Performance nutrition, while often considered for athletics, it can also translate into every day scenarios as well.
Such as a CEO of a business needs to be at the top of their game to build and grow a business.
Or a parent who works full time but still wants to have the energy to play with their kids when they get home.
Improving your performance allows you to have that little extra "edge" to get through the tasks that matter most to you.
How to Enhance Your Nutrition For Increased Performance
There are simple ways to enhance your nutrition, and for the record, it doesn't start with supplements.
Dr. Geoff Lecovin creates a pyramid in this episode that walks us through the important layers that can enhance our performance. While most people think supplements are the key, that is actually at the top of the pyramid.
Dr. Geoff has extensive training working with athletes at all levels, and even holds certifications from the International Olympic Committee.
We will dive deep into areas to focus on to increase your performance.
What To Expect From This Episode
- [2:30] Dr. Geoff Lecovin has done a ton of schooling to be a Chiropractor, Acupuncturist, and Naturopath
- [7:30] Dr. Geoff was bodybuilding before all of his schooling, and he has applied some of the bodybuilding foundations to the work he currently does
- [8:45] What defines performance nutrition
- [10:45] Performance nutrition can be applied in life, careers, and much more than just athletics
- [12:00] Every single person or athlete has specific goals they want to achieve. How do you start to figure out what they need to perform better
- [17:15] Are fitness trackers accurate enough to tell us how many calories people are burning throughout the day
- [19:15] How do you start to break down macronutrient ratios for different sports
- [22:30] What are some good ways people can increase their protein in their diet
- [24:00] Do you have to put a lot of focus on micronutrients for performance
- [29:00] Supplements can be banned in sports, what should athletes be looking for in supplements
- [30:30] Are there ways to distinguish a good supplement from something not good
- [37:00] How do fit hydration into the pyramid of performance
- [38:30] If you are drinking a lot of coffee, does this impact hydration levels
- [40:00] Would it be best for female athletes to adjust their diet throughout the month to follow their menstrual cycles
- [42:00] Kids will have different requirements to improve their performance as well
- [43:00] What are some general considerations for a meal plan for an athlete
- [45:00] The main piece is to just eat real food and that will be a great start for performance nutrition
Resources From This Episode
Some of these resources may contain affiliate links, which provides a small commission to me (at no extra expense to you).
Transcript For Episode (Transcripts aren't even close to 100% Accurate)
Announcer: 00:01 Welcome to the summit for wellness podcast where we help you climb to the peak of your health. And now here is your host, Bryan Carroll.
Bryan: 00:16 Are you ready to improve your overall performance? Performance may be translated over into sport and athletic endeavors, but we can still enhance performance for those off the field as well. For instance, a CEO of a company still needs to up their games so they can have clarity and how they grow and run their business. Or a parent might want to improve their performance so they can keep up with their kids or have the energy G to help them with their homework. What's up everyone? I'm Bryan Carroll and I'm here to help people who have an injury or illness that holds them back from enjoying the outdoors. And today we will be discussing performance, nutrition and how to optimize the foods you eat to better suit the goals you want to achieve. Our guest, dr Geoff Lecovin helps people to improve their performance levels by focusing on diet, movement and the lifestyle factors.
Bryan: 01:08 But before we dive into this episode, this episode is brought to you by our friends at athletic greens. As you'll learn in this episode. If you are eating really well and are getting the highest quality of foods you can, then you should be receiving adequate amounts of micro nutrients like vitamins and minerals. However, the majority of us can use a little boost and athletic greens. Powder contains over 75 whole food ingredients to fill in the micronutrient gaps. You can learn more at summitforwellness.com/greens. Now let's dive right into my conversation with Dr Geoff Lecovin. Dr Geoff Lecovin is a chiropractor naturopathic physician and an acupuncturist. He specializes in treating musculoskeletal pain and sports injuries by integrating trigger point acupuncture and dry needle Lang soft tissue release, joint manipulation, corrective exercise and nutrition. Thank you Geoff for coming onto the show. Thanks for having me. Of course, and I love that you're a chiropractor, a naturopathic physician, and an acupuncturist, which all of those take along long, lot of schooling and a long time to get into. So can you talk about what got you so interested in the health industry and what made you want to do all that schooling to learn so much?
Geoff: 02:26 Ah, I grew up in Vancouver, Canada and did my undergraduate in exercise science and got into some amateur bodybuilding during that time. And while I was training, I was injured and a friend of mine talked me into going and see a chiropractor. So I went to see somebody and thought, wow, this is this a cool deal. I think I'm going to go this route. And prior to that I was heading more towards the nature pathic medical route, but I kind of decided to take a sidetrack. So I finished my, my undergraduate and moved to Los Angeles, went through the chiropractic program there. And three quarters of the way into the program, I got more into nutrition. So there was a school or a program out of the university of Bridgeport, Connecticut, and they ran it out of a hospital in LA on a monthly, so you would go for like a Friday, Saturday, Sunday and go through a master's program in, in nutrition.
