Applied Nutrition for Mixed Sports

Applied Nutrition for Mixed Sports
Lyle McDonald

What does this product claim?
Applied Nutrition for Mixed Sports examines the topic of nutrition for what are referred to as mixed sports. This includes almost all team sports along with many individual sports such as boxing, mixed martial arts and some track and field events.
Basically any sport that has requirements for both endurance and strength/power is considered a mixed sport. Because of the often odd nature of performance requirements, optimizing nutrition for these sports often presents problems that aren’t seen in either the pure strength/power or pure endurance sports.
The book, as well as the accompanying 2 DVD set, approaches the problem in an applied fashion building up the topic of nutrition from the ground up to present a comprehensive examination of how mixed sports athletes can optimize their nutrition.
This product started life as a seminar I did in Vancouver at Simon Fraser University in 2009 for their football and soccer teams on applied sports nutrition. But rather than just slap the DVD together with the handouts and slides, I decided to write a complete stand alone book (derived primarily from the handouts). Of course, the original DVD seminar is included along with the Powerpoint slides and the full package includes everything shown below

Binding\Design\Paper Quality
The „Applied Nutrition for Mixed Sports“ include two books and two DVDs. The first book is the guide book and can be considered the core of this nutritional package.
Guide/Manual comes in soft cover and A4 format with two DVDs that are attached on the inside of the front page. Paper is high quality and the font is large (12pts) with large line spacing, which allows for easier reading. There is decent number of black-and-white figures and tables which are very well organized and easy to understand. The Guide/Manual is organized into 14 short chapters and it has about 80 pages. The content of the Guide/Manual book is the following:

Chapter 1: Some Unapplied Theory
Chapter 2: General and Performance Nutrition
Chapter 3: Energy Intake
Chapter 4: Dietary Protein
Chapter 5: Dietary Fat
Chapter 6: Dietary Carbohydrates
Chapter 7: Vitamins and Minerals
Chapter 8: Meal Planning
Chapter 9: Around Workout/Competition Nutrition
Chapter 10: Hydration and Cramping
Chapter 11: Supplements
Chapter 12: Changing Body Composition
Chapter 13: Putting it All Together
Chapter 14: The End

The second book is Companion Slides book that comes in soft cover with spiral bond and it is in A4 format.  Font is smaller compared to Guide/Manual book, but still readable. Companion Slides as it name suggests is a print-out of presentation slides from the seminar  author did in Vancouver at Simon Fraser University in 2009 for their football and soccer teams on applied sports nutrition. Slides are printed out only on one side of page in landscape orientation, so you need to rotate the book to keep reading. One page contains 4 slides and there are about 20 pages.  Companion Slides book makes following and watching seminar on DVDs very easy. Companion Slides book is organized into 8 modules that follow the DVD content which lasts about 3 hours: 

[i]Disk 1
Module 1: Introduction + A Little Unapplied Theory (12:41)
Module 2: General and Performance Nutrition (35:32)
Module 3: Meal Planning (14:19)
Module 4: Around Workout Nutrition (32:13)

Disk 2
Module 5: Hydration and Cramping (15:43)
Module 6: Supplements (39:23)
Module 7: Changing Body Composition (18:22)
Module 8: Putting it All Together (11:03) [/i]

The print and the design of the books and DVDs cover is very well done thanks to Jazz Kalsi.

Chapter 1: Some Unapplied Theory. In this chapter author explains his sports continuum concept, and place different sports on different part of the strength/power~endurance continuum. Basically, author argues about nutritional advices that are one-size fits all and that don’t take into account the context. Understanding sports continuum gives you the ability to see the forest from the trees and take context into account which other nutritional books don’t offer.

Chapter 2: General and Performance Nutrition. In this chapter author goes further to explain very important nutritional concepts, that includes (1) The Hierarchy of Nutritional Requirements, (2) Components of Daily Nutrition and (3) General Nutrition Tendencies. Hierarchy of nutritional requirement is the basis of this manual, basically putting the most important things at the base of the pyramid and then progressing to the top with less important things.

