Nutrition And Supplementation For Climbers



the following video is a discussion I have with Tom Herbert about nutrition and supplementation for climbing while you're watching I want you to keep in mind that this is an initial conversation and it's specific for myself every climber is different and requires a variation in their plan depending on their starting point and I recommend consulting an expert to help devise the best nutrition strategy for yourself the other point I need to make before we jump into the video is around the general discussion of eating habits in the sport of climbing now this topic can be a point of contention for some people and understandably some climbers have put their health at risk by going to dangerous lengths to lose weight and this is clearly unsafe and is never the path to take we all need proper nutrition whether we're training or not and if you're someone who struggles with your eating habits then please contact professional services for help I've left some links down below but find some experts in your area and get that support now with that being said tom has done an amazing job breaking down nutrition for climbing the importance of feeling yourself the right food which supplements to take and how they impact your body it's a Skype recording so the quality isn't great but Tom does a great job with the content enjoy okay hi how's it going hey how you doing you're right not bad not bad ok so I'm joined right now by Tom Herbert he is the expert on all things climbing related with your physical health and well-being and training and recovery and diet and so I'm I'm called you right now we're recording this right now you can find him if you want right now at useful dot coach but Tom I'm here for your help I've got one month to the train for a trip to Spain I'm going bouldering and I've been Athena and so lots of overhang powerful type climbs I I've climbed so just a little back story my climbing sure I I'm I'm pretty good I've been climbing for over a decade so over about 14 years but and I've climbed quite a bit outside like most people I live in the big city and you don't get a chance to get out as much like one – but I've climbed three these sixes outside in my life okay and I'd like to climb three on this trip alone that's my goal okay I'm not terribly out of shape right now I haven't been climbing three days a week and feel like I'm doing okay but I want to get into that that next level stage before going so I've got four weeks and I need some help on the dietary side and gave my body prepped and ready to go okay so yeah you haven't given me much much time but I'm sorry sorry it's okay it's a challenge I think I think the oh the overarching thing about this is to get you prepared there is not much time for us to do that much body recomposition and we could if you wanted to like in theory I could pull about maybe 500 grams off you in in like a you know week and a half you were really strict yeah and then also put it this way right my big my the big thing which I say to people going on trips is you don't want to diet and perform you can't died and perform at the same time so what I want you to do is if we work backwards I want you to be the week before you go I want your sleep to be really good I want your recovery to be really good I want you to taper down some of your your climbing so that you go and you start your first day there you know really just well well recovered well slept you know like all the cylinders your powers out there so that you can have a really good time on the trip right okay and I don't know how long are you actually going for how long you climbing for one week we go okay that's fine because then you can just kind of go all out on that on that week yeah okay so what we can look at really is I mean I've got notes here so just bear with me cuz I'm going to write other things down okay so what are you what are you currently weighing at the moment I met about a hundred and sixty-six pounds which is 75 kilos okay and for you at the moment is this your kind of normal climbing way too are you yeah this is like my normal climbing weight okay all right and what like if you can say this it's like maybe one thing that you you feel that you're not like that could be polished up in terms of your health or performance what is it at the moment what are you I think I could definitely use more power okay more power and and strength my I feel like my campus ability is pretty is not as strong as others and yeah yeah I think I would need that and it can be really helpful for the for the type of climbing in Spain yeah sure okay so tell me what what do you what is your kind of your general died at the moment like what is your your your normal eating habits most days I'll wake up and I'll have a protein shake like banana peanut butter and protein I'll usually do something like eggs or pasta for lunch sandwiches dinner will be it could be more pasta or chicken or fish okay yeah is there anything that you don't like you allergic to you don't eat and no allergies eat anything okay would you have any aversion to swapping out pasta for something like rice you know it's all good I would and potatoes and things yeah yeah okay I'm just trying to think of little like habit changes that you can put in place right in such a short period of time play right okay so there's nothing particularly wrong with wheat pasta the thing is is that you can get a little bit more nutrition like micro nutrition by having something like rice or potatoes sweet potatoes instead right you're gonna get a better a little bit more fiber in there as well which is going to just help like gut health going forward so that that's something we can chat about in terms of amounts I don't know how he's specific you want to be on this call but I mean it's I think we're going to talk about numbers and things we could probably do that yeah you won that off offline rather than yeah so I would so here's one thing just from that conversation I would say we can look at so swapping out the pasta for like a vegetable source of carbs the other thing we want to look at is in terms of an overview right is what we understand about protein right is very briefly we have a certain threshold of protein that triggers muscle recovery and growth and has to do with just an amino amino acid called leucine so if you eat a small amount of protein like let's say let's say you eat about a handful of nuts right that's probably gonna have about 5 to 10 grams of protein