Geoff: 03:17 So as I was graduating from chiropractic college, I kind of segwayed into this nutrition program and then was in private practice during the week. And then, so I'm proud to say I have my nutrition masters and, and trying to integrate that into my practice. And I get an article from my dad from the Vancouver sun newspaper about this guy doing something called intramuscular stimulation. So I was up in Vancouver, asked if I could take this guy out for for lunch. He took, I took him out for lunch and if this thing is called it's a IMS or as dry needling, it's a neuro anatomical approach to acupuncture. So rather than focusing on meridians and, and the traditional Chinese concepts, it was more neuroanatomical looking at orthopedics, neurology, that kind of thing. And I thought it was a really good kind of segway or, or a compliment to chiropractic.
Geoff: 04:12 So I called the BC board of chiropractors and I said, what can I do in order to try to practice this dry needling and chiropractic? And they said, you can't, you have to choose one or the other. So then I called the niche Catholic board and they said, well, if you have the training, then you can, you can practice as both. So I said, all right, I'm moving back to Seattle to go into the niche of Catholic medical program. So I started the process of becoming a naturopathic physician and I'm in the interview process and they go, well, what about the acupuncture? And I said, well, I said to completely other, another program. So, so I go for the interview for that program. So I'm at this point in a kind of a dual masters, a nature pathic program that I powered through and probably kind of speedy time.
Geoff: 04:55 I didn't about three years or just under three years. And so I have these tools as a nature pathic doctor, a chiropractor, a chiropractor and acupuncture and, and a lot of good tools, but I still didn't really know how to integrate it the way that I thought would be like the most efficient, you know, people would come in, I would do a little bit of this, a little bit of that, but it wasn't, it wasn't where I wanted it to be. So an intern came into my practice and he showed me a book one day called training for new millennium and it was written by a guy named Mike Clark who is a founder, a one of the founders of the NASM national Academy of sports medicine. And so I looked for this book and I said, this is a really interesting material that the assessment process was really cool.
Geoff: 05:34 The information was really interesting and I went, started taking all these online NASM classes. I took a live class and then I saw that they were advertising for instructors. So I went through the instructor process with, with NSM and started to integrate their model of assessment and treatment, which is really designed for personal trainers, but Dr. Clark was using it with basketball teams, like Phoenix suns and a other professional teams and, and really having some spectacular results. So I started to integrate this movement scene, which the assessment, which is an overhead squat and you break it down using a range of motion testing palpation, manual muscle testing to identify exactly where the pathology is, where the dysfunction is. So then I started to apply all my tool, so my dry kneeling, my manual therapy, my corrective exercise, and I started to get my results were like unbelievable.
Geoff: 06:29 So, so now, you know, this time, now I'm in integrating that NASM model with, with manual therapy and, and then then I got more into, into nutrition and specifically performance nutrition. I went to see Susan Kleiner, who is a performance nutritionist that is one of the founding members of the international society of sports nutrition. And I said, why I want to learn this stuff. So I went through their certification process and then subsequently went to more certifications with the international Olympic committee and then a company called the group performance. And, and so I've got these advanced diplomates in our diplomas and in sports nutrition. And that's me in a nutshell.
Bryan: 07:15 That's a very large nutshell right there. So you were doing bodybuilding before you were getting into all this schooling for chiropractic and whatnot. Is that correct? I was doing, yeah. Yeah. So has your idea around the methodologies for bodybuilding changed after you've gone through all this schooling?
Geoff: 07:34 Yeah, so I'm, I mean, I still, for my own exercise, I prefer to take I mean into strength training and more hypertrophy because I believe in terms of metabolic health, it's it's kind of King, you know, for blood sugar, for for longevity. You know, my, my partner that I work with here, he's into CrossFit. I'm into cross fix. So we have a good Melby. So but I, I really find that strength training is, is just been good for my own mental health and for my own health. But I do fall, I like the OB team model with NASM, which is kind of a pyramid where you, you build on stabilization or core and then you add strengths and then you add power. So I kinda fit my hypertrophy and strength training within that OVT model.
Bryan: 08:27 And then you had mentioned you wanted to learn more about performance nutrition, which is going to be the topic that we're talking about today. So can you define what does performance nutrition encompass?
Geoff: 08:39 So it's just a, it's more of an, an a word for fortune nutrition's. So basically I'll use it for athletes who want to perform better or people who want to gain weight or lose weight or even just wellness in general. So it's my approach in general for with, with nutrition or in general with my, my sports type of practices, people will come in, they either want to lose weight, they want to gain weight, they want to perform or they want to be well. And I've tried to use the concepts that a lot of, of of athletes will use in my practice. So I like for example, even with them, weight management athletes, people who want to lose weight who fall a traditional types of, of recommendations. I'll use more of like a, a maybe a bodybuilding or physique style approach. And I find that that's really effective.
Geoff: 09:27 I mean, you look at the population of the Sikh athletes and they gain a lot of weight in a shorter way, short period of time. And then they cut down. And I look really good relatively speaking, depending on me halfway or what you consider to be looking good. But in general, somebody who has a lot of lean body mass and you know, not, not too big, but even, you know, with women, if they have lean, buy a lot more lean body mass and you know, more muscle, I think that looks good. I think it's healthier. And so by combining strength training, maybe a little bit of high intensity interval training and the appropriate type of dietary measures, I think that's been really effective for my population of non-athletes or anybody who wants to lose weight. And then again, so people who are trying to gain weight or people who are trying to perform, that's, you know, it's the whole realm of, you know, what an athlete wants or needs in order to be at the peak of their game.
