What is intermittent fasting and why are some athletes adopting this approach? In this episode, expert nutritionist Dr. Krista Austin outlines different types of fasting and overviews how restricting food can impact your body composition, mood, sleep patterns, HbA1c, insulin regulation, and cholesterol levels. Learn about fat oxidation, muscle protein synthesis, and nutrient timing in relationship to fasting. Listen in to determine if intermittent fasting could be beneficial for you.
Intro: This is the TriDot podcast. TriDot uses your training data and genetic profile, combined with predictive analytics and artificial intelligence to optimize your training, giving you better results in less time with fewer injuries. Our podcast is here to educate, inspire, and entertain. We’ll talk all things triathlon with expert coaches and special guests. Join the conversation and let’s improve together. Andrew Harley: New podcast with a new nutrition topic. Thanks so much for joining us today everyone! We’ll be talking all about intermittent fasting. What it is, when to do it, how to do it, and whether or not it is a good nutritional strategy for athletes. Our key guide for this talk is our resident nutritional expert Dr. Krista Austin. Krista is an exercise physiologist and nutritionist who consulted with the US Olympic Committee and the English Institute of Sport. She has a PhD in exercise physiology and sports nutrition, a master’s degree in exercise physiology, and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist. Krista, how’s it going today? Dr. Krista Austin: It’s going pretty well. Just recovering from those holidays Andrew and getting back into the swing of things. How are things going for you there in Texas? Andrew: Texas is great. A little chilly, but I kind of like that. Elizabeth, how about you? Are you enjoying the chilly weather? Elizabeth James: Uh, no. No. I’ll be honest. I am not. I love it when it’s nice and hot and sunny. So days like today where it’s a little chillier and a little dreary make me all the more excited for the warmer weather to come. Andrew: Well that was the voice of pro triathlete and Coach Elizabeth James who is also joining us today. Elizabeth came to the sport from a soccer background and quickly rose through the triathlon ranks using TriDot from a beginner, to top age grouper, to a professional triathlete. She’s a Kona and Boston Marathon qualifier who has coached triathletes with TriDot since 2014. Elizabeth I kind of gave away a little too soon that you were on the episode, so sorry about that. Elizabeth: No, not a problem at all. Just always excited to be here. This topic especially is one that I feel like has come up more and more from athletes that I’ve coached in the past few years. Four years ago I really didn’t have athletes asking me about intermittent fasting, but this is something that’s becoming more and more common so I’m really excited that we have the opportunity to cover that on today’s episode. Andrew: Well I’m Andrew the average triathlete, voice of the people, and the captain of the middle of the pack. As always we'll roll through our warm up question, settle in for the main set conversation about fasting, and then wrap up with our cool down. Today we have a great question for Dr. Austin from one of our athletes for the cool down. So lots of good stuff, let's get to it folks! Warm up theme: Time to warm up! Let’s get moving. Andrew: Every city and town has unique restaurants that make its food scene a little special. Trying out quality eateries is all part of the fun of traveling somewhere new and if you can get local insider info on what restaurants are most worth your time it can go a long way to nailing the dining experiences of a trip. So Krista and Elizabeth, when friends or family visit your hometown, what is your go-to local restaurant to take them to? Dr. Austin, out in San Diego, what is that go-to place for you? Dr. Austin: Well, it’s a very unique Eritrean restaurant and Eritrea is an East African Country and I came across this cultural food due to one of the athletes I worked with for years; now retired. But because of working with the athlete for so many years I grew very accustomed to really loving their cultural food. And here in San Diego there is actually a great Eritrean restaurant. Most people have not been to one. They haven’t had the experience of eating truly traditional food from East Africa and so I tend to take people there whenever they come into town. And most are shocked that I go for that style of food given it’s San Diego and they think they’re going to get Mexican food. But I actually enjoy taking them for that because it’s hard to find it where it’s very authentic and really good, but here in San Diego we happen to have one. So we will go for some Eritrean food at Muzita Bistro. Andrew: No. That sounds great and that’s certainly a cuisine that I’ve never tried and would love to. My wife and I actually spent– I think it was our third wedding anniversary. We did a four day little long weekend vacation in San Diego and we hit the Breakfast Republic. To this day my wife wants me to take her back to San Diego