Chapter 3: Energy Intake. In this chapter you are going to know how to set up your starting daily caloric intake depending on your body mass and the activity level. I said starting caloric intake because, there is trial and error in this method and monitoring your composition and energy level (performance) is the only way to get some feedback with which you can modify your overall nutrient intake mostly by manipulating carbohydrate consumption.

Chapter 4: Dietary Protein. Roles of dietary protein are explained in this chapter, along with daily requirements for the athletes and types of protein (where to get it; in what food). This chapter includes a discussion on protein powders too.

Chapter 5: Dietary Fat. In this chapter, author goes into dietary fat roles in the body, daily needs and types of dietary fat.

Chapter 6: Dietary Carbohydrates. Similar to previous chapter, author goes into roles of carbohydrates in the body, daily recommendations and provides simple, real-world classification of dietary carbohydrates.

Chapter 7: Vitamins and Minerals. Author explain the nuts and bolts function of vitamins and minerals in human body and provides short list of common deficiencies in athletes.

Chapter 8: Meal Planning.
With the basic concepts covered, the author goes into meal planning utilizing his modular approach, how to track calories (which he recommend during first couple of days, even weeks), eyeballing portions, common content of protein, fat and carbohydrates in different food and portions. To be honest, this is the weakest part of the book and author himself admits it, which is nice of him. Anyway, this is not a cookbook (if you want one get Gourmet Nutrition by John Berardi), but as I said it is a manual for average college/pro athlete that wants to gain basic nutritional knowledge and use simple approach to plan modular meals. How much of you are really cooking gourmet stuff anyway? In campus, at home?

Chapter 9: Around Workout/Competition Nutrition. With overall daily nutrition covered, now it is a time to move to upper level of hierarchy of nutrition requirements and that is around workout/competition nutrition. This is my favorite part of the book and worth the price of the book. Author covers goals of around workout nutrition and split them into four phases: pre-workout nutrition, immediate pre-workout nutrition, during workout nutrition, post-workout nutrition. This chapter is full of practical tips including competition nutrition and putting this all together in real world. Yes, that mean a bunch of protein shakes, and I love it. Milk, whey/milk protein, banana, pb, omega 3, creatine and you are golden. Tastes better than Starbucks too.

Chapter 10: Hydration and Cramping. Author covers hydration myths, gauging fluid requirements and cramping issues.

Chapter 11: Supplements.
With overall daily nutrition and around workout nutrition covered, next step in authors hierarchy are supplements. This is the part of the book that is worth the whole price of it, same as around workout nutrition chapter. Trust me, the book is expensive, but this chapter will save your money in the long term by avoiding bro science B.S. and stuff that doesn’t work or works very little with a lot of money invested. In this chapter you will learn how to get the biggest bang for your bucks and how to save them for better purposes (college athletes: parties, chicks, books? I am kidding about the last one). Author uses another hierarchy pyramid (I noticed author’s strange affection toward pyramids and triangles. All we need is the eye in the pyramid in the book) that classify the supplements for (1)general use supplements (which form the base of the… drums please… pyramid), (2) performance supplements and (3) Esoterica (or B.S.). If I am free to notice, and nitpick author I must admit that word esoterica and pictures of pyramids on the same page may yields some strange conclusions? Sect maybe, or too much Robert Anton Wilson? I am just kidding of course. In this chapter and in the companion seminar you will find no B.S. tips and really good information that is very hard to find out there. Author is not trying to sell you anything, except his great knowledge, so basically he has no bias. Author even recommend the way how to get to your supplement cheaper by ordering in bulk from trusted companies he listed.

Chapter 12: Changing Body Composition. In this chapter there is a short summary of basic principles of muscle gaining, fat loss and doing both at the same time. Author references his site for free articles, which are IMHO the best out there regarding nutrition, body recomposition and training. Still, some good info and a starting point for people who still believe in bro science out there.

Chapter 13: Putting it All Together. In this chapter there is an example of two training days of the author and the nutrition planning during the day. Yup, real life s*it. There is also, a sample meal plan for 60kg female athlete and 100kg male athlete utilizing author’s modular approach just to show how everything covered in the book fits together in a real life example.

Chapter 14: The End. A reference to companion DVD and slides, along with author’s site and forum (he have two forums: a good forum and an evil forum. Yup, eye in the pyramid :slight_smile: ).