that's not enough to trigger this effect so people might snack on little bits of protein throughout the day and think well I'm having protein so if instance they have two eggs and they think that's enough protein but actually that's not really enough protein what you really want to do is you want to have around about 20 grams to 25 grams right because what that will do is that will contain enough of this amino acid leucine that will trigger effect so for what we would look at is we would look at your protein shake no doubt is going to have enough because that's that's what you generally get with protein as in in terms of a supplement in the Sims of the scoop if you're having eggs on their own if you're having eggs with pasta you might be hitting that around about 20 grams of but we would look at that and the same with dinner and what I would probably do is I would try and get another meal in like another protein meal so what I'm looking at is a minimum for you I would try and get like three meals or three doses of about 30 grams of protein for you as a minimum right yeah and because what you're trying to do is you're just trying to optimize over these next four weeks is if you can get these little doses of protein in in the right order yeah in the right pattern you're just polishing up what you're already doing in terms of things and this is what we're trying to do over these four weeks it's just try and like literally polish up as much as we can do you ever count calories or anything I've never counted calories before but this this has to play in part I I think about climbing there's always this conversation or around strength weight ratio and sure what the optimum amount of muscle to to mass is I feel like I can lose a little bit and that would that would improve my climbing but is the worry I got to maintain the muscle while I'm doing that right so is that what that yes and no it's not like people people worry about losing muscle too quickly which is not really the case not unless you're doing you're just chronic and chronically under eating the the biggest stimulus for losing muscle is by not having a stimulus ie like anyone who's had their but their arm or leg in a cast because of breakage yeah you know within about a month that you can see the size difference in the muscle so someone who is doing climbing training even if they're under feeding you're not going to be losing muscle and also the other thing you to think about is that strength is predominantly a neurological thing it's a neurological drive that's why well that's wife instance you can take someone like Lois Parkinson and who's never dead lifted before and I think I was a first person to give a deadlift to try yeah and I think he went like a hundred and forty kilos on his first pool this is so the thing was that I stopped him because it was like you can pull you could probably pull higher but you're gonna hurt yourself and I don't want to be the guy who breaks the accent right so climbers are particularly what the strength to weight ratio is just incredibly obvious with climbers they are very strong for their for their size so what you're going to think about is to the direct question is that I would not worry about losing muscle even if you were doing a hard diet so say we choose to do a diet for two weeks and we could do it and it would be an interesting experiment I won't want to go less than more than two weeks because I want the next two weeks for you to be recovered okay so what we could do is we could just out of interest is hard diet you for two weeks yeah we could potentially take a kilo of you if you were dedicated okay but you probably couldn't get much more we're looking at about not 0.7 percent of your body weight if you wanted to maintain your your um your power output we can have a look at those numbers um but yeah basically I wouldn't worry too much about muscle if your proteins no if your protein in Texas is normal and you are training then you're gonna be you're gonna be fine and there could be some question about whether or not you by losing a bit of muscle you could actually increase your strength to weight ratio so physicists say you were like an ex cyclist or something oh yeah and you had really big like quads yeah I've never done this with someone but potentially what you could do is like we could reduce your quad size over like whatever putting them in casts but yeah yeah I mean it would literally would be like okay you're going to do nothing like no squatting nothing like that you know you just got to like let your legs atrophy as you I think it'd be quite an interesting experiment I didn't know I don't know how feasible it would be but okay so in terms of your question about calories so if we're going to do a diet dieting for two weeks it's probably going to be impossible for you to do it intuitively right you're going to have to count calories and the reason being is that it's some it's just very difficult to gauge and we would want to do it quickly so one thing I would like to do with you if you do want to do is I have an actual metabolic car meaning that I can put a gas exchange mask on you and see what your metabolic rate is your resting metabolic rate is and what I gives me as a number which is going to be more specific than me trying to calculate that or estimate it from like body composition things so what we can do from that is then I can actually say okay right we're going to reduce it by this much and then we look at your food and we say okay so this is what it's going to be and for something as as quick as this what you would probably want to do is have set things that you eat and it might be a little bit boring but for instance if you always know that your protein shake is XY and Z and is say 500 calories that's one piece that you don't have to think about and I know as a coach okay every day he's either having the 500 calorie shake or the 500 calorie eggs and whatever meal right so we have these little pieces because with with weight loss fat loss rather the hardest thing is the compliance and the more variables the more more things that you're not going to quite understand like you might think that you're eating a cookie that is so much energy and then you come to me like I haven't lost any weight and you're like okay something's not right here and then you're like oh yeah by the way I have a glass of orange juice every day and I'm like oh you didn't tell me that you know or you've sunny now change to eating nuts because