exclusively to go to the Breakfast Republic and get their Oreo pancake. So that’s a place we will talk about from San Diego. But I think everything we ate while we were there was just top notch. But next time I come back, that is a place I’ll have to go to because I’ve never had Eritrean or East African cuisine. So that sounds great. Elizabeth, for you what is kind of the go-to place in your hometown you like to take people to? Elizabeth: Well, I feel like that’s kind of a hard answer to go second to because my palate may not be as sophisticated. My thought process was along the lines of like pancakes or ice cream where I would go. It’s interesting because when you first said, “where would you take people that come visit your hometown” for some reason my mind still went to right where I’m living now and not my hometown back in South Dakota so I had to backtrack a little bit. I mean it’s no secret that I love ice cream and so probably what came to mind first is this little ice cream shop, Zesto Ice Cream, that is just a cute, probably the size of a closet, ice cream shop. They don’t even have a place where you can sit. You walk up to the window, get your ice cream cone, maybe add a couple toppings to it, but it is just fantastic. Andrew: Yep, no this is not the first time that Elizabeth you’ve talked about ice cream on the podcast. Everytime you’re on I almost expect it at this point and you know, that… Elizabeth: Right, yeah. Andrew: That sounds like a good place to go. I’m going to take the opposite approach of you and not do my hometown, hometown where I was born. I’m going to do where I live now. When folks travel to Dallas Fort Worth, they want good just classic Texas barbecue. Texas is known for its barbecue and I like barbecue. I don’t love it. My one issue with barbecue is that it’s not a well-rounded meal. You’ll never go to a barbecue place and find good fruit and vegetables. It’s all about the meat and the unhealthy, usually greasy fried sides. But, you know, for an occasional kind of treat meal when someone’s coming to town to visit we will take them to Hard 8 BBQ. There’s a couple Hard 8 locations in the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex and in Texas at large and of all the barbecue places in the metroplex, it is my personal favorite. That’s kind of the go-to when we have people visiting. Guys we’re going to throw this out on our social media, I Am TriDot Facebook group. If you’re not a part of that group go click there and find it because frankly I’m interested. If I’m going to travel somewhere I guarantee we’re going to have answers in this group that we all benefit from. So wherever you live, find this question on Facebook. What is a restaurant, what is the go-to place you like to take people to when they visit your hometown and that way when we visit your home whether it’s for a race or for a vacation we can know straight from you the best place to go eat in that city. So go find this question on social media and leave your response. Main set theme: On to the main set. Going in 3…2…1… UCAN: Our main set today is brought to you by our good friends at UCAN. Here at TriDot we are huge believers in using UCAN to fuel our training and racing. In the crowded field of nutrition companies, what separates UCAN from the pack is the science behind their SuperStarch, the key ingredient in UCAN products. While most energy powders are filled with sugar or stimulants that cause a spike or crash, UCAN energy powders, powered by SuperStarch, deliver a steady release of complex carbs to give you stable blood sugar and provide long lasting energy. UCAN also offers tasty and refreshing hydration mixes and energy bars for when you are on the go. When I was new to UCAN, my first purchase was their perfectly named tri starter pack. It’s the best way to discover what SuperStarch-powered UCAN products are best for you. So head to their website, GenerationUCAN.com and use the code TriDot to save 15% on your entire order. Andrew: One of the latest topics in nutrition is intermittent fasting. There are a broad variety of programs promoting its benefits and all of them offer kind of a different approach to withholding food for the sake of health. Then of course, there is kind of the latest news that shows that it may not facilitate weight loss and may even result in more muscle loss. So, a lot to talk about here, but Krista let’s start here today. What are the different types of intermittent fasting that people should be familiar with? Dr. Austin: In today’s craze, and I would call it a craze with intermittent fasting, it really revolves around what is known as time restricted feeding. And this can vary quite a bit depending on who you’re listening to. It might be anywhere from a 14 hour fast to a 20 hour fast in terms of the individuals that I’ve talked with. What it’s utilized to do is to help people create behavioral change. As athletes what we want to make sure when we’re looking at something like intermittent fasting is that it’s not going to impose too much on our ability to train and optimize training adaptations. So I think that’s why today’s conversation is so important. Then