'Sweat. Think. Go Faster. A common sense approach to sports nutrition for endurance athletes' was written by Darryl Griffiths, the founder and CEO of Shotz Sports Nutrition who has spent over 20 years researching and developing the best nutritional philosophies to help athletes perform at their best.
The book focuses on some key principles that are largely overlooked by the sports nutrition market, and has the capacity to make a huge difference to your performance. The motivation for writing the book came from Darryl wanting to help a greater audience than just the individual athletes he saw. Solving the issues of cramping and stomach problems during the event were the two highest priorities.
Without giving too much away some basic principles are used, with very sound research and evidence, to apply a customised approach to sports nutrition. The biggest theme in the book is to separate fluid and food. As we identified with our sweat test (watch the video below), people's sweat rate and sodium concentration vary an enormous amount. As a result people's sodium, fluid and nutritional requirements vary an enormous amount too, therefore a customised approach seems logical.
Darryl uses a perfect analogy to sum up the current state of sports nutrition.
'It's akin to everyone riding the same size bike. You are unique and you need to be able to customize and adapt your nutrition strategy to best suit you.'
Darryl talks about sodium as being the 'game changer'. This concept was first sparked after being admitted to hospital in 2003 suffering from dehydration, and anyone that has finished a long distance event and ended up on a drip of Hartmann's solution will be able to testify to what happen next.
'I went from being incoherent to feeling on top of the world within ten minutes.'
Discovering what was in the bag was a turning point, 3,000mg of sodium in the one litre bag. Traditional sports nutrition has favoured magnesium but it was completely absent from the miracle Hartmanns solution. This led Darryl on a path to discover more about sodium and its role in performance. The sweat test became a staple in his assessment and over the journey he has seen a wide range of values, from 500 mg to 2,200 mg of sodium per one litre of sweat. It is discoveries like this you read about all throughout the book. Small pearls of wisdom, when put together could revolutionise your approach to sports nutrition and potentially your results.
See also: How to train your lactic acid system
There are some key topics that are worth dog earing. Minimising your percentage of loss, water, calories, sweat rate and sodium concentration all compelling reading for anyone that has had issues with cramping or their stomach during long events. Caffeine and when to use it is also makes for interesting reading and may change your post ride coffee ritual.
A key element of 'Sweat. Think. Go Faster.' is the practical examples within. Triathletes get a fair run given Darryl has done extensive work with some high profile triathletes, but the book also details nutritional examples for runners, team sports, motor bikes and of course cyclists. Road racing and time trial are looked at individually, as the requirements for each differ greatly.
See also: The ultimate guide to 'Brick' training
The best part about the book is that there are no, 'to be continued' moments or half pieces of information. The book gives a lot of detail and examples. The example of how to be self sufficient during a long course time trial on page 95 is a perfect template for people to try. The do-it-yourself sweat test on page 49 is also a gem.
The book serves to provide an insight into an individual approach to sports nutrition but I have no doubt the majority of people will use it as a reference book for information. My copy is full of highlighted sections and dog eared pages. The book touches on everyday nutrition without going into too much detail, the take home message is, 'Small changes can make a huge difference' and it's a message we can all embrace.