Final Thoughts
I remember posting an idea at author’s forum, after I have finished soccer season as head strength and conditioning coach in Belgrade/Serbia around 2007., about creating a basic nutrition booklet for my soccer players. To be honest, I planned to write something similar (basically stealing from author’s articles, books and conversation). Although I don’t think I motivated author to write this awesome manual or provided him with ideas, I am really thankful to author for writing this manual. I don’t think I could done the better job. I may plan to translate it one day to be used in Serbia or quote it heavily in a book I plan to write.
The package is pricey. But it is worth every penny. It is full of real life info and full of hidden tips that worth millions. I really recommend this package for every coach and athlete interested in sports nutrition and nutrition in general. There is no similar book in the market. Five out of five stars. Great job Lyle!

More over-complication?.

The same author did give us 101 pages on how to lose weight in a different book.

It can actually can be concluded in one sentence with the basic formula.

We all wish weight loss was easy enough to summarize in one formula.

The video that accompanies Lyle’s book was taken at a workshop we held at my university for the student athletes last summer. Lyle presented some very practical information for the athletes that appealed to all who attended.

We all know that the information (sport nutrition) is out there in various forms, but very few have presented this information in a concise and easy to understand manner. Lyle’s presentation was top notch and generated some good discussion amongst coaches and athletes who attended.

Until you see the information, I suggest you refrain from passing judgement on it. Nutrition advice can easily be overcomplicated, but this resource does not fall into that characterization.

Anything 101+ pages long could end up quite notorious.


Get the book, read it first. If losing weight is so simple (actually it is simple, but is hard) there would be lean people all around. On the side note, your mom is not a pro/college athlete…
The book is awesome. NumberTwo organized great seminar.

Well said. As someone who competed in bodybuilding after college football, I can attest to the fact that fat loss is much more complex in sport than it is for general public. Bodybuilders are likely the leanest (I don’t like to call them athletes, they aren’t) bodies around. I can tell you through experience that having skinfold analysis under 5% makes one pretty ineffective from a performance standpoint. For example, my bench reps off season would be 405x10, precontest I would be lucky to eke out 3-4. I hate when my football players try to be “pretty”. I told them walking around at 10-12% is pretty normal. Trying to etch you 6 pack like TO is not. Still got to go out and play the game. Need energy for that. Bodybuilding is simple, lift, do cardio, and eat super clean, suffer some and guess what, 16 weeks later you are pretty lean.

Why on earth is it more complex in sport, than for the general public?. Being as where all human beings?.

Can you please post the more “complex” formula regards to fat loss for sport?.

check this out:

Race radio, my reply wasn’t meant as some sort of disrespect towards your thoughts. What I am saying is that I competed in multiple sports over my lifetime. Probably my two most successful were boxing and football. I used to keep my weight down in high school so I could box in the 156 lb class. I was around 180 lbs @ 8% bodyfat during football, then would drop to 156 lbs. it was pure starvation and water cut. Not too healthy. I would never have been able to compete in football as drained as it made me. I could go hard 3 rounds, but a game would have killed me. As for fat loss being more complex, I study nutrition in university and it is very complex. Leptin, Neuro peptide Y and a host of other hormones and processes are in place to ensure we propogate the species and don’t starve to death. Maximizing performance and finding OPTIMUM LEANESS are difficult to figure out. I think there are people like Lyle who know much more than me who would probably agree that each sport and each body has a optimal eating plan. For instance, you would never put an endurance athlete on a keto diet even though you can strip fat bare staying in ketosis. I have trained hundreds if not thousands of athletes and unless they are way over or underweight, I let their bodies find the zone they operate best in. It’s not always ripped to shreds, more often 10-12% for collision sports. I just don’t think it’s a simple process at any level. And from personal experience, I have been pinched sub 4% and can tell you I looked amazing but felt like a pile of shit. Couldn’t sleep, could barely stand up and I was eating north of 3000 calories per day.

It seems you self inflicted your weight problems on yourself, playing two drastically different sports requiring different body masses. At the end of the day, choosing one over the other will see far better adaptation.

Of course your finding it more complex, you are your own worst enemy & surprise, surprise its ones own doing.