yours you know all of these things so this is the interesting bit but I'm down for that I I am a creature of habit so even the same thing over and over again is right up my alley okay perfect well then we'll do that will set it will set in we'll have a look at what you you currently do because the big thing is with comply is right I got a look at what you currently do what you currently enjoy and then we tailor that like I'm not gonna ask you to have avocado and whatever spirulina you know there's no point but yeah there's no there's no magic here in terms of like magic McKee neutral ratios so you mentioned that you did a you better did a bit of ketosis I tried ketosis before because I was I was I've seen it in other people I was really intrigued by supposed energy levels you get from from having your body run off fat as a fuel source and I did it for a couple weeks and and it felt amazing and I felt like my appetite was suppressed a bit I didn't feel like I needed to eat as much and my energetic energy levels were up and it felt pretty good it's it's hard to maintain I think over time which is which is like something with a lot of diets I guess is it's hard to maintain so you want to make it and make it a habit I just love pizza so much so it's hard to do you want a cave and you just want to look I just want some carbs you need something and you just want some of that but I mean it's something like this I'm a month I have a clear goal in sight and and you know I've done it before so I would be ready to do that again if if he felt that was needed and I did notice when I did keto there was like weight loss quite quickly yeah so yeah so you brought out a couple of things so the the the the main thing the initial weight loss people get on keto is water weight is hydration and the reason being is that the the you store carbohydrate glucose in your muscles right and your liver and it gets bound to water so for every gram of glucose you get stored as glycogen it pulls in 3 grams of water so what happens is when you go low-carb which is the definition of Kido Kido diet is that you whereas you had been kind of maxing out your glycogen stores and your muscles on a normal diet when a keto diet that might be reduced by a quarter so that's why you could basic drop like 1 or 2 kilos in the first week by cutting out carbohydrate but it's just water weight it's not really true fat loss in that sense one of the reasons that a ketogenic or low-carb diet is successful actually is because people assume that it's working so the compliance thing kicks in is that they're like ok I'm gonna try a new diet look I've just lost a kilo and a half in the first week and they're like holy crap this is great let's carry on and it's motivating right the other thing is you know you pointed out in the email is yeah if you do keto and cut out carbohydrate you tend to cut out almost all junk food right so your your diet is going to automatically improve in terms of quality you're gonna be having if you know vegan you're going to be having much more fresh meat and you can have a lot more like non starchy vegetables right and you're not gonna have anything sweet so straight away there's this massive shift in the quality of your diet and that's what we see really is that if you improve the quality of your diet everything else goes in and and what it normally is is the fact of just your your micro nutrition vitamins and minerals are going up your inflammation is going down so you're recovering better and that could potentially be related to sugar intake it's a little bit debatable whether that is the case fiber is gonna help your gut which is going to help with inflammation and satiety you're not gonna want to snack so much blood sugar is gonna be better sleep is going to be improved all of these things start circulating into into better recovery which is ultimately what's gonna help and also because of inflammation your that's gonna affect hormone levels and things like now this is not just related to keto so with yourself whether or not doing two weeks of keto may be the best way of doing it potentially but I hope but the the question will be is whether or not you're training in those two weeks tanks right because if that's the case I don't want that to happen like I would rather keep it at a moderate of carbohydrate or what are you – na Mele do with clients is specific carbohydrates at specific points so that you can keep that training output in place but also a diet that is going to allow us to cut calories off you so a keto diet or a particularly low carb diet might be more helpful in this sense because it's you're going to be starting a diet quite hard and it's gonna feel odd and you might be hungry and irritable and you know your partner's gonna get upset if if you're Moody so yeah these things these things are gonna happen if you die hard and the thing is is that I would want to diet you hard for 10 weeks because otherwise it's a waste of time if I take off 300 calories into 300 grams off you in two weeks it's not really I mean it will help but no I'm right I'm ready to jump in I will be interesting I'll be good for good for me to see how much we can we could we could do in that period of time so so yeah so basically in terms of the carbohydrate side of things like we've already said we'll swap out the the pasta for more optimal carbs will be more specific with carbohydrates around your training and probably find the minimum amount we can get so that we get you close to keto not because it's going to optimize anything specifically but that is just potentially easier to do to do as a as a strategy and then what we do is in the net in the third week we would start taking those carbs up yeah your weight will then probably go up because of hydration but it'll be interesting to see it might go up let's say a kilo or something but that would just be hydration and that's the weight you're going to be climbing at anyway because you're gonna be eating normally right on the trip and then protein will get the protein spread well you said you do supplements already creatine you say you use yeah I started I've used it before and I started doing it again now just kind of sporadically I don't actually know what the best way to do it when I first read people are like you can do period but now they're like don't do loading period but I know I know creatine is well-documented to work when I first looked at it the mono I can't remember the strand of it it's supposedly hydrate monohydrate