Bryan: 10:26 So we're talking a lot about people that are trying to enhance their performance, whether it's on the field, on the court. A lot of times I hear of a lot of principles that people use for athletics can also cross over into like high level CEOs or executives because they're also kind of playing an upper level game. Do you work with that at all? Sure, I do as well.
Geoff: 10:51 I do have some CEO's and, and more like heads of corporations that come in and, and I mean for the most part they're, they're trying to get healthy, they're trying to get well and but you know, they're trying to perform too. So like I look at my performance also performance in life and performance and health and how to optimize those things, which from a holistic perspective would encompass their body their biochemistry and their mental health.
Bryan: 11:18 Right? Yeah. And being the head of a large company or any type of company, their head has to be in the right place to be able to think and be able to grow the business the way that it needs to grow. So let's dive into a little bit the differences for performance. Cause you know, if we're thinking about the energy requirements of a sport versus energy requirements of someone trying to lose weight and in some sports people are losing weight in order to be ready for their sport. I'm thinking like wrestlers or fighters, boxers, anything like that. Can you break down what, how do you start to change the nutritional program for them to be able to make sure that they have the energy that they need to perform at the level that they need to perform?
Geoff: 12:06 So, so basically what I do is I'll figure out there I go through a pie chart to show them what, what, what makes up metabolism. Okay. So if you, if you were to draw a circle and to cut it in and to divided into thirds. So two thirds are about 60% is considered to be or thought to be due to your resting metabolic rate, your RMR or your BMR people say sometimes. So basically these are the, this is what it takes to keep you alive and run your processes like your different systems, your nervous system, your brain. So on like your circulatory system and have been system. And so it's based on your, your gender, your height, your weight, your age and lean body mass as well. So some of these things are kind of like set in stone. We can change, we can increase our lean body mass, right through resistance training.
Geoff: 12:57 So I kind of gently point that out to an individual that it's important to have more lean body mass cause it's gonna make you more metabolically active at rest, meaning that at rest doing nothing, you're going to burn more calories just by having more muscle. So then we have the next 30%, which is TD E or total daily energy activity. Oh, sorry. I told daily energy expenditure and that's composed of your exercise, right? And what happens after your exercise. So we know that if you do, for example, a high intensity interval training, you have what's called the epoch effect or excess post oxygen consumption that occurs after you exercise where you're actually burning calories for the next 48 to 72 hours just by doing this intense exercise. So imagine like you're pushing on the accelerator of your car, you've got this burning effect, and then it slowly releases, but you're still burning gas as it's releasing.
Geoff: 13:51 Same kind of thing with this. With epoch or high intensity interval training, resistance training has a similar metabolic effect, generally steady state type of exercise where you're sitting doing cardio in the fat burning zone, so to speak, for like 45 minutes or so. It's going to burn some calories, but it's really inefficient. You know, somebody can go in there and do 45 minutes, maybe earn four, four, 400 calories, something like that steady state activity and then go to Starbucks and drink a [inaudible] Chino and drink it all back in a couple of minutes, right? So, and a lot of people have this, this mental ideas that I've earned it. I'm going to, you know, this idea of like, I went to the gym so I can have this or have that. And it really is it's counter productive and self-sabotaging. So also part of this, of this energy expenditure is something called neat, neat stands for non exercise activity thermogenesis.
Geoff: 14:47 And that's actually been thought to be even more of a part for weight. So things like fidgeting, I'm just taking a little bit extra time to walk to get somewhere. I'm standing up a little bit more. We stand in our clinic most of the time. And so a lot of times people will substitute activities like they'll do the exercise for example, and then they won't do anything else for the rest of the day. I've done my exercise right? And that's not good. So it's important to incorporate neat as well. So I incorporate people to get like maybe a fitness monitor, like a Fitbit or something like that and aim for seven, 2000 to 10,000 steps a day. And that goes a long way for those individuals who are trying to lose weight. And the last 10% is the thermic effect of food. So when we're looking at the thermic effect of food, we're looking at different macro nutrients.
Geoff: 15:40 So that's the carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Have an energy cost and or breakdown. So whereas a hundred calories of captain crunch might have the same value as a hundred calories of a piece of steak. The way your mind, your body metabolizes these foods is a lot different. There's an energy cost in breaking down that a hundred calories of steak. So it's not actually going to translate when it's stored, if it is stored as a hundred calories. So, so taking it all again to summarize, you've got you've got your resting metabolic rate, you got total daily energy expenditure and you've got the thermic effect of food and that makes up your you know, your metabolism. So once we can determine these things, and there's a lot of online calculators that are like, especially for 'em, they use equation. So like Harris Benedict equation is really popular Cunningham equation.
Geoff: 16:31 So somebody will come in for example, and I'll plug in their height, their weight, their age, and it'll spit out a number that is a rough roughly there. The resting metabolic rate. And then we can also use a calculator to figure out their total daily energy expenditure based on what they're performing in a day with their activity. And and then that can give us a rough idea of where, how many calories they're burning in a day. And now if they want to gain weight, then we're going to add maybe three to 500 calories in surplus. If they want to lose weight, we're going to go the other direction. So it's like a Teeter totter of energy balance.
