Did you know that beet juice could enhance endurance? That most of us aren’t getting enough collagen? How about the positive effects of dark chocolate and cocoa on the brain? In their new book Peak Nutrition: Smart Fuel for Outdoor Adventure, Maria Hines and Mercedes Pollmeier take on the difficult challenge of capturing modern nutrition advice for climbers. From protein and collagen to energy systems and supplements, they apply this modern wisdom to the varied needs of rock climbing. From strength training to bouldering, to big wall climbing, what is the best way to plan for the wide variety of nutrition needs within the sport of rock climbing?

Peak Nutrition for Climbers Book

Peak Nutrition is more than a rock climbing nutrition book. It’s a full blow nutrition resource that can help take your climbing and adventure life to the next level. Mercedes gives us simple rules of thumb, like the Food Anchors listed below, along with a detailed description of nutrients, energy systems, and supplement science for those that really want to dial in their nutrition as an advantage for their climbing goals and lifestyle.

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And don’t forget, Maria Hines has provided over 100 great recipes to help take the work out of designing nutrition into your meals. Check out the Thai Coconut Curry Vegetable Stew or the Wild Caught Fish Tacos now.

Maria and Mercedes have graciously shared some of their biggest findings to help you begin your journey to improved nutrition and better sending.

The Food Anchors from Peak Nutrition

(Excerpt from Peak Nutrition) These anchors are meant to be built upon each other. Just like skills, one builds upon the next, slowly making you into a nutrition ninja. After you set one anchor, you can set another, then another, until you have set them all and you are in complete control of your nutrition. The goal is to work on each anchor for two to four weeks. Once you feel like you are applying one anchor consistently and doing it every day, add the next one. We don’t recommend doing these all at once.

  • Anchor One: Eat slowly and to 80 percent full.
  • Anchor Two: Eat whole foods.
  • Anchor Three: Switch to water or zero-calorie drinks.
  • Anchor Four: Eat balanced macronutrient meals.
  • Anchor Five: Eat local and organic.
  • Anchor Six: Get to know your eating habits.
  • Anchor Seven: Experiment.

We love the final mission of Anchor Seven, “Experiment”. Just like rock climbing, it is easy to get comfortable with the progress you have made. Continue to try new things, new foods, and open your mind, body, and soul to the possibilities that are out there to discover.

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If this type of change is something you have tried before and failed don’t worry. Habit change is hard. That’s why, even though this is a nutrition resource, Mercedes and Maria have provided plenty of guidance on implementing the new nutrition habits.

Behavior Change for the Rock Climber’s Nutrition

(Excerpt from Peak Nutrition)

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Behavior change is critical to creating habits that support peak nutrition for mountain athletes. But how is that change achieved? Often people don’t consider their behaviors when it comes to eating; they usually develop a target for what they eat, change their eating habits for a brief moment, and then fall off the wagon and wonder why. It’s because of behavior and lifestyle choices that are made each day. People are creatures of habit, and it’s difficult to get out of patterns that have been deeply ingrained since childhood. Behaviors are life trails in a forest. It’s so much easier to stick to the path of least resistance. For behavior to change, you have to choose one trail at a time and make it more clear and easier to follow. Then you can create a new trail.

In his book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg states that to be successful at changing habits, you should address only one habit at a time; if you work on two habits, the likelihood of failure increases; if you work on three or more, you will undoubtedly fail at all of them. This chapter reveals the secret to building (and keeping) a new habit. For the following exercises, work on each habit for two weeks to one month at a time before adding the next one. These habit exercises have been used successfully by thousands of people. We are 100 percent confident that you too can get great benefit from practicing them. And you’ll form mindfulness and appreciation while doing so.

And since “Peak Nutrition starts in the kitchen” here are a couple of recipes to get your new food journey started.

Peak Nutrition for Climbers Book

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