9 Sports Nutrition Tips for a Powerful P2A Race Weekend!

P2A Time!

Only ONE DAY until the Paris to Ancaster Criterium and 2 until the epic “Spring Classic!’

Here are a simple list of 9 NUTRITION TIPS to guide you through:

1. Start back 3-4 hours before your start time, that’s about when your last full meal should be. Hopefully you have tested this during training. For the Sunday race you can simply have a smaller breakfast and have it 2 hours before if the start is too early. The closer the breakfast gets to the race, the less fat and protein and fiber and the more carbohydrate rich it becomes. Assuming you have eaten appropriately the day before the ‘spring classic’, a smaller breakfast should suffice to top up your glycogen stores, as well as your on the bike strategy.

2. Within 1 hour from your start time for the criterium, after you have fully digested your last meal, you should focus on consuming a low fat, fiber and protein source of carbohydrate and or sports drink if you are hungry. You can digest up to 90- 100g of multiple carbohydrate types (glucose, fructose, maltodextrin etc.) per hour maximum. 30-60 ish grams will do you fine if you are not accustomed to eating much before you start. You can also simply sip your sports drink and keep it cold if it’s hot out.  A typical sports drink is 20-30g of carbohydrates per serving and a large banana is 25grams for example.

3. Caffeine intake should be 45 to 60 minutes pre start time, as that is the range of time when it will peak in your blood. Never TEST caffeine intake for the first time on race day. If you have not practiced it, don’t try something new today, you may regret it. Bring it with you to the ‘spring classic’ race instead of consuming when you roll out of bed if you do plan on having your ‘cuppa’.

4. Beet juice is best consumed anywhere from 1.5-3 hours pre event. If you are doing juiced beets, consume 500ml. Otherwise use a concentrate such as Beetit, Pureclean powder or Beetboost. Never try beet juice for the first time on race day, if you haven’t practiced this I don’t recommend race day for “testing”.

5. During the criterium, chances are you won’t need to consume anything, however I ALWAYS bring a half bottle with me in case it’s hot or very dry and I get that tongue stuck to the top of the mouth thing in the first 5-10 laps! There is some data to show that even rinsing your mouth with a carbohydrate drink in an 1 hour effort can improve performance. Although this is not glycogen related it is CNS related. There is no harm bringing a bottle if you are capable of safely drinking in the peloton. (PS I’m not suggesting you spit out your sports drink during the criterium, your fellow racers won’t appreciate that :))!

6. During the P2A ‘Spring Classic’ Start drinking and eating early, within the first 30 minutes. Assuming you have eaten adequately leading into the event and have PRACTICED your race day nutrition while training 🙂 (always ideal so you know what foods sit will with your GI system!), you will know what and how much to consume.  If not, the range to consume would be from 30g up to 90g of carbohydrates per hour. Chances are most would fall in the 60-90g range but again, this is individual and determined by trial and error while training. Having this range can help you to at least  fill your pockets with enough to get you through, and having an extra something never hurts in case your teammate is bonking :). One gel is around 30 grams of carbohydrate, 1 banana is 20-25g, 2 medjool dates is 18g of carbohydrate, 1/2 cup of white rice made into a rice bar has 20g of carbohydrate, etc.  One serving of sports drink can range from 20g to 30g. A sports drink should have at least 250mg of sodium per serving and will be useful on a course like P2A.

7. THINK ABOUT WHERE YOU WILL EAT AND DRINK DURING THE P2A Spring Classic. Many parts of the course are easier to take your hands off the bars than others. Think ahead, PLAN this. I don’t recommend trying to eat and drink on the MUD SLIDE!

8. Set your garmin or watch to beep every 30 minutes to remind you to eat and drink if you are notorious for finishing a 3 hour ride with 2 full bottles on your bike and all of your food in your pockets, bonked :). You have trained hard for this event, let’s get the most out of that training by backing it up with sound nutrition.

9. LAST TIP. Turn the edges of your lips upward often during the race. SMILE 🙂 DON’T FORGET TO HAVE FUN!!!


NSAG- Have a Nutrition Strategy and Execute on RACE DAY!

Twitter: @guzmannutrition

IG: @guzmananne


Red Pepper, Strawberry, Cantaloupe & Cayenne Smoothie…Hold on…RED PEPPER!? Yes.. a MUST TRY!

redpepper smoothie 2 redpepper smoothie1


Wondering what to do with that lonely red pepper in your fridge? Is it a day away from starting to wrinkle? You know what I mean. You find it in the back and it’s like an old wrinkly thing…and you kick yourself for wasting it? We’ve likely all done it.