there’s other types of fasting that people will engage in. They might choose a day in the week where they choose to fast. They might fast every other day. They might choose a period of time where they will practice fasting and maybe they don’t even train during that time. So you have to realize that over the years the concept of intermittent fasting has always been there. The question is just how do we define it. What we want to dive in a little bit to today is how should an athlete view this and how might they approach it and are they practicing intermittent fasting or are they practicing actual, what I would consider to be behavioral change which is something that oftentimes we need to help athletes define and people better define so they don’t get caught up in too much of the media or hype around a certain nutrition concept. Andrew: Intermittent fasting came onto the scene as a method to facilitate weight loss or even help people control their weight. Is intermittent fasting kind of a superior way to control weight as opposed to other nutrition plans out there? Dr. Austin: At the end of the day Andrew, I will tell you that it still comes down to calories in versus calories out. However, the concept of time restricted feeding or intermittent fasting is something that can be looked to help people improve their food consumption around the day. Because when you talk to a lot of people they eat from waking up until going to bed. I think that’s where the concept of intermittent fasting can help people with weight control because it helps them put kind of the bumper lanes up. I guess you could say with regard to what is the window where we should have our smallest versus highest amount of food intake and when should we be actually consuming food. For many people it gives them a time period around the day when their metabolism should be the highest and most active and when they should be putting calories into their body so they can manage their body weight. Oftentimes for many people that’s the old 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. It’s not even a 12 hour window. It’s a 10 hour window that so many have actually tried to return to help control body weight. Fasting for prolonged periods of time is interesting if we talk about the concept of intermittent fasting and that for me is whenever people go past a 12 hour fast and we start moving into these 16, 18, 20 hour fasts and then into multiple days or even every other days. What we have to be very cognizant of when we’re looking at weight control and especially long-term weight control is what is fasting doing to our muscle protein synthesis? This is because the body does need an influx of amino acids that typically comes through food to help ensure that we maintain our muscle mass. Muscle mass is critical for maintaining for what is called the resting metabolic rate so that we continue to have a nice fire burning, continue to be able to keep our bodies on fire and burn calories when we eat. So we need to always make sure that as athletes or for anyone that’s out there if you’re going to practice any type of fasting, are you keeping the fire lit? That’s what is actually the most important thing for us to understand as we move forward. Elizabeth: Absolutely! I mean, when you’re talking about keeping the fire lit for anybody that’s important, but especially as we look at this from an athlete perspective and continuing to be able to perform in the training that we’re doing to prepare for race day. We’re starting to get into this a little bit, but what might be the benefits for an athlete in fasting? Why would an athlete start to look at something like this? Dr. Austin: For most athletes the first thing that always comes up is an improvement, especially if they’re an endurance athlete, in fat oxidation. I’ve seen this in everyone from really elite athletes to the everyday age group athlete who’s just starting in the sport and they’re trying to find ways to optimize their body’s metabolism. Because typically most endurance athletes are going to compete for more than an hour. When so many people have been prone to really having these higher caloric or higher carbohydrate breakfasts, we have talked to them about improving fat oxidation during like their recovery sessions or their easy sessions. Especially the ones that are shorter in duration in order to help actual metabolism. Help promote what is called fat oxidation and hopefully in some form improve their insulin regulation. Elizabeth: So would that affect the quality of training that they’re doing? Dr. Austin: Well, that’s actually the most important question, right? I mentioned the concept of using it during or before like a recovery session or really an easy aerobic session that’s not too long. But if you go into intermittent fasting and then try to do a really high intensity interval training where we need the quality, we need fuel to be able to perform, then at the end of the day you may end up kind of getting a negative feedback loop there. Because if you’re not fueled, if you are fasting, you might not be able to produce the quality. When we look at time restricted feeding we