I’m a boxing fan myself & all too often I have heard the phrase, ‘drained at the weight’ resulting in that particular boxer getting beat. It was one of Oscar’s downfalls against Manny Pacquiao.

Maybe the sub 4%, the weight-loss came far too quick for the body to adjust & adapt.

maybe not. If you look at most athletes in most sports, 10-12% is the norm. Very few of the super low bodyfat numbers are remotely accurate. My opinion isn’t just from personal experience with myself, it’s with thousands of training hours over 20+ years. I just think it is an over simplification to say that eating for performance is easy. It’s anything but. Why elso do guys like Berardi, Mackey Shilstone, Johnny Bowden, and Lyle have job’s. If it were simple, we wouldn’t have a billion dollar industry supporting supplements and fat loss. I just look around and am reminded daily that my suspicions are justified. That includes athletes. I have helped clients gain 20+ lbs and lose 20 + lbs. Some over 100 lbs. It is never simple.

Because performance for the general public is not going to be at the same limits of human output as it will for athletes-especially top athletes.

Because the general public is not typically looking to lean down to sub double digits for bodyfat while many athletes do just that or at nearly that level. The general public individual might consider 15-20% as very lean whereas athletes in many sports, with some exceptions would not.

Well they do say nutrition can be an addiction. I think its more mental, or the lack of it, than physical.

Why is it a billion dollar industry supporting fat loss supplements exists?. Is it because people are there own worst enemies?.

I’m not talking about how fat loss relates to performance gains or human output via training, I’m just simply referring to lowering bodyfat %'s.

It goes hand in hand. A lot of women look upto the likes Victoria Beckham, Sienna Miller, Nicole Richie etc & there figures. And look at the boom in a place such as LA of celebrities.

Are there more leaner athletes on the planet than lean people with average jobs?. I wouldn’t have thought so.

I’m not talking about how fat loss relates to performance gains or human output via training, I’m just simply referring to lowering bodyfat %'s.

[b]The point is it’s going to be a lot more difficult to get the type of bodyfat percentages numbers that many elite athletes will get to than it will be for the average person to get to simply because the numbers are going to be much lower. Since the athlete is focused on performance the leanness sought will be more extreme whereas the average person will think he’s lean with much higher numbers-there have been texts with this information showing the differences in body composition averages between non-athletes and athletes-it’s significant.

It’s easy to see the norms for even college age populations are always higher than for athletes-the exceptions would be the football linemen, throwers but the averages are still different. It’s going to be more difficult to get down to the lower numbers that many elite athletes are at because small improvements are tougher to come by when you begin to come closer to limits. [/b]

It goes hand in hand. A lot of women look upto the likes Victoria Beckham, Sienna Miller, Nicole Richie etc & there figures. And look at the boom in a place such as LA of celebrities.

Are there more leaner athletes on the planet than lean people with average jobs?. I wouldn’t have thought so.

[b]You are talking about some random celebrities and I’m discussing athletes, elite athletes. Just because people look up to some celebrities says nothing about being how well or successful they are in their attempt to be able to acquire that look or level of leanness.

Do you really think the non-athlete is going to be on average leaner than athletes, especially elite athletes? There is material available that says otherwise. I had a number of textbooks in college which indicated that what you contend is clearly not the case. [/b]

Yeah! But there are millions of average people walking the streets with far lower bodyfat %'s than 10-12% (of an athlete). I reckon there are leaner people (mainly women) just in Hollywood & there fascination with weight, than in the Tour De France. You can bet your bottom $, you will find well over 180 people in LA leaner than a professional peleton.

Any Tom, Dick & Harry can get lean & have low body fat, its all on them. Over a lengthier time, you can just walk the dog & cut calories. If you want to become lean, you don’t need to an athlete.

Obviously its easier to lose weight with higher activity levels, but there is more than one way to skin a cat.

Walk into a big city & you will find many more leaner people than a lot of elite athletes at a combine. Walk through Beijing, there is more meat on a butchers pencil than literally 50% of the female population.

This is the deal.

God made sure that weight management for the human race wouldn’t be complicated.

Its our own wrong doing, us becoming our own worst enemies that has gone into over complicating the whole affair.