Bryan: 17:08 Do you, because you mentioned Fitbit's, do you ever follow the amount of calories that are burned based off of a Fitbit or like a Apple watch or anything like that that's tracking their heart rate all day long? Do you think that's accurate or no, I think that it's a good place to start,
Geoff: 17:26 Right? It's going to give us some data. I mean, the accuracy is, is questionable. But what else do we have? Right? So the, these are, these are portable tracking tools. You know, people can't afford to, to do the gold standards, like in, you know, calorimetry type of things. Or where you're, you're going into these chambers and they're actually like determining things and like in a really controlled setting, right? Mean it's not, it's not feasible. It's not, it's not a practical. So these give us some rough ideas. And so let's say you came in to say, okay, you know, Geoff, I want to lose some weight. Okay, let's get a foundation. Let's, let's find out what you're burning in a day. Okay. And then let's create a deficit and let's put you on a diet and let's incorporate the extra exercise. Let's have you track things you know, with a Fitbit and let's have you write down what you're eating and then in a couple of weeks follow up and see where you're at and then we can adjust things accordingly.
Bryan: 18:20 Awesome. And I liked that you make that correlation between captain crunch and state, cause I haven't really thought of it in that way. When you have a super hyper palatable food, like a lot of the processed foods where it gives you that initial crunch and then just melts. You're not having to use much of your metabolism to digest that food because it breaks down so quickly. And therefore you're not getting that extra burn. Whereas, like you said when you're eating a steak, the metabolism kicks in and it takes a lot more energy to fully digest that steak. So I think that was a really neat point that you brought up. So let's talk about the macros. And she talked about, or you mentioned that a little bit earlier. We have different sports. We have endurance sports and we have sports that require much more anaerobic capacity more sprints and whatnot. So can you talk about different ways to break down someone's macronutrients to help them perform the best at each of those different types of sports?
Geoff: 19:24 Sure. So so the first thing I always focus on is protein. And and before with, with the different macronutrients people would use a percentage like you want X percent of carbohydrates, X percent of fats and [inaudible] with protein. And now so the major organizations that I follow is the international Olympic committee and the international society sports nutrition. They come up with position standards and they've kind of moved away from percentages more to body weight and body weight and kilograms. So from a protein perspective, I'm Amy in general for, for my athletes for about 1.6 grams per kilogram of body weight. Okay. And that's when you look at a lot of the research kind of points to that as being like an optimum. I'm not the one number. If you go a lot much further or higher up, it's not going to do damage to your kidney or bones.
Geoff: 20:21 Like was the one thought that's been debunked. It's not going to do that much more, but it might act as an insurance policy. And certainly if somebody was in a calorie deficit, for example, I would encourage them to go up to maybe two grounds for kilogram body weight to maintain their lean body mass. Cause you don't wanna lose muscle when you're dieting down, right? You want to lose fat. And so in order to maintain your muscle and you can maintain your muscle in sometimes a crew muscle in a calorie deficit if you are doing the right things like a resistance training and eating the appropriate amount of protein. So so that's for protein for carbohydrate, again, it's based on your activity. So somebody who's doing a skill based activity, three to five grounds per kilogram body weight would be kind of that level of carbohydrate that they would need all the way up to maybe 10 to 12 grams per kilogram, but per kilogram body weight.
Geoff: 21:15 For somebody who's like doing two workouts a day, maybe there are triathlete, maybe they're a, a professional soccer player that's got a morning work on an afternoon workout and they really need that substrate or that carbohydrate in order to fuel and recover from that activity. And then somebody like a strength trainer, low strength athlete like myself, probably more like four grams per kilogram body weight. Depending on where I'm at in my in my training if I'm trying to bulk up or if I'm trying to lean out a little bit, I generally kind of stay lean most of the year. But carbohydrate. The idea with carbohydrates these days is more like a purity I's periodization of carbohydrates. You eat your carbohydrate around your training in order to fuel your activity and fat is going to come somewhere between a 0.6 and one gram per kilogram body weight and focusing on more like essential fats with a good Omega six to Omega three ratio, healthy monounsaturated fatty acids from of Cadeau nuts that kind of thing. And then limiting the unhealthy fats like the Cedar oils and canola, that kind of thing. Sunflower, safflower [inaudible]
Bryan: 22:29 It seems like a lot of people have a hard time getting enough protein in their diets. Do you have some good tips or strategies people can use to get more protein?
Geoff: 22:39 Sure. So it's, it's probably, you wanna think maybe around 0.4 grams per kilogram body weight for permission meal. Right? That's one way of looking at it. I usually start our recommend a smoothies as a good way to add some protein in there. So if you're don't have a problem with dairy, then a whey protein isolate would be something good to add. I like show me the way it's a concentrate and isolate. So it's more of a whole food. You're getting both parts, it's more, you know, more of the dairy. If somebody is a, a vegan or plant-based athletes and using maybe Vega or some kind of a, a more of a pea and rice type of protein, you can do that. So, so you can add that in there. And then your snacks, high protein snacks like jerky or or Greek style yogurt or cottage cheese or a nut butter on top of a piece of fruit.