need to use it, from my perspective, in a manner that is incorporating it into their nutrient timing scenario to make sure that you’re getting calories in within appropriate recovery windows and windows where you need to be fueled so that you’re not going into your quality training sessions unable to do the work and that you’re also not backloading. I have seen so many athletes over the years backload their calories and then they maybe don’t get enough in or they take in such large amounts of food at any point in time they get side effects from it. Anything from an actual stomach ache to actually not being able to sleep well at night. So there’s a lot of things to consider when you want to talk about intermittent fasting. But first and foremost for any athlete we want to make sure that whatever we do with our nutrition we’re always supporting high quality training sessions when they need to be there. Andrew: Yeah. Elizabeth: When you’re talking about backloading, is that more like leaving the calories for the end of the day and getting so far behind that you’re then just eating a large meal or something super late at night to try to make up for that at the end? Dr. Austin: Yes, absolutely. That’s exactly what I’m talking about. And so many athletes do that. I cannot tell you how prevalent that is and they say, “well, I practice some intermittent fasting.” Then what intermittent fasting turns into is actually a caloric deficit and maybe even REDS down the road where they end up injured. So we want to make athletes very cognizant that whatever they practice in terms of nutrition we don’t do anything that gets our body into trouble and harms our ability to train. Andrew: There are some other benefits that people are seeking when they practice intermittent fasting such as improved HbA1c levels, insulin regulation, monitoring your cholesterol. Are there benefits to health through these ways like people seem to believe there is? Dr. Austin: You know, there can be benefits to it oftentimes because you’re manipulating energy intake. There are many nutrition plans out there though that we have to realize we can practice a very normative means of fueling and get in the quality food that we should be consuming to help modify things such as our hemoglobin A1c levels, improve our insulin regulation, and even improve our cholesterol levels. What I’m kind of a bigger fan of is working with athletes to say how can I stay as normal as possible and work to improve these markers of health? We might consider things like can we slow our meal down by incorporating more fiber? And the question is do they consume enough fiber anyway in their diet. You would be amazed at how many people don’t. What are the combinations of protein and carbohydrate that I can use to better control my blood glucose level and improve my hemoglobin A1c? What type of carbohydrate am I consuming? Is it the right type of carbohydrate and is that maybe the reason that I do have prediabetes or even diabetes itself? Could I improve my caloric control and improve my not only body weight, but also things like my hemoglobin A1c and minimize my potential for maybe needing medications down the road or even the current medications they’re on? The other thing that we want to ask people when they consider any type of fasting and trying to get it to improve health is what is it actually aiming to do? I will tell you with the concept of intermittent fasting it oftentimes is putting you into what is known as energy restriction. With that what you might see is that all the parameters you’re monitoring, they’ll improve. The question is though, is this just a function of intermittent fasting or is intermittent fasting just a means, a technique for behavior change that works for you? Because energy in and energy out as I mentioned previously is the key to oftentimes beginning to modify a lot of health factors. Whenever we’re thinking about how can a nutrition plan help health metrics that I am monitoring, we need to ask the question what are we truly doing? What are we doing to energy balance which is energy in and energy out. Oftentimes that along with the quality of the food is what is truly causing the changes that we see. Andres: Yeah, so hearing that, when you’re working with an athlete do you incorporate fasting into an athlete’s nutrition plan? If so, what makes an athlete a good candidate to benefit from fasting? Dr. Austin: Typically when I’m speaking with an athlete we’re working towards what I call a nutrient timing scenario. Oftentimes that leads us toward setting a window of fueling throughout the day for their training and just for the overall day itself. The biggest thing that I recommend to athletes is to find those windows, set your bumper lanes, and help that be based on what you’re trying to achieve in training. How is your fueling designed to optimize training, but also help you address the health related factors? For most of the athletes that I work with we end up on a 12 hour fueling day and what happens on the back end Andrew, is that they do practice some “intermittent fasting” because they end up not eating for 12 hours. If you turn