this one you can correct me if I'm wrong I get has less water weight associated with it when you're taking it I don't know if that's true or not that's just what I was someone I saw online or read said so I got that one and so one I don't know if it's good or if it makes sense to take it if you're bouldering and or the water weight is an actual thing with this you know you know the answer what I love is that sometimes when you when you spend your life surrounded by people who know similar stuff is you you forget like this sort of stuff is how people like me know or don't know it's not your fault it's just information needs to be you know better disseminated okay so creatine monohydrate the reason that that's most popular is that is the most studied version of creatine so we're looking at like 25 years of research on creatine now right so it is the most studied supplement to date incredibly safe incredibly safe the only so what creatine does is it's similar to to glucose and your muscles so when you eat carbohydrates gets broken down to glucose glucose then gets stored in your muscle as glycogen and when you do a contraction of your muscle it will use that glucose to power that contraction right that takes seconds of time to generate energy right relatively speaking if you were to just stand up out of your chair you actually use a molecule where you break a bonds of a phosphate molecule very quickly and you replenish that very quickly and that's basically what creatine is doing is that you're taking this creatine supplement now you you produce phospho creatine and your muscles but your body produces about 3 grams a day right otherwise you would die because it's just like it's everything that you do it requires that so if you were to sprint right in the first about three three or four seconds you'd be running predominately off this creatine phosphate in pathway what starts happening is you then start using more glycogen to add to that fuel mix and then if you were carried on running for like the next two hours you would start using more fat in top of that to try and build this so point being is that what we see in the research is that when athletes consume creatine creatine monohydrate what happens is is that you are augmenting that creatine supply in your muscles and what can that can allow is one it takes the burden off your body to produce creatine so it frees up other molecules like glycine which can be used for things like building collagen which are your tendons and ligaments the other thing is it just almost super saturates your muscles so that's when they talk about loading yeah yeah what you're doing is it's a relatively speaking just for argument's sake at the moment you have one gram of creatine and your muscles and by taking five grams every day you increase that to like 1.5 or two grams of creatine and in this in your muscles if what it means is it you just have a greater power reserve and what this normally means is that your power output for a single contract constant contraction may be increased but more we see dance in repeat ability so what you'll find is that say you're doing a climb if you do if you rest for 30 seconds before doing the same climb you're not as powerful right yeah if you wait for like two or three minutes you'll be more powerful yeah yeah and part of that is that you're the phosphor creatine that's been broken to produce that power output is coming back and being reformed again so you now have that molecule available again for you to do the power that's why you recover between right it's one of the facts this is sounding like a pretty good thing yeah yeah it is the downside of it is is there's two downsides to creatine the main one for class is that like consuming more carbohydrates increases your muscle hydration so does creatine so this may or may not be an issue if you creatine load and the reason for creatine loading is speeding up the process of saturation so what you tend to do is do like a week of taking 20 grams a day right and what after about a week your muscles are like we can't store anymore so you just urinate any excess out and then you just take five grams a day which is the normal recommended dose and what that does is it just keeps topping up and as you train you're gonna expend more and then it will top it up but what happens is that that can you can put weight on it depends on how much muscle you have but you could put on like a kilo of water weight depending but what you can basically do is just take five grams every day going forward and you slowly increase but it works at different people in terms of the water weight I mean if often are you currently taking it at the moment I was just taking it on days and I'm climbing but when I did this before I would take it every day I take a dose every day with my smoothie and I I did notice a difference and then I did a no house like I didn't know what the recommend a trek amended amount you should take over time so I normally do it in in in sessions I guess or I'd do it for a month and then I'd stop for a month and then I'd do it for a month and stop and then I just stopped doing it for a while and I've been reminded talking to friends about who are taking some creatine now is like I'm gonna do this again I don't know what the best way to take it is so I just started throwing it in my smoothie that the morning of before I was going to the gym but it sounds like I could do a loading phase right now get my levels up to a certain amount and then start maintaining as I lead up to the trip so okay so this is where it's a this is where it's new for climb because we don't have any data on this right okay so this is a little bit of speculation and just from experience with people the reason I wouldn't recommend loading ya is potentially if your weight increases by hypothetically a kilo in one week and you're still climbing training I I have a feeling that that's bad for the fingers okay because you suddenly now loading your fingers with us with a different load than you were before yeah and it could potentially lead indirectly to like an overuse injury because there's not it sounds like a small amount yeah but my speculation is that if you were to load and you were to jump quickly with weight I that wouldn't be a good idea right however if you were to start from today or tomorrow morning and just have five grams like you come the normal scoop right have that every single day with by the time we get to week three you're going to be saturated