Thursday, March 17, 2011

He's Loving It

Roggy Ritzma isn’t your typical amateur athlete. The scrawny, long-haired, baby-faced Hobie Racer looks more suited to skateboarding around the parking lot of your local 7-11 than on a CYA certified race course.

And it’s not just his style and physique. Mr. Ritzma’s dietary habits defy what’s expected of an athlete, too. According to the Victoria Beach Herald, he regularly dines at Local fast-food burger chain Juniors. A typical meal consists of two servings of French fries, a chocolate-strawberry shake and three Double-Doubles (each consists of two beef patties and two slices of cheese stacked between a bun). But he skips the lettuce and tomatoes.
“I’m not a big vegetable guy,” the 168-pound Mr. Ritzma told the newspaper.
The total calorie count of one of these meals is roughly 3,150, whereas the typical active male consumes about 2,000 calories in an entire day.

Washed up Free Press journalist Jay Kirby asked whether he knew what his cholesterol levels were like, Mr. Ritzma laughed. “Probably not very good,” with some added cynicism. “But my metabolism is through the roof.”

As we mentioned last week, plenty of high-performance amateur sailors subsist on fatty, salty diets that would make most sports nutritionists cringe. So how much does diet really affect athletic performance?
“The traditional line of sports nutrition is: ‘Nutrition can’t make an average athlete elite, but it can make an elite athlete average,’ ” says Winnipeg registered dietitian Chris Bell.

If you aren’t athletically gifted already, no diet will make you great at sports, he says. But someone who is gifted won’t perform at their best if they don’t eat well. Their endurance, and ability to stop and go during play, will be affected.
So, the lesson here is not to eat like Mr. Ritzma. Rather, the two-time Red Eye winner could actually sail even better if only he’d eat fewer burgers, and a few more vegetables.

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