around and look at their fueling strategies they’re meeting all their calories, they’re optimizing what they’re taking in, they’re optimizing fueling for training and for health, and really at the end of the day we’re just practicing good nutrition behavior. At the same time I will have those athletes come in who say, “Krista, I do want to use intermittent fasting.” They do want to use these six to eight hour windows and while this is not ideal for an athlete, it may be something that the everyday person; because we’re not elite athletes. Elizabeth is, but people like myself and Andrew, we are the everyday person, right? That’s where intermittent fasting for some people or that everyday person may help us achieve our goals. So I always try to keep that door open that if people want to look at a shorter window than 12 hours or even a longer window of fueling, or a 6 to 8 hour window which is very common these days especially when they talk about intermittent fasting, that we try to see how we can work towards that in and around things to make sure they meet what they need to be meeting as an athlete. However, I will say it’s usually not ideal for an athlete. But if it’s the everyday person like myself or Andrew, Elizabeth kind of gets excluded from this one, we can relate to everybody else that is out there where we maybe do set those windows up to do some intermittent fasting or just some time restricted feeding in order to help optimize health and performance through body weight and composition changes. Andrew: For the athletes that do want to try some form of fasting, is the motivation usually weight loss, wanting to get down to a certain race weight or are there other motivations outside of that that athletes can have? Dr. Austin: Oftentimes they will actually have more than one motivation for doing it. I’ve always heard the weight loss aspects. But in today’s age I would say that they’re also trying to help themselves feel better. They’ll say, “Is this going to help me sleep better? Is this going to help me have greater mental clarity at work?” Really that’s something that is based on each individual and whether or not their current behaviors prior to starting the intermittent fasting is playing into maybe some of what we call the symptoms they’re experiencing with regard to feeling drowsy throughout the day, maybe not sleeping well at night, not having energy for training or energy throughout the day. It’s really dependent on the individual themselves when they show up. In today’s world I would say they’re showing up for more than just weight loss when they do turn to nutrition. Elizabeth: We’ve already kind of talked about some of the reasons why an athlete or even someone who’s not an athlete might seek out intermittent fasting as a nutritional approach. As people may be considering this, are there some side effects or some negatives that they should be aware of as well? Dr. Austin: Yeah, I think it’s important for anyone, whether athlete or non-athlete, when they’re looking at a nutrition plan is to understand that you may have negative side effects due to manipulating your calories and your macronutrients. These can be things like increased cravings and increased cravings is one that whenever people practice something that’s more restrictive and they do it very drastically they get them because they’re almost addicted to some of the other foods that they’re accustomed to consuming especially with our processed food culture. They may tend to overeat when they do get to that window and that opportunity. So they need to be very cognizant of that. They might have poor workout performance and I think we’ve already kind of touched on that one, but the other thing may be just a loss of appetite. An actual suppression of appetite that’s not good for them. Maybe it results in higher cortisol levels and that’s why their appetite is suppressed. It may also impair their sleep especially if they restrict energy intake earlier in the day, kind of stop by 3 or 4 p.m., maybe even 5 or 6 p.m. could do this depending on the level of caloric intake and they get impaired sleep as a result. The other thing might be something like an altered mood. Sometimes people utilize food to help them be in a good mood and all of a sudden once you change that pattern your mood gets kind of spastic. It can change up in a variety of ways and anytime we restrict food or we go overboard with food we can alter our mood for a variety of reasons. So we need to be cognizant if what we’re trying to do with behavior change is changing who we are as a person. Elizabeth: I think that was a very nice way to describe hangry and the James household knows that word very well. If either of us goes without food too long we get to that hangry state where it absolutely alters our mood and we need to address that immediately before anything else. Andrew: Another reason for Elizabeth James to not fast. Dr. Austin: Yeah. That is one aspect. I will say the other aspect, Elizabeth, that I would see with some more extreme nutrition plans is when athletes then go and use something like intermittent fasting and they end up binging on foods during