anyway and your weight might be trickling up very very slowly if at all and we're gonna be countering that by the reduce hopefully the reduction in in fat anyway at the same time right yeah yeah so the benefit of creatine loading is just your short cutting the saturation phase right I don't think that's in so necessary for climbers right I think if you are a sprinter or if you are doing like a rowing like something like that and you I mean I I don't miss an SEC like if you're having to load creatine from an event it means you didn't plan ahead like that wouldn't be a good idea anyway so I think the answer is basically take five grams every day you can either take it before bed or with your smoothie I think and slowly over time it's just going to build up and you'll be really ready for the climbing trip yeah and it you can take you can take I recommend taking I don't on your trip as well you can take like enough in a bag to be on scoop every day yeah is there anything else you recommend taking I know there's so much stuff out there and and I don't know if how or if anything but the other stuff has been documented as well or if any of it works but yeah in terms of supplements for climbers the only other one in terms of direct performance benefit would be somebody called beta and a beta and a lean I know it yeah yeah what that is is basically a acidity buffer so what we see with high intensity training or high intensity exercise is that one of the factors that can cause fatigue is the build-up of hydrogen ions in your muscles now people think of it as mostly as what they call lactic acid but that's not really the case the lactic acid doesn't really exist in your muscles its product lactate does which is not acidic but the hydrogen ions these these these is going to increase the pH so what taking beta alanine does is it actually creates a molecule in your in your muscles that will counter that that acidity so what that potentially can help with is that you will be able to do greater amount of output before you become fatigued so that's something that you can try is this something that someone would take right before they work out is it a time thing or is it something like the creatine where you just got to make sure you take a daily dose and it's kind of in your system exactly that yeah okay so what what you'll find is a little bit it's a kind of marketing thing is that they will put beta alanine in a pre-workout supplement right yeah and the reason for that is that you have never taken it before no I have in a pre-workout before and in that tingle the tingling feeling that's that's how I know it yeah yeah so that what they do is they put it in there so you get the tingling feeling so you think that it's working okay something's yes it's really just the caffeine right well the biggest driver on a pre-workout as the caffeine no certainly like 99% of the benefit is the caffeine but the tingle is there for the marketing but the tingling we don't fully under than what's going on it's not dangerous it's not dangerous but yeah you can get it the tingle so I actually take my beta alanine before bed that's I do you yeah so but I I just do that because I have my creatine and my beta alanine in my bathroom because it's just that's the way I remember to take it so and I'll probably take it like if I remember five days a week right it's not a yeah I'm not doing heavy training so I'm not depleting this stuff so like this is something that we can try it's not gonna make things worse for you yeah the worst it will do is nothing right and you'll you'll waste whatever twenty quid right that's pretty cheap stuff but it might just give like another little bit of polish in terms of like evidence-based recommendations like we have evidence that beta alanine and creatine can improve intermittent power performance so like there's enough research for to say well we could throw this in so that those are two things you could you could do in terms of any other supplementation like you're already taking a protein powder and the reason that that's really useful is that it's high quality protein it lacks the micronutrients that you would get from like a piece of meat right like iron and things like that but one it what it does give us is it gives us a dose of protein that we know you're taking a good habit to get in place you have that in the morning that's also something that I would take on your trip one of the things I always say like if you wouldn't take one thing on your trip take that I mean I've had guys who go to font and they basically eat cheese and baguette right yes right yeah and I'm saying like yeah depending on the length of trip like you will start that will start catching up with you not that that brie and baguette are bad but the fact that you could be just slowly like you're yanking your climbing harder than you normally climb and you're just missing out on that recovery so if you're taking taking your um your protein with you can start your day with protein and end your day with protein and without even trying you're getting like 40 to 50 grams of high-quality protein in every day of your trip which is just going to help with everything you've got for weeks so what we could do is there is some more more research looking at using gelatine or collagen right before you do training so this is pretty new so this is around about probably 2015-2016 we get the first papers coming out and what it is is that so your your tendons and ligaments are made from collagen protein they're like spirals of amino acids right and they're not as well supplied with blood as muscles right so what we know is that if you were to just drink a protein shake now your blood would deliver those amino acids to your muscles to turn into muscle protein that's not necessarily the same thing with tendons and ligaments they work more like sponges so when you load them they will suck in the surrounding plasma right okay so what what there's been some really research on and it's not specifically on the hands or tender but more on things like achilles and things like that is that by taking some collagen powder or gelatine powder or like literally some jelly about and to give you a certain amount around about 15 grams of collagen what it does is that if you take that about half an hour before you load your your any part of your body the amino acids plus these collagen molecules these peptides are in circulation so what you're potentially doing is that you're short cutting so if you think