Naturally Powered

I consider myself very lucky to have an incredible group of sponsors that make it possible for me to earn a living and support my family as a pro triathlete. When the opportunity arises to add to that small selection of companies that I work with, I take it very seriously, considering not only the business aspects of the decision but also the larger implications of both of us committing some aspect of our reputation into the other’s hands. When I was given the chance to work with ZICO, makers of coconut water, I jumped on it, as it’s something that I’ve been drinking for a couple of years (our local Trader Joe’s carries it), and it’s also a company that I think is representative of what I believe in – nutritionally – off the race course. I wrote the following in reply to the question, “What does ‘Naturally Powered’ (the ZICO slogan) mean to you?” And I hope it does a good job of answering why I decided to partner with ZICO.

During races and during training, food really becomes fuel. That’s it. The best fuel is what you need, even if that might not be the sort of thing you’d want to have as a snack or as a regular meal. Unlike the early Ironman athletes, I’d rather not eat a cheeseburger during races. I need simple sugars, electrolytes, and a few other secret things. But that’s very much a requirement of the job. Away from training and away from the race course, I like to put my focus on food as food first. Obviously, that food is a huge part of fueling my training and racing, but I’m less concerned with things like how quickly a product digests when my heart rate is sky high and more concerned with nutritional value, natural ingredients, and even things like how environmentally conscious the production of the food is. I guess you could sum it up by saying that during races, it’s about sustaining performance. And off the race course, it’s about sustaining health, both my own and also that of the planet. ZICO has one ingredient. One. During a race, I need every single one of those specialized ingredients in my nutrition. But I also appreciate the natural simplicity of ZICO, and when I don’t need all those little ingredients as I like not having them.

Read more on my Team ZICO page.

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