the time window they do allow themselves to eat and then they actually are upset with themselves for it. There’s also that aspect to it in that their mood changes because they’re not truly meeting their goals, they’re not happy with themselves as a person in terms of what they’ve just done with regard to food. It can be, I would say, both sides of the coin and they can feel very full or they can feel very hangry and it can end up altering their mood because their food and what they’re choosing to do behaviorally is impacting them as a person. I think it can be kind of both sides of the coin. Then the other thing I will tell you that we see with athletes practicing intermittent fasting or I would say actually probably anyone is that they may turn even more so to stimulants. Stimulants could be something as low grade as caffeine, but they might consume more caffeine throughout the day or maybe some of these pre-workouts to actually help keep themselves going. That’s where we have to evaluate whether the benefits of intermittent fasting are outweighing their use of the stimulants. So a lot of things to be cognizant of if we’re going to practice a concept like intermittent fasting. Andrew: So before I was on staff with TriDot I was working at a television network that’s based in Dallas Fort Worth. There were a couple times we would have guests on to talk about different nutrition and one recurring guest we had he had a lot of nutrition books, a lot of dietary books about the Mediterranean diet. There’s a lot of suggesting that if you compare intermittent fasting with a pesco Mediterranean nutrition plan it was a good fit. It was a good pairing. Is it in our best interest health wise or even for us as athletes to kind of follow or pursue that pairing? Dr. Austin: What I would tell you is the whole basis for something like the Mediterranean diet is really to focus on things like fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains. So overall it’s a very, as we talked about being plant forward, it’s a very plant forward approach to fueling the body. The pesco Mediterranean version of it is where there is a huge reliance on fish. There’s nothing wrong with it, but we have to realize that there’s not a huge basis in regard to other types of fueling processes for using a pesco Mediterranean diet over anything else. I would just say that a lot of times they go down the roads and say where do I get the extra virgin olive oil. They might try to say how do I modify different types of dietary fats. But on the whole they try to limit things like dairy products and I would just say that when you’re looking at it in terms of health you may or may not be giving yourself something extra special. Often when we look at an athlete’s diet we say, are we meeting the necessary intake for omega 3’s? What is that balance of omega 3’s with omega 6? What is their cholesterol like? Is shifting towards something like a pesco Mediterranean diet in their best interest? Does it help them with something like intermittent fasting? So really if we take a look at their overall intake and even maybe some biochemical values and then decide from there, that’s where I would say you can make the best decision of whether or not a pesco Mediterranean diet is what you want to actually focus on. But have I had athletes who have said to me, “hey Krista I had a lot of success with the pesco Mediterranean diet.” Absolutely I’ve had them say that. I think a lot of it is it gets them plant forward, it gets them focused on protein sources that are very fish or seafood based, and they do tend to eat just a much cleaner and healthier nutrition plan. But I don’t know that it can outdo other versions of nutrition plans. So on the whole, is it going to hurt you to be pesco Mediterranean? No. Is it going to hurt you to do intermittent fasting? No. Is it going to hurt you to combine the two? No. As long as you’re meeting your needs and you’re not harming yourself from a systematic standpoint of view. Elizabeth: I think one of the things that we kind of keep coming back to here is this energy balance and just kind of the concept of calorie intake versus what our energy needs are. So we have calorie intake versus out and the importance of exercise and how that fits in.What would you say is kind of why we keep coming back to that as the bottom line in all of this? Dr. Austin: I think the reason I keep coming back to it as the bottom line is that in today’s world people are hit up with so many different types of nutrition plans, Elizabeth, and they sit there and they say “what do I do?” They go from one plan to the next. That’s even at sometimes the elite levels where they’re trying to manage body weight and composition. I think what I want people to realize is you know what, there is an equation that we still have to come back to regardless of which nutrition plan we’re trying to do and it comes back to that over and over again. There’s no promise a nutritionist or a dietitian or another person such as a physician can give you with regard to a specialized nutrition plan that’s going to make or break you. There’s just no magic blue pill with