Geoff: 23:36 That works really well. So that kind of thing. So, like having maybe a small frequent meals where you're all of them have a bit approaching and them to get to that final, final number that you're aiming for. And then do you put a lot of emphasis on the micronutrients as well, the vitamins and the minerals. So if you, if you take care of your energy, right? So the, so think of it in terms of of a pyramid, okay. So this performance approach, so the bottom of the pyramid is going to be energy, right? So you want energy, energy comes from calories, right? And energy is broken down to the the currency of energy, which is ATP, right? So getting enough energy, ATP from your macronutrients, like whole foods for your carbohydrates, proteins and fats, right? We'll generally give us sufficient micronutrients, right?
Geoff: 24:31 So with micronutrients, I'm looking at lots of colorful plant based foods with healthy pasture raise, wild types of, of meats and nuts and seeds in order to, to encompass you know, all the vitamins and minerals and phytonutrients that you would, you know, need for healthy diet. Now if you have something called reds, which is very starting to be more prevalent, red stands for relative energy deficiency in sports. So you know, most people know or have heard of the female triad or there's disordered eating, amen. Hurria and loss of bone density and due to a relative energy deficiency. So women or girls who don't have enough calories, whether it's from not wanting to gain weight or they just can't meet the needs based on their their sport or their activity and you know, the demands and getting that sufficient nutrition will go into this calorie deficit.
Geoff: 25:31 They won't have enough energy to not only support their sport, but more importantly, support their health and longevity and wellbeing. So somebody who's not have enough energy, they're obviously gonna suffer in terms of their macronutrients and micronutrients. And so you wanna make, make sure that energy is there to support their food. And again, there's calculators, sorry to support their sport and, and health. And there's telco letters that you can use to figure out whether you're in a energy activity deficiency type of scenario. And another thing to consider as people who are on we'll call it a fad diets. And certainly you know, I don't want to classify veganism as a fad diet, but as it's a restrictive diet where you know, a lot of times you need to supplement in order to get sufficient micronutrients, you know, such as B, 12, the essential fatty acids, zinc, vitamin D maybe calcium.
Geoff: 26:30 And a lot of times people will turn to you know, processed types of vegetable based foods that that simulate me products. But our process, not all that healthy. And again, I'm not balanced enough to get that full array of, of micronutrients that you would need. The other, the other type of fad diet, I would say I'm giving them, I get angry with me for these things and I'm saying, but would be ketogenic diet. So here you're, you're missing a whole slew of potential nutrients. And I'm definitely from a performance perspective, that type of eating is, I'm not going to help an athlete.
Bryan: 27:13 Yeah. And that's, you know, there's so many people that jump on to all these different types of diets and they forget about, you know, when you're all in on one or the other, you're gonna lose something somewhere in the middle. So and then you, you definitely talked about the quality of the food that you're eating also makes it a big difference in the micronutrients that you're getting from that food as well. So if people can afford it, the better the quality the food, the better it'll be for their bodies.
Geoff: 27:44 Yeah. So, so again, so you've got that, that energy, right? Then you got the macronutrients and then the pyramids getting a little smaller rights coming up, like the seek and they've got the micronutrients, right? So if you think of like, again, just eating a balanced diet and just use the acronym giraffe, J E R F just eat real food. I'm trying to get your, your nutrients from whole foods, real foods. Then the next run would be nutrient timing. And then on the very top is supplements. And most people have it the other way around. They go like, you know, like this and they put, they focus on supplements, what pill can I take? You know, and you know, really supplements have been shown to maybe have a three to 5% effect on performance and very few of them are really, you know, really actually work. And they you know, you want to address all the other stuff first.
Bryan: 28:36 Yeah. And so let's talk about that. With performance, cause once you start getting to upper levels of athletics certain supplements are not allowed because they can be, you know, considered performance enhancing or whatnot. So what should people be looking for in supplements? Just in general. And then as you start increasing in your athletic endeavors, what should you be looking out for us so that you maintain legality in the sport that you're in?
Geoff: 29:08 So there's a company or an organization called informed choice and, or form sport and they they will screen substances for the raw materials, the batch materials and the actual product themselves. So if a, if a, if a supplement is informed certified, then you're kind of guaranteed that you're not going to get a contaminated product. And so, I mean, let's say you're an athlete and you're competing in the Olympics and you take a product. I'm, I'm, I'm beknownst to you. It's got a steroid in it, right? And your drug tested and they find the steroid in your, in your urine, you're out, right? This like, so you want to get, make sure there's no ban substances from contamination. You know, that's like the most important thing. Now if you're a recreational athlete, maybe you don't care. I mean, firstly I care what goes through my body, so I don't want to, I don't want to, you know, choose questionable types of supplements. So I try to choose products and when I do choose them, and I don't take a whole lot of supplements, but I try to choose products that I know are, are safe and you know, products that are individual, like I don't like to take products that have a whole bunch of different things in them cause you usually they're getting marked up for, you know, Scott, this, that and the other in it. But there's not enough of anything in order to give you the therapeutic or effect that you're looking for.
Bryan: 30:29 And so if someone is just looking at a supplement, is there good ways for them to be able to just swing, distinguish between a good quality supplement and one that might not be the best for them?
