Anne Guzman is a sports nutritionist, former pro cyclist and lifelong learner obsessed with sports science and helping people reach their physical and mental potential. We caught up with Anne for this podcast to go over how athletes can maintain health during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well thoughts on performance nutrition, food journaling, weight and body image, and practical tips on pre, during, and post-race nutrition. While Anne can go deep on the research and science, she knows how important it is to be able to translate that science into practical and actionable insights for all of us. For her personal story, and other tips, check out our interview with Anne. Listen to the podcast on The Common Threads: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify. We’ve included a few highlights from our podcast with Anne below.
David Swain: What type of athletes do you work with?
Anne Guzman: Everyone from 16 and 17-year-old athletes to masters athletes and pros.
For people who have never worked with a sports nutritionist, what do the first couple weeks look like?
It’s so individual. For me, food journaling is important. I want to see where somebody is coming from, so I can help them make directional changes. There’s a bit of a misconception that elite athletes are immune to inadequate eating. A food journal makes the athlete part of the process. I know that it’s time consuming. It takes some commitment. On the other hand, if someone is willing to put that commitment in, then it’s something they want to do. I don’t really work in calories, but I start with the big picture: carbohydrates, proteins, macronutrients.
When I first meet someone, I try to get to know them. I want to help them improve their health and their performance. It’s not about, “don’t have this or don’t have that.” A big part of my approach is to focus on what they want to add versus on what to take out. I generally want to see where they’re coming from. Are you a parent masters athlete with three kids and a full time job? That’s really important for me to know. I might get your food journal and see some interesting patterns. If you are an athlete who has a lot of time to prepare your food, that’s a completely different scenario that we can take advantage of. Everyone’s so different. It’s difficult to have a cookie cutter approach, but there are some foundational things everyone can work on.
Maintaining Health through a Pandemic
We’re living through COVID-19; What are things you’d recommend to build or maintain healthy habits?
I think this has really thrown a lot of people’s eating patterns off. Take a moment to focus on your habits. Are you someone who is stress eating all of a sudden because you’re home? Or are you not eating?