Friday, January 31, 2014

Skipper Snacks

There's been a renewed focus in these parts on the role of proper nutrition during training, both on and off the bike.

Let's knock the easy one out first: on the bike nutrition. That's easy because the correct answer to what one's allowed to eat during a training ride is nothing. "Eating is cheating," according to Jordan Ross.

Settled? Good.

Now let's talk about off the bike nutrition. At the end of a training ride, Lee Bumgarner can be seen stuffing his pie hole with beets. This article points to a study that demonstrates how beets are high in sodium nitrates, which apparently aides in athletic performance. Well guess what? The last time I checked, hot dogs are also high in sodium nitrates. There's hope, Rafal.

Others, like John Rokke, go for sardines. My first encounter with sardines and cycling was at last year's Twin Bing race. Coming pretty close to DFL there (again), I rolled up to the finish line and received a consolation hand up from John Rokke. It was a tin of sardines.
John Rokke's Sardine Handup. Photo credit: Michael Dixon
I don't know what I was expecting from Rokke, but it surely wasn't sardines. My face says it all.

Rokke's not the only one. Paul Webb's now on the sardines band wagon as well:

Many years ago, my kid brother Brendan taught me a lot about good nutrition. I've benefited ever since. It's not that I don't have an indulgence here and there. McDonald's French Fries to name one. But for the most part, I'm picky about what I put in my body. Hot dogs are not on that list.

Brendan's always been a big fan of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like sardines. They are among the best sources of omega-3s. Of course, it was also Brendan who told me about herring. Herrings are basically larger versions of sardines, with proportionally equal amount of omega-3s. 

So one day, I went looking for herring. He recommended "Skipper Snacks."

I never found any Skipper Snacks, but I did find Kipper Snacks. I told him so the next time I saw him.

"You mean Skipper Snacks." he replied.

"No, Kipper Snacks. There's no "S". They're called Kipper Snacks." 

"There is when you sharpie an "S" in front of the "K" like I used to do when I worked at Vitamin Cottage."

Yeah, pretty good.


  1. Eating beets? That's some dedication to the sport there. One food I could never force down. If fried egg sandwiches make me slow, I don't want to be fast.

  2. I am totally with you on that one, Fred. I've tried to like beets, but I haven't yet learned how. I suspect that 20+ hours a week on a bike has a lot more to do with performance than a handful of beets anyway.

    Frankly, I'm not a big fan of sardines or skipper snacks either. Katherine and Emmylou (my dog) can't get enough of them. Maybe they should take up road racing.

  3. everyone knows its all about beef jerky these days