Geoff: 30:43 So well first of all, like I always ask my patients, why, what do you, what's the needs analysis here? Like, can you want to take this supplement? What are you trying to accomplish? Right? So sometimes people will say like I want more energy. I go, well, energy doesn't come from supplements. Energy comes from macronutrients, carbohydrates primarily, and fat. So if you're looking for more energy, getting a B12 shot is not going to push a biochemical pathway any faster unless you're deficient. If you're deficient in something, you know, then you need to take a cell phone. So I usually say like, let's check you for deficiency. Now a trainer wants to refer me up, a patient of hers or client of hers who she said, go, go see dr Geoff, I'll give you the 12 shot. So I said, okay, well what do you want it to be?
Geoff: 31:34 Full shot for it because I've got low energy. Okay, let's, let's look at the history. What do you do? What are you feeling? This low energy. I ride horses. I compete riding horses. Okay, tell me about your diet. Well, I don't like to eat cause I want her to go to the bathroom. Okay, so you're not getting enough energy, right? So you want me to give you some B12 shot to give you energy, but you really, energy is coming from the food. You're not getting enough food. So I tested her. B12 or be told was fine just to show her that. And then we started integrating food into her diet in such a way that it wasn't going to be disruptive to her competition and she started to feel better. And so so it's like figuring out what we, so what are you looking for?
Geoff: 32:12 What's the need? What are you trying to accomplish? Right? And a lot of times you can do it with a macro nutrients. You know, like macro nutrients are their substrates for energy, right? They, they give you energy based on the intensity specifically of your activity, right? So there's something called the respiratory exchange ratio, and that's the inner interchange or exchange of carbohydrate, sorry, of carbon dioxide and oxygen. When you're the slower or the lower this number, the more fat you're burning. So you and I sitting here right now are preferentially burning fat, right? Hopefully, unless we're insulin resistant or how some, so it's some kind of you know, you know, type two diabetes or something of that nature where we're just, our insulin's not working long as we start to pick up the activity. If we want to go walk for a fast walk, then we're going to burn a combination of carbohydrates and fat.
Geoff: 33:04 And then the higher your intensity, you're going to burn more carbohydrate, right? That's why a ketogenic diet doesn't work well for something like CrossFit or you know, somebody who's doing like sprinting or, or intermittent types of fast types of activities. But so like from a supplement perspective, I might supplement carbohydrates, right? I also might not supplement carbohydrates, meaning I might have somebody train low. So this, this idea is that if you train low, you're signaling your body through the absence of substrate to go down one pathway. So training and a carbohydrate depleted state or a glycogen depleted state will stimulate and PK and PGC, one alpha, which are a molecular signaling molecules, which will cause mitochondrial biogenesis. So what does that mean? You're gonna have more mitochondria as a endurance athlete. The more mitochondria you have, the more aerobic capacity potentially you're going to have. So if you use this training, low type of, of, of approach a couple times a week, not every time, and then compete high, not high but high, you know what I'm saying? Right. Like a gym glycogen state, then you're going to have more mitochondria and more glycogen available to use in these mitochondria. You're gonna have a performance enhancement type of, of ability by just manipulating your macronutrients.
Bryan: 34:32 Yeah, that is super fascinating. And that's getting a little bit, you know, a little bit more deep into how you can play with the macros and showing people that the way that you play with the macronutrients and what you do with them can definitely enhance the performance, which is what a lot of these athletes are trying to do. So like you said, it doesn't necessarily need to be a supplement that pushes them over the edge. It can just be playing around with the macronutrients a little bit.
Geoff: 35:03 But when you get back, are you asking about like you know, other vitamins and things like that from a supplement perspective? Right. So supplement can be, can be a vitamin, it can be a mineral, right? And again, I'm going to base those on whether I think they're in a deficiency state based on their diet or potentially some, some blood tests. Right? there was a feed on the I've, so I'm on a bunch of Facebook feeds for the international science course nutrition and a couple other nutrition groups. And somebody asked a question on the fee today. You know, w how I dose antioxidants for a health and exercise performance. And so specifically vitamin C and vitamin vitamin D. And so I kind of got on there in between patients and I said, if you're looking for optimum health and optimum performance, using pharmacological or super physiological doses of antioxidants can be counterproductive to those objectives.
Geoff: 36:02 Because when you have, when you exercise, you're creating some reaction. So reactive oxygen species, so some, some oxidants, right? Those are signaling molecules for something to happen and repair or not a patient, right? If you take an antioxidant, you're gonna block that. So it's counterproductive from that perspective. If you're inflamed because you have an injury and you take an antioxidant, you're potentially blocking your body's ability to heal by blocking that pathway. So if somebody was an athlete that was playing like in the Olympics for example, or they had multiple sports or like a tournament, I say, go ahead, take the antioxidants, try and reduce the inflammation as much as you can to limit the tissue damage, you know, during this time. But if you're trying to get healthy and, and get the most out of your exercise, then get your on antioxidants from food, not from a supplement.