that. In nutrition you still have to remember that there are principles, there are concepts that we have to come back to and remember that throughout every choice we make with regard to nutrition. Cool down theme: Great set everyone! Let’s cool down. Andrew: For our cool down today we have another great question from our audience for Dr. Austin. Listen, if you guys keep sending the questions coming, I’m going to keep posting them because they’re great. I love getting your voice on the show and Dr. Austin is a crowd favorite. We actually, Dr. Austin, did a pole of our listeners just kind of asking in the year 2020 what was some of your favorite episodes and just about everybody that responded to that pole they might mention a different episode or two as their favorites, but then they would always put… it would be “oh episode 11 and episode 36 and then all the Dr. Austin episodes!” So we had several athletes, almost all of our athletes just very favorably kind of thank you for your input on this show and because of that we get great questions. So if you have a question you want asked on the TriDot podcast it’s easy. Go to TriDot.com/podcast and click on leave us a voicemail and you can get your voice on the show asking a question. Our question today comes from Josh from Greenville, South Carolina. He posted this on Facebook wanting to know. From a nutrition and fitness perspective, is there a best milk type to buy when I’m at the grocery store? I understand that some folks need to avoid dairy, but digestive issues aside purely from a nutrition standpoint, is one type of milk better for us than all of the others? Dr. Austin, what insight do you have on milk? Dr. Austin: So you know, it’s a great question that he’s asking because there are so many different types of milk products out there. Really it comes down to your overall profile of nutritional intake as to whether or not a specific milk type is best for you especially if you don’t have digestion issues. When I look at something like milk I say, what am I trying to get out of it for a person and really I’m trying to get a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fat supply them with some calcium. Maybe it’s some extra vitamin D in there and I think really I look at what all am I trying to get? That’s where for me if I go in and say do I want full fat milk? Do I want 2%? Do I want fat free? Do I maybe want to shift off of dairy products and go to a non-dairy form of “milk” because really it’s not milk at that point, but it’s a milk substitute. Why am I doing it? What’s the purpose behind that product? How is it helping me fulfill what I need to do on my nutrition front? I know that’s kind of a vague answer for you, but it comes back to individualization and not everyone will always have a direct answer. I think for many athletes it will change throughout the years. I don’t think it ever stays the same. So maybe one year you’re relying on 2%, maybe the next year you’re using fortified almond milk with protein in it. I think it’s just about knowing why you do what you do. So a vague answer, kind of non-specific, but I think it allows every athlete to go out and just individualize for themselves. Andrew: Yeah. It lets us examine what are we using that for in our diet? What nutrients are we looking to get out of it? For you Dr. Austin, what types of milk…I know I’ve heard you mention using oat milk in smoothies at home. What types of milk most frequently find their way into your refrigerator? Dr. Austin: All different types. Yeah. I mean it’s one of those things where sometimes I’ll have some 2% sitting in there. Sometimes I’ll look and a new brand will pop up and it’s fortified with a new type of protein and so I’ll try that. I’m not a big milk drinker to be honest and so I would say that I am one of those very low milk consumers. So you will probably see a very small carton that lasts a long time in my fridge. Just kind of looking at products on the whole I’m more of a yogurt person to be honest and then every once in a while I enjoy cheese. On the whole, you’ll probably see that there’s very little in terms of dairy in my overall diet especially with regard to milk. It’s not I guess something that I’ve been intentional about, but it’s something that’s just happened over time. Andrew: Well that’s it for today folks. I want to thank Dr. Krista Austin and TriDot Coach Elizabeth James for talking about intermittent fasting for athletes. Shout out for UCAN for partnering with us on today’s episode. Head to UCAN.com to see what SuperStarch powered products are best for you. Have any triathlon questions or topics you want to hear us talk about? Head to TriDot.com/podcast to let us know what you’re thinking. We’ll have a new show coming your way soon. Until then, happy training! Outro: Thanks for joining us. Make sure to subscribe and share the TriDot podcast with your triathlon crew. For more great tri content and community, connect with us on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Ready to optimize your training? Head to TriDot.com and start your free trial today! TriDot – the obvious and automatic choice for triathlon training.