Well! I have the solution! Whether it’s because you love red peppers and their incredible nutrition profiles or you need to use a red pepper or need more colorful vegetables to enter into your nutrition plan. THIS STRAWBERRY RED PEPPER CANTALOUPE SMOOTHIE!

Now, trust me, the ingredients seem a bit odd…but it’s actually very fresh..with a kick, from the cayenne. It’s also loaded with nutrition, of course.  Just try it.


1 cup frozen strawberries…heaping

1 cup chopped ripe cantaloupe (pick a ripe one, the flavor addition is important!)

1 small red pepper, cored and chopped

1 tbsp hemp hearts

1 scoop North Coast Naturals vanilla whey protein (option to sub a vegetarian protein here but of course my recipe is based on the taste from this one)

1 pinch of cayenne pepper (yes it’s a great addition to have a kick to your smoothie and really finishes this one off nicely)

1 cup of unsweetened or home made almond milk

Ok this thing is LOADED with goodness. Essential Omega 3 fats from the hemp hearts. Boundless Vitamin C as cantaloupe and red peppers are 2 of the fruits and vegetables highest in vitamin C.  Red peppers are also a source of over 30 different members of the carotenoid family. Both the vitamin C and carotenoid content of bell peppers increases with ripening. So that very ripe pepper is perfect! Red peppers are also a good source of B6, vitamin A and folate. Strawberries provide antioxidants and vitamin C as well. Hold on, maybe this should be the smoothie you reach for if you are feeling a cold coming on with all this vitamin C!Quality protein to top it off (I bet this would also work with yogurt, however I have not kitchen tested that YET!)


Blend it up well until it’s smooth and enjoy! How can you not feel healthy and clean after this meal!?


NSAG – Real Food Real People Real Health


A Clear Picture of Why You Cannot Carb Load for an Endurance Race at Dinner

I’ve heard comments like this often enough about prep for a race when chatting with athletes near the start line, “oh I’m ready, I had a big dinner last night”.  Or perhaps while chatting before hand they will note their huge pasta meal they had at dinner or the massive breakfast they just consumed (sometimes way to close to the start!)  Unfortunately one cannot carb load for an endurance event of 3+ hours at dinner or in one meal at breakfast. Not an event where results are expected.

Take for example a 130lb female cyclist prepping for a 130km event. Through trial and error we discover that she feels good on a carb load of 8.5g/kg, her weight in kilos being 59kg.

On top of this she will execute her practiced nutrition and hydration strategy DURING the event, starting within the first 20-30 minutes, or perhaps even in the hours before with her beet juice and caffeine.

In this case her carb load would be approximately 500 grams of carbohydrates the day before. She spreads her lower fiber carbohydrates out evenly, with lean proteins and less fat than usual, in order to make digestion a bit quicker and to leave room for the carbohydrates that are going to help her perform the next day.

Here is an example of what 500 grams of carbohydrates can look like. Now you can see why you can’t do a carb load like this with “a big dinner”.

You need to plan ahead, practice in training and know what works for you and sits best with your digestive tract.

Like your training, your nutrition is an important part of your athletic performance and success. Prepare for the event in training and then execute over the course of the day before your race.


carb load final


NSAG- Real food, real people, real results

Lettuce “less” Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing



Lettuce less salad - full of goodness!

Lettuce less salad – full of goodness!


Ah I love my lettuce ‘less’ salads! Why? They just have so much MORE to chew on. What a great way to load in the veggies. Ok lettuce is great too, but you can get a lot more food on your plate and it’s a nice change. I also like how the dressing sticks to everything so well.

It’s spring and colors are in full effect. Flowers are blooming, things are coming to life. I even saw my strawberry plants showing signs of life this week in the back yard. Oh I love what’s coming :), warmth, growth and blooming everything.

I felt motivated to chop up some of my favorite colorful veggies, and some strawberries :), sprinkle some soft goat’s cheese and cranberries and drizzle it all with a home made lemon tahini dressing! This one is a no brainer. Just take;

  • 1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • pepper

Blend in a food processor. Keeps for up to a week. I sometimes add extra lemon, as I”m a bit of a lemon addict!? It’s a simple keeper. Even for a veggie dip it works.

Pour and mix your veggies and voila a wholesome, healthy salad to go with your lean protein of choice. I served mine with a breaded, grilled piece of sole. Of course with lemon on top of that too :).

I used broccoli as the bottom layer, steamed. The rest was fresh yellow peppers, tomato, strawberries, goat cheese and cranberries. The touch of sweetness from the berries was perfect and mixed well with the lemon in the dressing.