Bryan: 37:00 Got it. And so if we're taking a look at your pyramid at, is there a layer on the pyramid specifically for hydration or should that just be in there no matter what and a focus for every single
Geoff: 37:14 Well athlete? Yeah, so I would, I mean definitely if you were to, you know, take that pyramid, I would have like a thin, a thin line up the entire, you know, aspect of the pyramid. Yeah. Five for hydration, right. You know, hydration, you know, if you are you know, as little as 2% dehydrated, you'd performance and health is gonna is going to suffer. So you know, I'm sure that you know, after, so you want to try and prevent things you don't want to over hydrate, right? Cause that can affect your electrolytes. So hydration's really important. Basically if you're in a sport that's under an hour, water's just fine. Once you start to get more or over an hour. And then under conditions where you're in altitude or heat, then you want to start to, to add sodium and maybe a little bit of carbohydrate in order to maintain your glycogen stores and also to maintain your hydration cause you're gonna suffer.
Bryan: 38:12 We live here in Washington where it seems like everybody's just drinking gallons of coffee all day long. So do you see a significant increase in people being dehydrated around here or what do you think about that?
Geoff: 38:27 So I think there's also some question about whether you know, there's going to be diarrhesis with anything that you drink, right? So coffee, like a harmful diarrhetic. I think that also has been something that's been kind of debunk too to a certain extent. And so I would say like, I mean coffee is probably or caffeine is one of my favorite ergogenic AIDS because it's been, it's very well researched. It's not harmful unless you start taking, you know, really high doses and, and are working out in the heat. And there's been some, some reports and cases of of heart attacks and strokes and things like that, but these are people who are, are not paying attention to their body. They are dehydrated and they are stressing their body to you know, in a harmful, in a harmful way. But you know, so I say like from a hydration perspective I mean certainly you want to try and keep your, your urine clear.
Geoff: 39:22 That's one way, you know, so it's looking at your, kind of a rough idea of your specific gravity or, or the concentration in your, in your urine. So that can be helpful. If you're drinking too much then, and you have spasms or, or, you know, washing out your, your electrolytes, that can be a problem as well. So it's not good to over hydrates, not good to under hydrate. You want to find the you know, one the healthy, the Goldilocks effect, you know, just whenever, just right in order to meet the needs of your activity and in health.
Bryan: 39:54 So if you are working with a female athlete, do you have to change their meal plan throughout the month to follow alongside their menstrual cycles? Or is that a little too high level for most athletes? So if there is a diet called the menstrual lean diet,
Geoff: 40:12 And that's a study, if you wanted to go to the Google scholar for example and, and a Google scholar is a great resource for those people who don't, haven't heard of it. So basically there's all this, there's a search engine that takes you to you know, all kinds of studies. So you can, for example, plug in, you know, sports nutrition performance enhancement for sprinting, you know, and you'd get all and you can narrow it down to a certain timeline. And you, so you get all these, these studies and sometimes you'll just get the abstract. Sometimes you'll get the entire study depending on whether it's open access or not. But, so that menstrual lean study is a cool way of looking at like, Oh, how do women change throughout their, their cycles. So certainly like in a in a, in a woman in her you know, childbearing years there is going to be, you know, changes depending on whether she's in the follicular phase or luteal phase of her cycle, whether she's menstruating or ovulating.
Geoff: 41:09 There's gonna be a need for more nutrition in order to support the extra metabolism that's involved in her, you know, metabolic rate, so to speak. So, you know, and I would say like, you almost want to like you know, prepare for this before it happens. So before the onset of menstruation, you know, you know, as long as you're not pregnant, not as long as you're not pregnant, but like, let's say that you're, you're a, you know, going through that luteal phase, you're a week out before menstruation and you know that you're going to be bleeding, you're going to lose iron, you're going to have increased needs. You want to probably increase your energy, your carbohydrates, your iron rich types of foods in order to support the process as well as any kind of sports that you might be doing at that time. Awesome.
Geoff: 41:59 And then as kids are growing up, do you had to make special considerations for them as well or after a certain point, are they able to just kind of follow suit what adults follow? Yeah, so kids are not just little adults. They have different, they, you know, they have different needs for the way they handle sweat. And so hydration, they are you know, their requirements for sleep art are different. And you know, you basically, you know, for my athletes right now, for example, who are, they're adolescents or they're, you know, they're going through puberty, so they have to deal with that extra growth that's required. So they're gonna need more calories, you're gonna need more carbohydrates, they're gonna need more you know, more protein in order to support not only that process, but the pro in addition to whatever sports that they're, that they're doing.
Geoff: 42:52 To support that. And then if you were to create a meal plan for an athlete, or if someone wanted to create a meal plan for an athlete, can you give us some, a general consider considerations we should take to create that meal plan? Sure. Okay. So what I'll do is I'll I like the healthy plate, right? So the healthy plate, you're gonna have a half plate. You're to divide the plate path. Half the plate is gonna be color, colorful, vegetables, fruits. And then the other half you're gonna divide between protein. So some kind of healthy protein source. Like, you know, like I said, pastor Ray's wild game. You know, eggs, that kind of thing. And then, and the other portion is going to be some kind of healthy fiber type. So it could be from a breakfast perspective, it can be oatmeal, it can be some kind of you know multi-grain type of toast.
