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AUGUST 2012 THE RIDER /15 Fitness for Riders: Nutrition & Timing for Riders

ries for your output levels. Period. If you want to avoid weight gain, make your eating habits an ally.

At this time of year, most riders are BUSY:show season, long weekends away, championships AND getting that hay in before it rains. Even those who are not competing, are busy packing in activities while we have the good weather.

So, adding time to do a workout just doesn’t seem to be high on the pri- ority list. Luckily, you can do a lot to maintain your hard work and efforts through remembering to stretch, walk to keep joints open, and a few minutes of core work here and there. When you have no time for anything additional on your schedule, you can also stay on track by paying close attention to your fuelling patterns. In hot summer weather, your nutrition patterns can be a huge factor in your energy levels. For sport of course, your response times and accuracy can make a signifi- cant difference in performance and safety.

A really busy period is the perfect opportunity to use your fuelling pat- terns for maximum energy so you can keep up your strength and stamina and be your best when weather and sched- ule are wearing you down. Getting sick when you’re busy is not very good tim- ing, and you can help your body avoid sickness and fatigue injuries by fuelling properly and making smart choices. A key for riders is to keep your blood sugar levels constant. Doing so will not only give you consistent ener- gy levels for riding after a long day at work, but will help keep your protect your immune system better. There is a reason winter comfort foods are so appealing when you’re under stress: your body wants the carbs because car- bohydrates are your main source of fuel. Metabolising carbs also releases serotonin and other ‘happy’ hormones which your body can be short on when under stress, and particularly when the daylight begins to get reduced. Your body’s primary source of energy is glycogen which is stored in muscles as a result of metabolizing glu- cose (sugars) found in carbohydrates. About 55% of your diet should be car- bohydrates. Your body does not gain weight by converting carbohydrates. It does so by consuming too many calo-

Low or no carb diets encourage overconsumption of proteins and fats, which can lead to clogged arteries and other health risks. They can also lead to loss of energy and muscle mass as your body indiscriminantly metabolises fat and muscle. Loss of muscle leads to a slower metabolism, which reduces your energy levels, and just about guar- antees that weight you gain will be a higher percentage of body fat. What you want to do is use food to increase your metabolism, while pro- viding fuel and energy for lean muscle development. Here’s the key: eat often, in small amounts, and eat smart. Not all calories are the same. Foods that metabolise too quickly are more likely to be stored as fat. High sugar will also lower your immune sys- tem. Foods that contain complex car- bohydrates are more likely to provide several hours of energy, are less likely to be stored as fat.

Avoid or minimize simple carbo- hydrates which release sugar quickly into the bloodstream. If you’ve ever had a donut for breakfast, you may have noticed how quickly you are hun- gry afterwards- and wondered why because you’d think all the calories in the donut would give you energy for awhile. Donut on the way to the horse show is a bad idea. Apple is better. Oatmeal is even better. Eat before you ride too. Your core strength is compro- mised if you haven’t eaten for more than 2-3 hours, and you have more dif- ficulty focusing when your blood sugar is low. Eating something sensible in the hour before you ride will help you stay alert and keep your muscles responsive as needed to ride accurately and avoid injury.

When you eat white flours, or high sugar carbohydrates they inject a high amount of sugar into your blood- stream quickly. Your body doesn’t need all that energy right away, so it stores most of it. Meantime, you expe- rience a sugar high followed by a ‘drop’ which zaps you of energy. Typi- cally, you will start craving food quick- ly again, and this leads to winter overeating.

you can go to the following weblink: glycemic.asp

Complex carbohydrates are bro- ken down more slowly, and provide a satisfying source of energy for several hours. You are likely to eat less in vol- ume, and your mood and energy levels will remain constant. Believe me, your horse will notice and appreciate the dif- ference.

With regular fueling of small meals and snacks throughout the day, you will have more energy and fewer cravings, and you will be able to respond at 100% to the demands your riding, choring and exercise program place on your body. You will also do a better job at maintaining your weight and muscle tone at a time of year when finding time to work out can be particu- larly challenging.

A second very important part of your energy maintenance is hydration. It’s important to stay hydrated during the summer months, and also to keep you electrolyte levels in good order. I know many riders who pay close atten- tion to their horse’s salt and water con- sumption, but not so much their own.

Loss of hydration will affect your con- centration, muscle control, reaction times and focus, and even muscle repair. So if you are putting a lot of effort in to your summer activities, stay hydrated by drinking water more often, and making sure you replace key electrolytes like sodium and potassium. Generally, I do not rec- ommend sports drinks. They are ok. I favour clean solutions like limes, lemons or oranges floating in water, with a dash of salt and sugar. If it sounds like a margarita, that’s not very surprising since the drink was devel- oped in a hot climate. Powders, gels and other sport replenishers are all ok, used properly. However, most people can spend a lot less, put fewer addi- tives and food colouring in their body and get the same results with simpler solutions.

a bit of salt on cucumber if you need it. Sometimes a few chips are handier at a horse show, and do the trick, even though they are a poor fuelling choice generally. If you find yourself craving the fries on the show grounds, you may simply be craving the salt and a some fuel. Salty nuts are healthier, and give your body a nice little bun- dled mix of protein with fat for ener- gy, and salt in a small portion that won`t leave you feeling heavy in your stomach as you head to the in-gate.

Happy riding and training!

© By Personal Fitness Training owner, Heather Sansom By Heather Sansom, Owner, Equestrian Fitness Train- ing

I favour clean solutions like limes, lemons or oranges floating in water, with a dash of salt and sugar. If it sounds like a margarita, that’s not very surprising since the drink was developed in a hot climate. You can find creative ways to replace salt, like Equestrian Fitness offers personal training, clinics & workshops, Centered Riding® instruc- tion, and convenient online personal coaching for riders anywhere. Sub- scribe to receive free monthly Eques- trian Fittips, and download rider fit- ness ebooks at: .

Madison and Avery Ionson !

Representing Big Creek Saddle Club at the Ontario Open Youth Team Tournament * Maddy 7th place in Walk Jog (40 + entries) * Avery 6th place in Lead line

(20 + entries)

What you want to look for are complex carbohydrates. These are typ- ically whole grains, and whole grain foods such as pasta and breads. Spinach, okra, celery, corn, grapefruits and apples are also sources of complex carbohydrates. To make it simple, complex carbohydrates generally rank low on the glycemic index. It means they are low on the kind of sugar that hits your bloodstream suddenly. Gen- erally speaking, low GI foods include fruits (not juice), and whole grains. For further information on the Glycemic Index and a partial list of ranked foods,


You can purchase Orange aPEEL Products direct from the manufacturer! Check out our inventory at: or call (905) 765-3131 Our fly spray mix

In one Litre of Water add 1/2 cup of mineral oil, 1/2 cup vinegar,

1 tablespoon of Orange aPEEL and allow a few minutes for it to work into the mixture. Always shake before using. Keep away from direct contact with eyes and other sensitive areas.

Thank you John, Lori and Sam Betts for the use of your wonderful horse "Popeye" "The tradition continues" 60 years of showing with the 3rd generation of Ionson's Love

A very proud DADDY

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