if the right nutrition is in place. The basic concepts of nutrition are the same for any fitness endeavor. The specific concepts, however, need to be tailored for the fitness goals. This list of guidelines is targeted to people who are training to maintain a sustained effort for 60-120 minutes – 10K and half-marathon races especially.

Specific Ideas for Training/Events Lasting 60 – 120 minutes

1. Daily Eating Habits

Minimum requirements

  • one fist-sized serving of lightly cooked veggies per 25 lbs body weight daily
  • raw veggies are bonus, but don’t count in serving count
  • two servings whole grain product per 50 lbs body weight, per day
  • one serving fruit – local – per day
  • one serving (maximum) yogurt per day, no other dairy
  • no coffee, tea, green tea, pop, juice
  • water, herbal tea – ½ oz per lb of body weight daily
    – include chlorophyll in water
  • protein – 6 half-palm-size servings per day – spaced at 2 -3 hours
    – beef, chicken, fish (not seafood), eggs (whole, no ‘egg whites only’), lamb, nuts/seeds (no peanuts)
  • fats – avoid margarine! Use butter, olive oil
  • avoid low-fat, no-fat; use real food that has real fat

Vitamins & Minerals

Super Vitamins & Minerals – at least double recommended dose
Stress Formula – vitamins B + C

  • up to 50 mg B
  • for nerves, resilience, immune

CalMagD – 1000-500 mg of cal and mag

  • 800-1200 iu Vitamin D
  • better absorbed taken at bedtime with 500 mg Vitamin C (with bioflavonoids)
  • for nerves, bones, muscle use
  • may want to decrease magnesium 3 days pre-race

Essential Fatty Acids – 1200-1600 mg

  • nerves, immune, skin

For Joint Issues

Collatrim – collagen supplement

  • up to 9 capsules per day
  • for soft tissue stability & for repair of injuries

MSM – up to 4500 mg

  • soft tissue stability, mild anti-inflammatory


  • don’t need any extra for training of one hour or less per day
  • need moderate extra for training 1-2 hours per day
  • need upper limits for training 2+ hours per day
  • Zambroza – yummy!

2. Training Days

  • eat your last real meal 3-4 hours before training
  • in the last 1-2 hours focus on easy to digest carbs – oatmeal, whole grain bagel, quinoa
  • focus on carbs, with small amount of protein and fat
  • water – hydrate! hydrate! hydrate!
  • fruit – avoid for last 3-4 hours before training

While Training

  • training less that 75 minutes, need water only
  • don’t try new ‘carb support’ during race
  • hydrate! hydrate! hydrate! – rule of thumb: 2 oz/2km or 15 minutes


  • avoid hydrogenated vegetable oils, sugar, peanuts, peanut butter, aspartame, sucrose, sucralose, corn syrup solids
  • higher carb, lower protein, lower fat
  • Clif bars, some Promax bars


  • look for glucose polymers, fructose, avoid caffeine
  • Hammer Gel, Clif Shots


  • to replace electrolytes
  • should include potassium, calcium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorous
  • look for glucose polymers, fructose, maltodextrin
  • slightly chilled for better absorption
  • Hammer Gel (diluted in water), Eload


  • avoid artificial flavors & colors, sucrose
  • Clif Shot Bloks, Sharkies

3. Race Day

  • avoid coffee
  • if using ergogenic aid (eg. Adrenal Support), take at least 3 hours before race, repeat at start of race and every 20-30 minutes during race
  • 30 minutes before – drink 8-16 oz tepid water
  • drink 2 oz every 15 minutes (every 1-2 km)

4. Post-Run  (training and race day)

  • eat carbs within 30 minutes after finishing
  • 6-8 oz water, pee, then drink more
  • eat protein 30-60 minutes after finishing

These guidelines have helped many people achieve success with their fitness goals. I hope you find them beneficial. If you need more information about proper nutrition for training or have concerns about your health, please contact me, Judith Cobb, to book an appointment. Skype, phone, webinar, and face-to-face appointments are available.

I also invite you to like us on Facebook and visit our other websites:
FB: Cobblestone Health – holistic health info for the whole family – health info specifically for women
Iridology.Education – iridology classes and courses
Nature’s Sunshine Products – world’s best herbs, vitamins & supplements for over 40 years

Products referred to above:

 Nature’s Sunshine Products CANADANature’s Sunshine Products USA
ChlorophyllLiquid Chlorophyll, Paraben-free (473-ml)Chlorophyll, Liquid (Size selectable on product page)
ChlorophyllLiquid Chlorophyll, Paraben-free (946-ml)Chlorophyll, Liquid (Size selectable on product page)
Super Vitamins and MineralsSuper Vitamins and MineralsSuper Supplemental Vitamins & Minerals (with Iron)
Super Supplemental Vitamins & Minerals (without Iron)
Stress FormulaStress FormulaNutri-Calm
CalMagDCal-Mag PlusCalcium Plus Vitamin D
Vitamin C (with bioflavonoids)Vitamin C 500 with BioflavonoidsVitamin C Citrus Bioflavonoids
Essential Fatty AcidsSuper Omega 3Super Omega 3 EPA
CollatrimCollatrim (capsules)Collatrim (capsules)
ZambrosaZambroza with Acai and PomegranateThai-Go
ergogenic aidAdrenal SupportAdrenal Support

Copyright © 2015 by Judith Cobb, Cobblestone Health Ltd. All rights reserved. Please respect the time it takes to write and publish articles. If you will link to this article and give proper attribution, you are encouraged to quote sections (though not the entire article).

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