Geoff: 43:44 I've been into this happy camper toast these days that comes out of Portland is like a happy camper. This is a nutrient dense bread. It can be Keane, wa, you know, with various things like that in it. And then I'm going to manipulate this plate based on the day. So let's say you have an athlete that's around, got a rusty, so they don't need as much starch, right? They're resting, right? So that's where we're talking about periods in your carbohydrates, right? So that that part might become a little bit smaller and you're going to increase your vegetables and increase your protein. Let's say they're in a calorie deficit saying my whole true, let's say that person has a big endurance activity. The next day they have a rowing meet the night before that plate is going to be filled with carbohydrates, Brown rice or pasta chinoiserie, things like that. I'm gonna want to make sure they have a, a full muscle and liver glycogen that they're going to bed with. And then in the morning they're going to top it off with more carbohydrate. So you're gonna play the temp, it's going to be the template, right? It's a template that kind of describes like what are the basics and then you manipulate the amount on each portion of that plate based on the needs of the athlete.
Bryan: 45:01 Awesome. Well this has been extremely just information packed. Do you have any final things that you want to touch on before we wrap up?
Geoff: 45:13 J just, I mean the basics are just, just eat real food. Fall that pyramid and you know, just to reiterate, you want to focus on getting adequate energy. And then with the macro nutrients, get, get your, you know, your protein set, first period eyes, your carbohydrates around your activity. Get in healthy fats. And then colorful plant based foods with healthy meats in order to meet your micronutrients time, your nutrients, your nutrition around your your activities. Or time them. If you're trying to create some core sort of metabolic adaptation for example, like we talked about trending low and then consider supplements once you have all of this stuff below in check. And then with the supplements, just know that there are a few that are effective but based on specific your specific sport, right? So like if you're somebody who wants to increase their lean body mass and is a or a sprinter than something like creatine monohydrate, beta alanine, beet root juice, these are the things that can be helpful to, to do that. If your somebody that's you know, just looking for general health, then I would say, you know, try and get things through your food. And then again, caffeine like I mentioned is another good supplements. But I'd like to get that through coffee as well.
Bryan: 46:42 Awesome. So just eat real food is a, the big takeaway here. Well people can find you at Northwest integrative medicine clinic, which is in Kirkland, Washington, I believe. Is that correct?
Geoff: 46:55 Yeah.
Bryan: 46:56 And your website is dr Geoff LA coban.com and that's G E O F. F for Geoff. Is there anywhere else people can find you? Are you on social media or anything? I am well written
Geoff: 47:11 Blog, so if you go to my website, there's a, there's a lot of blogs on the stuff that we just talked about. I've written for the NASM, so they're they're our blog. I've got a lot of nutrition articles and, and exercise fitness types of articles. And that would be it. So I am on, I'm on a,
Bryan: 47:30 I don't tweet a whole lot on Twitter. I am on LinkedIn. Awesome. Well thank you so much for coming on. I know there's a lot of athletes that have been asking about different ways to increase their performance, so this will be extremely helpful for them. Great. Thanks for having me. Dr Geoff does a great job at breaking down nutrition into actionable steps to improve your performance. And if you heard his brief intro at the end of the last episode, the acronyms speed is a great place to start. It stands for a sleep, psychological stressors, environment, exercise, and diet. So after listening to this episode, what steps are you going to test out for your own performance gains? I would love to hear about what you have tried. So if you go onto Apple podcast or your favorite podcast player, you can talk about your results in their reviews on those platforms.
Bryan: 48:21 Are you ready to take your health to the next level? If so, our health programs are designed to help you make lasting changes to your health. With our habit changing process, we walk alongside you on your health journey, making sure that you are successful and feel like the best version of you. To learn more, go to a summit for wellness.com/ready next week we have Megan Fritz have never stopped moving. Coming onto the show to talk about rock climbing and how it builds connection, mental focus, and as a fun way to get exercise in while testing your own limits in a safe environment. So let's go learn a little bit about Megan. I am here with Megan Fritz. Hey Megan. What is one unique thing about you that most people don't know?
Megan: 49:06 I'm afraid of Heights. Even though I'm a rock climber and I'm still struggling with the fear of falling off sport climbing.
Bryan: 49:13 And what is the tallest route that you've ever done?
Megan: 49:18 I probably will say whatever I may roam at Smith rock state park. I don't know the height. It's about five pitches.
Bryan: 49:26 So you've been quite a ways off the ground even though you're afraid of Heights. Yeah, around 350 or so. Wow. Good for you. So what will we be learning about in our interview together?
Megan: 49:39 Yeah. So you're going to learn what rock climbing is, how you can do it and have fun regardless of your age, gender, size, strength, her, none of that matters. And how it can give a positive out. It can have a positive mental and physical impact on your life
Bryan: 49:55 And how has climbing changed your life?
Megan: 50:00 Climbing has definitely had a huge impact on me in more ways than I could even say in five minutes. But it's given me outlets to deal with stress. It's given me a way to stay in shape and have fun while doing that. It's allowed me to solve problems and think critically outside the box as to how to complete a climb. It's given me so many friendships and allowed me to trust and really have a sense of partnership with a lot of people. It's given me motivation to go outside and has definitely allowed me to overcome my fears such as Heights and my, and what I'm capable of achieving.
Bryan: 50:46 That will be a really fun episode to listen to next week, especially if you are curious about getting into rock climbing. So until then, keep climbing to the peak of your health.