about what collagen and gelatine is is ground-up tendons and ligaments from animals right yeah there's no such thing as vegan collagen yeah so what happens is that you have these little chains of collagen molecules right there to get ground up and they become a little bit shorter to be what they call peptides which are chains of amino acids so what happens is that you then load your tendons buddy climbing or whatever they suck in the surrounding plasma which has these peptides and these peptides get incorporated into your tissue and it augments the growth and recovery because it's like your body would before would have to build this chain what you've done is you've taken little snippets of chains and just yeah this is fairly new research but we're seeing we're seeing that on on the research that they've done is that it is augmenting the growth or potentially speeding it up okay okay so yeah so what we can do right is that we will put in something in place for your training strategy right so what we would look at is getting a dose of protein a bit of carbs and some like 15 grams of a collagen right the worst case scenario that it will do is nothing right best-case scenario is it may polish up your recovery before you go in climb on your trip right if we're going to throw everything at this yeah so what it would be is like one of the cofactors of collagen synthesis is vitamin C so if if there's a climber who's having a very poor diet in terms of fruits and vegetables this can actually impede the healing of their soft tissues so we'll just look at your data and make sure that you're supplying itself with a lot of like healthy vegetables fresh stuff but what it what is an easy thing to do is literally you have like a glass of orange juice stir your your your collagen powder into the glass of orange juice because it doesn't taste great it tastes like what it is which is ground up whose so like basically and when before you do any loading of your fingers like half an hour before at least mix it in drink it down we've got like 20 25 grams of carbs going into your body that easily digested they're gonna give you that kind of sugar boost quick you've got the stuff in so that's like one little strategy you have straightaway that will give you a kind of two-for-one their vitamin C carbs and collagen and I love it okay yeah I the other thing that we would I would look at is like what is your sleep like at the moment pretty good i I did see what is Michael Walker he he has a book on why we sleep he's yeah yeah and I he did a Joe Rogan podcast and the guy sold me on the importance of sleep and you know it's it's like a performance enhancer and that's where all your body recovery occurs so he was adamant that everybody should have seven to nine hours of sleep and if you're younger even more but for someone like myself I do get that right now so yeah okay right how much in terms of the quality of your sleep how you do you think you are you waking up refreshed oh yeah I do wake up refreshed yes hmm yeah I'm a light sleeper but I get my full night so I'm pretty good okay so what we can also try even though it sounds like it's good we can we can polish that as well so there's a double whammy with collagen collagen contains predominately a molecule called glycine and glycine is part of the gaba pathway this is the pathway in your brain that calms you down and what we've seen in research is that supplemented with glycine before bed can actually improve the quality of your sleep right okay you get to see so most people I work with I actually recommend them have glycine as a supplement glycine powder okay oops I'm just my screen savers just come on so you can either have it as your collagen so you can take collagen before bed or glycine is so cheap and it's easier to do that and you just take five grams of glycine before you go to bed and you might find that your your sleep quality is better the other thing that glycine is doing is your body requires glycine to produce collagen right that's why when you eat collagen the the actual collagen is a high percentage of glycine as the amino acid and that's tied together so by supplementing with with glycine you take the burden off your body in producing glycine because you produce it and consume it so what it can do is it potentially can augment the ability the ability for your body to in – to recover tendons ligaments right okay okay what is even more interesting is by taking creatine glycine is part of the pathway of creatine synthesis by taking by taking creatine you can reduce the amount of glycine your body requires to produce so you're up breaking up anyway there's some research to show that the average person requires about 10 grams more glycine per day than what you would get in a normal diet and if you're loading your your tendons and ligaments like a climber would be yeah glycine is incredibly safe I mean people take it like sixty grams a day for certain conditions I'm saying to you take between five and fifteen grams a day but we can have a look at that so that that's just another bit of polishing that can help with sleep as well so that's a double whammy on there the other thing in terms of sleep what I would probably do with you is the week leading up to your your climbing trip to support recovery is we could look at a supplement called tart cherry extract and what it is is this basically a bit like a super antioxidant now what we don't want to do is take antioxidants like high-dose antioxidants all the time and the reason being is that when we do any training you're sending a response a stimulus to your body that it has to adapt and part of that stimulus is little molecules reactive oxygen species that are running through your cells saying that you have a stress from from exercise an excellent sized stimulus and so your body must now up regulate and change to adapt to that's true that's stress yeah what we're seeing in research over the last five or six years is that use you halt all of that stuff to aid with recovery yeah and your body is like okay so I'm not going to adapt because you're just short you cut it so there's this funny seesaw there are times when you want to focus on recovery so it's a bit like taking anti-inflammatories right if you exercise and you get sore that's part of the indication of what is going on you've lasted body you've stressed your body and now it must heal and get better if you suddenly throw a bunch of like ibuprofen in or even aspirin you basically halt that for the