Boosting Athletic Performance with Brendan Brazier
Brazier still runs and bikes for fun nearly everyday. (Photo courtesy of Brendan Brazier)
Ironman triathlete and ultramarathoner Brendan Brazier realized early on is his career that diet would play a big role in his overall performance. “Longer events really level the athletic playing field. It becomes more about training and the speed of recovery than about natural ability,” Brazier says. “Nutrition allows you to train harder and recover faster.”
The refined white starches he had added to his diet to make up for the carbohydrates he was burning weren’t increasing his energy levels as much as he had hoped. After extensive research, Brazier found that about 80 percent of recovery is linked to good nutrition. “Eating more doesn’t always mean more energy. You can be overfed while being undernourished,” he says.
Brazier eased into a whole food-based, vegan diet heavy on healthy whole grains (amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat), plant proteins (hemp, pea, rice) and dark leafy greans. Besides increasing his rate of recovery, he discovered that this eating plan with frequent, small meals helped him be more productive and sleep better.
“Look at Google. They were trying to decrease the amount of sick days their staff members were taking, so they put in cafes with healthy food. Since everything was free, employees would graze throughout the day. There was no mid-afternoon crash and many people were more productive and took fewer sick days,” Brazier explains.
Find your athletic edge: Brendan Brazier at TEDxFremont