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If Cramer was the sobering voice in my head, then Anthony Zamora, the director of performance nutrition for the Utah Jazz, was my hype man, somehow convincing me that managing my caloric intake can have transformative benefits. “I love taking a look at performance—what you need to accomplish—and turning that into a plate of food,” Zamora said via Zoom from his office.
Nutrition has always been my Achilles heel. I eat well, but not when I’m on an adventure or competing in an endurance event—typically, I drink very little and limp across the finish line cramping and sore. But Zamora gave me a detailed daily meal plan that had me weighing my protein and carbs on a food scale and eating pre-determined snacks, like greek yogurt with fruit and honey or Honey Stinger bars, at specific times during the day. Surrendering my dietary choices was somehow liberating. I no longer had to wonder what or when I should eat. Zamora told me, and I listened.
On the bike, I had a prescription for how much I should drink and what I should eat every hour. On rides more than three hours, Zamora wanted me to drink two 16-ounce bottles of rapid hydration mix an hour and mix pretzels with energy chews on the reg. The idea was to replace all of the salt I was losing, based on the fact that I would drop five pounds of water weight during each big ride.
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