Are the nutrition needs of speed skaters different from figure skaters?

The most significant difference would be the loading of your energy systems. The speed skater’s energy system that needs to be fully loaded is the creatine phosphate system (PC), which powers the first 10-15 seconds of high intensity exercise. The overall daily diet itself would not be too much different, which for most all athletes is  ~60% carbohydrate, 20% protein, 20% fats spread properly throughout the day and around training. It's far more important to pay attention to these details if your activity and training requires long periods of work.

Speed athletes may want to experiment with fully loading the PC system by using creatine supplementation the same way endurance athletes load their glycogen systems with carbohydrates. Creatine often leads to muscle and water weight gain, which is a desirable effect for most strength and power athletes, but increases of body weight may be undesirable for some speed athletes. Therefore we always recommend testing proper use of creatine during the off-season to see if loading can increase your performance. The protocol is shown below.

The rest of your nutrition plan can be designed using the dotFIT program. It allows you to create your program including athletic menus individualized for you with proper protein requirements, meal timing and complete food outlines with the correct mix of protein, fats and carbohydrates. Simply fill in your personal statistics, set your weight/performance goal and create your program.

Creatine loading: take approximately 5 grams of Creatine Monohydrate (CM) four times per day for five to seven days and three to five grams per day thereafter to maintain stores. This protocol is most often used to increase muscle creatine stores. Also ~25 to 45 grams of carbohydrate (depending on size) should be ingested with each dosage to maximize creatine storage. For more on creatine, directions for uses, loading and safety see the dotFIT Supplement Guide.

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