What to Eat Before an Endurance Race

So you’ve decided to tackle an endurance race—maybe a marathon or half marathon, maybe a triathlon, century ride, all-day hike, or some other multi-hour effort. Of the many tough decisions you’ll make that day, one of the first is: What should you eat for breakfast?

There’s only one right answer, in a sense, and that is: Whatever you practiced during your training. Race day is not the time to try anything new, because you’ll be living with the consequences for several (possibly agonizing) hours. Still, you have to start somewhere, so here are some of the things you’ll want to keep in mind to prepare the best breakfasts.

Source: What to Eat Before an Endurance Race

Here are the rules that can’t be stressed enough:

  1. NO SURPRISES ON RACE DAY.  That includes finding out what type of gels or drinks they might be handing out. Find out in advance, try out in advance.
  2. It’s very personal.  Some like gels, some do not.  Vice versa.  There’s no wrong answer, just what works for you.

For me, gels take a while to kick in.  And it really depends on what what I’ve eaten and how soon.  Which is great – knowing that, I can take one before getting in the water so it hits when I’m on the bike.  But I was finding myself quite parched when I got to running – and it’s been hard to drink water while on the run.

Your mileage may vary 😉

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Heroic Scientists Want to Clean Up Cow Farts to Save the Planet

Most of us consider farts to be little more than a mild embarrassment. But cow farts (and burps) are a scourge upon the Earth, releasing heat-trapping methane that wreaks havoc on our climate. Now, heroic scientists want to put an end to global warming-by-flatulence once and for all.

Source: Heroic Scientists Want to Clean Up Cow Farts to Save the Planet

While it is fun to talk about farts, really most of the methane comes out the front end of the cow.

My takeaway is that methane deserves more attention than it’s getting relative to the CO2 emissions we’re flipping out about, especially if it’s true that climate change may result in the release of large amounts of methane trapped underground/undersea.

If pivoting somewhat to methane relieves some of the economic pressure that CO2-focused legislation is causing, then the pivot seems like an opportunity to have our cake (cut climate change risk) and eat it too (lessen the economic hit from the CO2 focus) somewhat.

Bismuth Could Stop Farts From Smelling, If Someone Could Make It Safe

We avoid mercury, arsenic, and lead exposure, but there’s one heavy metal that we gulp down in smaller doses: bismuth. And if it were less toxic, bismuth could one day keep us from stinking up elevators and other public places with our farts.

Source: Bismuth Could Stop Farts From Smelling, If Someone Could Make It Safe

But some people express love via a “Dutch oven” – fart in the bed, and pull the covers over the victims head so they can’t escape… 😀

This Insect Uses Farts to Immobilize Its Prey

The beautiful animal in the photo above is a Beaded Lacewing. While the adults are delicate and lovely, they begin life as ferocious tiny predators lurking in the nests of termites. These larvae live unmolested in their nest, silently striking down termites from behind—and for one species, with their behind.

Source: Silent and Deadly: Fatal Farts Immobilize Prey

The article is worth reading just for the euphemisms.

15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Farts

Admit it. You’ve always wanted to know whether farts can carry germs.

Source: 15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Farts

I still fart in your general direction

…but my fav new euphemism is “windy poo”

​What Turned Sugar-Free Candies Into Super-Laxatives?

Sugar-free candies clean out your digestive system better than a giant pipe-cleaner. Not to put too fine a point on it, they make you poop. How do these ultra-laxatives work, and why are they still on the market?

…The maximum noneffective dose for maltitol is 0.3 grams per kilogram. The fifty-percent effective dose, or the dose at which fifty percent of people are affected, is 0.8 grams/kilogram. About 25 grams of maltitol is a laxative for children. Forty grams is a laxative for adults. So think of fifteen gummy bears as a decent dose.

Source: ​What Turned Sugar-Free Candies Into Super-Laxatives?

Ricola classifies their sugar alcohols as “dietary fiber”, and warns that consuming too many may have unwanted digestion related side effects.

The reviews for Haribo Sugar Free Gummy Bears are on par with:

Alti-Tooties: Why You Fart More in Flight

In-flight flatulence is a common discomfort – so what causes it? And what can we do to save embarrassment? David Robson speaks to a Danish doctor with some surprising answers.

…It may be a universal experience, but as Rosenberg combed the medical literature, he found that there are some surprisingly prevalent misconceptions surrounding our wind. Despite popular belief, studies show men are not more flatulent than women, for example (though they may be more public about it); in fact the same study from the late 90s found women’s flatulence has a higher concentration of the smelly sulphurous compounds, and was rated as having a more potent odour by a few unlucky judges. And although beans may be known “as the musical fruit”, a recent experiment found that it is not nearly as inflammatory as most would believe, and its effects differ widely from person to person. Foods known to reduce flatulence include fish, rice, dairy products, fish and strained fruit juice – since they leave less waste in the gut for fermentation.

…Airlines also tend to make sure the in-flight food is low in fibre, but high in carbohydrates – a balance that is more likely to calm our digestion. It’s not clear when or how they came to these decisions – but we can guess that Brussels sprouts and cabbage left the in-flight menu at a fairly early point in aviation history.

Source: How to tackle the most embarrassing problem on planes

The article doesn’t mention it, but it’s a known issue to people whose altitude increases by as much as 5,000 ft/1.5 KM.  And obviously, dairy will be counterproductive for the lactose intolerant…

  • About that underwear – no skids on the tarmac
  • How do you know if a guy farted?  Don’t worry – he’ll tell you

How a Bean becomes a Fart

This animation (vimeo, 1:03 minutes) was created for Men’s Health Magazine.  Now every time you feel those gas pains, you can imagine a little animated factory fermenting the oligosaccharides in your colon.

Tip: Do not salt the water when boiling beans. It hardens the shells, dramatically increasing flatulence.

Related: Why You Fart (TED-Ed on youtube, 4:57 minutes)

Exercise social courtesy while passing gas.