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Nutrition Plan - Multisport - Ben Morris

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Ben MorrisMountain Biker, Ultrarunner, and Triathlete - Ben Morris - has been racing since college and focuses heavily on strategy, training, and nutrition planning for performance. His fascination and passion for nutrition and science drives him to constantly learn more and seek out quality products for all his athletic endeavors. He talks about various racing strategies and his favorite products in this Q&A.

Do you follow a specific diet?  If so, describe it and explain how is it benefitting you?
Each individual has a distinct microBiome (gut bacteria) that processes all the items we put in our body. I like the Real Food movement with vegetables grown locally in non-GMO soil. I mostly like fish as a meat source, but the majority of my food is vegan. I like good soil based vegetables as a way to pick up trace vitamins and minerals.   

Do you have a health condition or allergy that requires you to have a special nutrition plan?
No serious health conditions, but lots of sensitivities. I tend try to optimize performance. Gluten, Dairy, GMO, preservatives all CAN contribute to disruptors with performance. I think like any carb heavy athlete for years, I have insulin resistance and stress has hurt my thyroid. Keeping these factors in mind has helped me make the right choices. You need to experiment and find your Kryptonite.  

Do you supplement daily with nutrients like vitamins, minerals, omega fatty acids, amino acids etc.?
It starts with a multi-vitamin as the core, but you need to find a good one that works well for you. If I’m involved in an intense training block I use OptygenHP which contains Rhodiola, a tremendously powerful adaptogen. I also use Vitamin D (1000 IU a day), DHA (1000Mg per day or more if no fish eaten), coffee, and mushrooms (Reishi, Chaga, many others. I’m currently investigating more of these foods/teas).  

What’s your pre-workout/competition nutrition and hydration plan?
Pre-workout starts at least 24 hours out. You need to salt all your food and keep an everyday hydration bottle of water with you at all times. Sometimes I will do fasting workouts with caffeine to induce a fat burning effect. When I going for some high intensity work pushing before racing, I like SFH PUSH . PUSH has mix of vitamins (C, E, B6, B12), antioxidants, electrolytes, and BCAAs made an observable difference in performance.

SFH PUSH is non-dairy and includes Beta-Alanine to fight muscle acidification, Quercetin to reduce inflammation, Glycine to fend off fatigue, and Arginine to help with better blood flow and oxygenation. I also love a double espresso on long days and before races. 

What’s your plan during workout/competition nutrition and hydration plan? 
You always have to a plan. It provides organization during the chaos. Depending on the course or event, I like to put bars like Bonk Breaker Energy Bars in sections of course where you can rest a little (like downhills and flat sections of the course).  I use CLIF SHOT Energy Gels with Caffeine in the 2nd half of the race to maintain intensity and fast energy. Throughout the race, I like to use Tailwind or Skratch products because they are easy to absorb and taste good for liquid calories. If more than 3 hours of racing or working out, I will add a few SaltStick caps. 

What’s your post-workout/competition nutrition and hydration plan?
This is the MOST critical phase of any training plan. You need to absorb the stress and help the body adapt. Your body is very good at adapting but you cannot confuse the signals that you send to it. It’s listening constantly. Hydrate and rest. Use BCAAs to rebuild and restore. You need to recover as hard as you train.

Immediately when you finish your workout or race, you have to start your recovery protocol.  I start with a bottle of First Endurance Ultragen and extra L-Glutamine. L-Glutamine is a fantastic recovery supplement. Put it in your shakes up to 24 hours after your intense event. I will also add a few tablets of Recovery Amino Power. You should continue to hydrate especially with Skratch’s everyday hydration to help flush your wastes out. 

Do you compete in different types of events? If so, is your nutrition/hydration plan different for each event?
Marathon - Running 26 miles on the road requires planning your race. I like to pre-hydrate and ensure a couple days out to salt my food with extra Himalayan salt. I have my last meal 1.5 hours before the race. I usually check what type of nutrition is going to be on the course and will adapt my training around this product. For the most part I will carry 2 CLIF SHOT BLOKS and 3 CLIF SHOT Energy Gels. I will then drink water at every aid station. 
Triathlon -  Pre, Swim, Bike, Run. Eating before the event is critical. You have to eat a meal at least 2 hours before hitting the water. The swim is usually intense and it’s important that you relax and warm-up properly. Eating fast calories in T1 is important. Eating on the bike will pay dividends on the run. 
Trail Running -  Usually need to use gels for anything shorter than 20K.  
Mountain Biking -  Bottles + Bars + Chews + Gels 
Road Biking — Whole Food + Bars + Bottles

Any other nutrition/hydration secrets you’d like to share?
You need to learn to LISTEN to your body. It has a rhythm. You need to work with it, not against it. Yes, some days it won’t cooperate, but like a horse, you have to give it more carrots if it’s having a hard time. Water and hydration are keys to flushing toxins that build up and also providing the necessary energy ions to give you the strength to perform. I like to drink warm water in the morning and little amounts of Bragg’s apple cider vinegar. Try Skatch Lab’s everyday hydration too while working during the day.

Lastly, the brain is the secret to performance. You need to feed it. Find what wakes you up.  I like coffee and yerba mate based products. 


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