body right so what we see is that high dose antioxidants like vitamin C vitamin E and anti-inflammatories and things like that right what they do is they can actually halt the training adaptation so you train someone really hard and you give them pain killers and multivitamins and you get another group and you don't that other group will actually get better more than these guys yeah yeah right so though the difference is is that what we want to try and do is we want you to carry on your training and your training stimulus over this next three weeks right on the fourth week we can introduce tart cherry before bed yeah to help you recover better right because you you're you don't necessarily need a training stimulus now because it's the week before you go and do something so you want to maximize your recovery right okay but the other thing that tart cherry does is it influences your production of melatonin okay right and that's why we yeah so what happens is that we see in research that subjects having tart cherry actually improved their I think it's time to bed all the time they go to sleep but they are actually now augmenting melatonin production so it's another double whammy right so if we if on the last week we put in tart cherry yeah right we can get you potentially to be much better recovered you probably heard of something called medium chain triglycerides hello okay Oh MCT oil have you heard of MC no I don't know okay things like coconut oil the reason it's very popular with ketogenic people is that it has a type of fat in it called a medium chain so your long chains short chains medium chain the the the interesting thing about what they call MCT medium chain triglycerides is that it gets shuttled straight to the liver to be metabolized for energy but what it does is it actually gets converted straight into ketones so what can happen is that I can produce say you had a big pasta meal your body is it's nearly impossible for your body to produce ketones because the metabolic pathways in there to produce them but what I can do is I can give you that big pasta meal with say 15 to 20 grams of MCT oil poured on top and you produce ketones in the presence of high glucose in your blood because your liver will produce the ketones from the MCTS right they don't get burned for energy the same but they don't get metabolized the same way as other fats so what you can do is for instance if you are fasting and you want to have something that's going to get help you with energy what we can do is we can give you depending on your calorie requirement we can actually give you MCT oil so what's very popular this is where they call basically bulletproof coffee which is butter yeah that's really just it's just that producing like a fat bomb what you can do is rather just have some MCT oil with your coffee the point of having butter makes no sense I do have you have body fat you can use a body fat you don't need to be I never took one of those but ever I was told about these these bulletproof coffees yeah the main thing is that you be the MCT oil in it and the caffeine obviously caffeine is a good so so so there's another thing that we could potentially do if we're throwing all things in is that during your fasted periods or even just in the morning if you're just gonna have like you're gonna skip breakfast or whatever we decide right by having a little bit of MCT during the day it might help you reduce your energy without you feeling reduce your food without you feeling too lethargic with low energy so it could be something that we could implement it just to increase and it may be reducing inflammation as well during that period of time amazing ok this has been wow this has been so good you're blowing my mind this conversation so I I'm like I'm like great I'm ready to go so I I I'll follow up after but some things that I'm taking away I'll be taking creatine and beta-alanine and I forget the cherry thing I can take towards the end yeah some ground-up what is it again for the ligaments and oh yeah so it takes a collagen powder collagen powder start working on my food plan so I can plan out strategically the types of foods and how many calories they might take and then I could I can keep it at a certain level and then have one day a week where it's one meal at a significantly lower so then I'm able to manage my eating habits throughout the week better yeah it just makes it a little bit easier for you intermittent fasting and making sure I get my protein higher dosages at certain points in my day so I can get the muscle recovery yep yeah so like 30 30 grams is what I recommend that any grams really 13 grams per meal yeah depending on I again we can have to look the other thing is because we're going to be doing a hard cut right yeah you'll be increasing protein higher than what you would normally do right one because protein is satiating as well so by eating protein you will just be fill less full let you'll feel fuller which is you but will be will be upping a protein more anyway during this time and then yes switching out for better carbohydrate sources right so yeah I mean these these are these are some of this what I've said is is something people should do as a thing yeah like this there's a lot of stuff other things are more acute for this you know this kind of strategy that we're doing but yeah yeah we go we'll see what we can we can be really optimized I think that's all that's all I can think of right now in terms of specific nutrition strategies yeah outside of just looking at where your your current diet is and see on that that sort of stuff I was brilliant great amazing thanks Mitch at Malaysia thank you Tom for helping me with my nutrition plan and my training for the month if you want to see the results of that you can go check out my video where I train like a pro for one month I felt amazing I got my body fat percentage down and right at the point in the month where my energy level started to decrease we introduced more calories and I felt great I performed really well on the trip everything was amazing I couldn't be happier so thank you Tom if you want to get in contact with Tom you can find him on his website at useful dot coach or on instagram at useful coach and I've left links in the description below to all of the supplements we discussed these are affiliate links so if you use them there's no extra charge to yourself but it does help support the channel now have a great week full of climbing and I'll see you in the next one bye