Vegetables are so full of nourishment. The antioxidants, fiber, phytonutrients and carotenoids. Broccoli in particular is a huge favorite of mine that I almost eat daily. It has anti inflammatory properties, carotenoids, high levels of vitamin C and K as well as folate, to name a few of its assets. The primary anti inflammatory isothiocyanate in broccoli is sulforaphane, found in the heading part of the broccoli. Although the entire broccoli contains all of the other nutrients listed. Let’s just say it’s a great bang for your buck vegetable for any salad. Also amazing in broccoli fritters (check out my IG post for those at guzmananne! kids love them! https://www.instagram.com/p/BSlYTfZlFTK/?taken-by=guzmananne&hl=en )

So go ahead, pick your veggies of choice and make a colorful plate of goodness :).


NSAG – Real Food Real People Real Health

WHY AM I DOING THIS: Ask the question…feel the answer



Often we ask ourselves why are we training so hard? Working so hard? Prioritizing our time into something so all consuming? For what?

We are frustrated and on the brink of giving up what we once thought was a great idea.

Why put in all the time to be faster, jump higher, climb better, get better bike position, grow your business, be a better speaker, eat healthier, become more energetic, get your PhD? Why?

If you really think about it, most everything we do in life, really comes down to making yourself feel GOOD ABOUT YOU. You want to feel accomplished, which builds confidence and generally makes us feel good about ourselves. That’s not being self absorbed, we need to feel good about ourselves in order to gain self confidence and with that confidence we can gain momentum to continue learning and taking on new challenges. If you feel good about yourself, your positive energy will rub off on others and now you are good for the world. By feel good about yourself, let’s be careful that I don’t mean being narcissistic or arrogant, rather more like proud of your accomplishments and happy to share your passion and positive energy with others.

You don’t just train hard to win a race. You train hard to win a race because when you win the race you will feel satisfied with your efforts and in turn you will feel good about yourself – answers the age old “why do I bother training so hard”

You don’t just perfect your power point, just because. No, you do that because you want to present well, be organized and have flow, so that when you are up there speaking, you are confident and when you are done…guess what, you will feel good about yourself then too – which answers “why am I spending so much time on these slides!”

You don’t just start paying attention to your nutrition to say “I eat well”, no, you change your habits to perform better, reduce pain, manage weight, increase energy…all of which will make you feel better about yourself – which answers “why am I eating so much more produce when I can just grab a fast food sandwich and soda?”

If you look hard enough and deep enough you will soon realize if you keep asking the question WHY am I doing this, EVERYTHING comes down to feeling good about you and who you are and what you are doing and what you have accomplished. All of your efforts lead to confidence.

Helping others is another common example. Why am I spending so much time helping this person? you may ask. We don’t want to do things expecting things in return from others, however, truly taking  the time to help others with no agenda, without knowing it, deep down makes you feel good about yourself. You are a good person.

So, am I suggesting you need to go and win a race? No, it’s not about WINNING. Prepare as best as you can so that you better your last race, business venture or power point presentation? Yep, you got it. You have to compare to you, and your last effort and look for improvement. Have personal benchmarks to surpass, regardless of what you are aspiring to do. Be your own best competitor. As you keep outdoing yourself, next thing you know, you may just be an expert at whatever it is you are aiming to achieve in time. Contrary to if you only compare yourself to the best and are someone who may beat themselves up for how far they still have to go. You can see how one focus can change how you feel about yourself. You know what they say, “comparison is the thief of joy”.

I work with people of all kinds with their nutrition. At the end of the day, every one of them, has sought me out, because they have a goal and that goal in some capacity is going to make them feel better about themselves. Often it’s that they will learn how to fuel properly for performance, or improve their energy levels so that they can work more productively or have energy for their kids when they get home from work. Now look at those 3 outcomes. What do they all have in common? Yes, you nailed it, each one of those people, will feel better about themselves if they can achieve those goals.

I was inspired to think about this, when questioning where I spend my time and why I was spending it where I do. And so I ask you to do the same. It’s a great activity to do, because when you have an obvious, self fulfilling purpose to what you are doing and it makes sense, you are more likely to continue.

If you have a goal that is going to take years to attain, you really need to close your eyes and picture yourself there, accomplishing that goal and then associate the feelings that go along with that image of you, 2,3 years from now or 2,3 months from now. How will it feel? How will you feel about yourself? I bet you will feel proud, accomplished and empowered.

That doesn’t mean the path will be clear, straight and with no hiccups. Who are we kidding :). But it means it can help you on those stressful days when you question WHY AM I DOING THIS.

And so I ask you to ask yourself the question WHY, and then picture the outcome, and associate feelings with that outcome by seeing yourself THERE in your mind. Then, you will have answered your own question. Does it feel amazing? Then PRESS ON.


NSAG – Empowering you to be YOUR BEST YOU