We have recently needed to take substantial measures, because of the substantial risks we have taken with our healths.

Nothing more, nothing less.

For one, LA is fairly large city and the number of riders in a peloton I would think to be a much smaller number than the total inhabitants of a very large city. I believe finding leaner people among nearly 4 million people than a pack of cyclists should not be that difficult. I’m not sure what your point is?

With regards to cyclists, strength power athletes in particular, horizontal jumpers, 400m, 400 hurdlers, and even 800m runners are going to be on average leaner than even elite endurance athletes. I’m not sure where your 180 number comes from though as it sounds like random speculation as is the Millions of average people with bf% less than 10-12. Among what base of population? The world’s, in NYC, where?

How many of these everyday people get down to the same degree of leanness as the elite athletes? Again, as I mentioned earlier, the average person is not as lean as the average athlete-all your reckoning aside there is actual evidence particularly among college age individuals that athletes are leaner than the non-athletes. That is a fact.

Many average people are categorized of late as “skinny fat”, small people, though not necessarily short, that people assume are lean but they simply carry very little muscle and are not lean. They don’t necessarily weigh much but would not, by most standards, be considered lean. I.E. just because someone is not large and might even be considered small or petite does not mean they are lean. I’ve seen this time and again with people’s bf% being checked.

Now back to original point, though, and that is that it’s more difficult to achieve the sort of leanness where the numbers might be as low as 4-6% than it is to get to 15-16% since it’s more difficult to lose bodyfat once one approaches the human limits of leanness. Top level bodybuilders speak of this often as it’s easier to lose early on but the last few percentage points are much more difficult to lose. Someone like speedcoach could speak to this with some experience which I don’t have.

Who said a non-athlete could not be lean? I certainly did not.
Now it is possible that the total number of people you might find in a large city might be leaner than the total number of participants in a combine but then we might be talking about finding leaner people in a city with a population in the millions vs. 200-300 in a combine so that would not be hard to believe. I’m really not sure what your point is with this?

Naturally, that point you made is completely off topic as I have been speaking of averages. The average person in a big city or out in the country for that matter will not be as lean as elite athletes at a combine. The statistics available on college age individuals dispute that. [/b]

The average person can certainly be as lean as an athlete.

When we look at the whole scheme of things, your going to find leaner people in the general public (lower than 10-12%) than in the athletic world & at much higher rates. Thats my point. You don’t need to be an athlete. The goal of looking good in your clothes, losing weight etc among the general public can provide higher motivation than running fast/jumping higher.

If the average person wants to be as lean as an athlete, they will be as lean. Its not 1 rule for the general public, 1 rule for athletes. Fat loss runs the same across the board for everybody.

The number is dependent on the person. If an average person wants to go lower than an athlete, then they will go lower.

There are around 180-200 starters in the Tour De France. These guys are lean but your sure to find a higher number of leaner people, just among the female contingent just in LA.

This female contingent certainly know the formula for going low.

Again, your going to find leaner people in the general public (lower than 10-12%) than in the athletic world & at much higher rates.

There is my brother & father who are leaner than 10% (particularly my brother), there not athletes.

What I’m saying is, if an average person wanted to be as low as sub 10% or go as low as an athlete, then they will achieve there goal through a basic routine. Its on the average person to comply.

With a population of average people in the billions vs. 200-300 in a combine, that would not be hard to believe.

You are talking about genetics for some people. Africans are leaner than Europeans, who are leaner than Inuit. First, your assertion that fat loss is made easy is presumptious at best. To the contrary, bodies are extremely efficient at storing fat, not giving it up. That is not a refutable fact. It’s called survival. Goes back to our hunter and gatherer days of feast and famine. There are plenty of lean people in the world who are not athletes. If they took up atjhletics, would that be an advantage. Not neccesarily. It’s okay to have your belief system, bobody is taking that away from you. Many of us who have years of experience at this think otherwise. As for commenting that people sabotage themselves; if fat loss was easy, wouldn’t we all be walking around ripped. It’s certainly harder to get to sub 5% than it is to get to sub 10%. When I campeted in bodybuilding, I was considered fat at 10%. It’s all relative, but not easy.