This is the basis of the study, as I understand it:
A) SUP racing is getting popular, but compared to other sports there have been few scientific studies of the effects of different types of training and nutrition on SUP athletic performance.
B) Studies of some other sports have found that a high protein diet increases athletes' fitness and performance a lot.
C) A high protein diet might be effective for SUP athletes, too, so it's worth testing scientifically.
This is how the study is being done, as I understand it:
A) Adam Pollock recruits a bunch of Florida SUP racers to be Dr. Antonio's research subjects.
B) Subjects use the fitness tracker website "MyFitnessPal.com" to record everything they eat and all the exercise they do, for a week. Dr. Antonio's lab technician Anya Ellerbroek "friends" them on the website to collect their data.
C) After a week of logging their "baseline" nutrition and exercise, subjects go to Dr. Antonio's lab to get tested. Subjects are weighed and have their body fat/muscle composition analyzed in a futuristic device called the "Bod Pod." They also do a 500 m sprint test on a SUP ergometer, which is kind of like a stationary bicycle for standup paddlers. The SUP ergometer can record how much power you generate relative to your body weight; a proxy for your likely SUP performance.
D) The Dr. sends you home with big jugs of protein powder, and you supplement your normal diet with a certain number of grams of protein per kg of your body weight, every day for 8 weeks. During that time you train normally. (My baseline protein intake was ~100g/day, which is low, so the 50g of additional protein I'm getting through the supplement should make a big difference.) There's an additional wrinkle to the study, which is that one group of subjects takes the protein in the morning and another group at night. It's a type of protein called casein, extracted from milk, and it's supposed to be absorbed by the body more slowly than other types of protein. The idea is that its slow absorption allows it to be gradually delivered to your muscles as they recuperate from workout damage.
E) At the end of the 8 weeks you come back into the lab to do the bod pod and the SUP erg again to see if your body composition and fitness level has changed.
I did the testing on Friday with my CGT race team buddy Matt Kearney. Below are some pictures from the testing.
Matt in the
Matt on the SUP ergometer, with Dr. Antonio in the background. Dr. Antonio has the same style philosophy as me, i.e., just because you have a PhD doesn't mean you can't wear shorts and a t-shirt to work. Matt also has good style. He's wearing his "Chattajack" (ultra long distance SUP race that he did in Tennessee this fall) shirt and sporting his signature Man-Bun hairdo.
Me on the SUP ergometer.
Video of the SUP ergometer
Just stepped off the SUP ergometer. Man, it gets results quick!
Me with one of the enormous jugs of protein the Dr. Antonio sent me home with. It's "cookies and cream" flavored. It tastes kind of funky if you mix it with water, but it's not that bad if you mix it with milk.