21 thoughts on “Nutrition And Supplementation For Climbers

  1. Taurine is listed in the description as one of the supplements to get but it isn't discussed. How is it used and for what?

  2. TLDW:

    Change some carbs around such as: rice or sweet potatoes/potatoes instead of pasta

    20-25 grams of protein have enough leucine to trigger muscle recovery, want 30 gms of protein per meal

    Creatine provides quicker muscle recovery, a normal daily dose of 5 mgs per day, no need to do a creatine load for climbers

    Beta-alanine counters muscle fatigue

    Protein powder is a way to receive rich protein to ensure proper muscle recovery

    Collagen use 30 mins before training to help grow and recovery ligaments and tendons, a normal daily dose of 15 gms per day

    Glycine before bed improves quality of sleep and helps produce collagen, 5 to 15 gms nightly

    Tart cherry extract is a super antioxidant which can be used before bed to maximize recovery and improve sleep when not training hard

    MCT oil during fasted periods or in the morning to help reduce energy without feeling lethargic from low food

  3. Been dying to see this since you posted your month video to v7 please post the training you did during that time too id love to try it

  4. Do you discuss Taurine in the video? I don't remember hearing it but I may have missed it… Or if anyone else know, what is that beneficial for?

  5. Fantastic information! Can you do another video with Tom about whether Keto is worth it and/or safe (pros and cons basically) for climbers? You touched on it in this video but more info would be great! Also, Tom suggests to take collagen daily in OJ but also says later that taking Vitamin C regularly can inhibit the body's adaptation to stressors. Are there only certain things this applies (that we currently are aware of) like NSAIDs and anti-oxidants?

  6. This video is unbelievably detailed and informative. While being not very entertaining (as one could tell from the number of views compared to other videos), it is directly helpful. Can't believe I just sat through the 50min video chat of two men and learned a ton 🙂 Thank you very much for creating contents like this.

  7. Thank you for posting this! Seems like a lot of dietary advice comes directly from climbers, so it’s nice to hear from someone who focuses on this for a living.

  8. Creatine is bad for some people (me). After using it off and on for a long time I can say it’s not worth it even without the side effects I get… spend that money on better chalk it’ll make you better 😂

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