Athletes Resource Calculator (A.R.C.)- How Athletes Can Optimize Peri-Workout Nutrition Strategies 8/15/2017


The most commonly asked question when an athlete or competitor talks to me about food is “how much?”. This is a good question that needs to be asked and constantly adjusted as training, body weight, body composition and goals change and evolve throughout a train-up, season, deployment or year. These same people calculate their macronutrients utilizing simple online calculators and use those numbers throughout the day. This is an intelligent and important tool for an athlete to use.

Then comes the second most asked question from the same population, “what supplements should I be taking and when?”. This question is often more complicated for the athlete to answer on their own with the amount of misinformation and lack of conclusive research. This question requires more thought and coaching from the professional as well, because it’s constantly changing. Thankfully, now that question can be approached with an online calculator, the Athletes Resource Calculator (A.R.C.). This new offering from Quantified Nutrition allows athletes to calculate exact amounts and timing of each supplement they offer, Q//AMINO, Q//WHEY and Q//FUEL. The ARC doesn’t give just general recommendations using gender, height and weight, but also goes 3 steps further. It asks about exercise type (weight training, endurance, etc.), exercise duration and the intensity of the workout, as measured by Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE).

This ability to measure each product within a 1.5 gram range aids the user in the adoption of the A.R.C. and provides a huge advantage to anyone using supplements. This allows health and fitness professionals such as myself, or well-informed athletes like you to maximize each training session. Now as body weight, training intensity, competition season or training cycles change there will be a seamless transition and easy adjustments to exact supplementation needs. Let me provide a couple of examples.

Example 1 is a Strength Athlete who has just finished their competitive season. They now need to rebuild, add muscle and strength while starting to prep for the next contest or season. This can be tricky because with most strength sports there are weight classes, so the athlete must remain within a weight cut of their goal weight class, while maximizing relative strength and body composition- not an easy thing to do. So now that same strength athlete can use the A.R.C. to figure out exactly what is required before, during and after his workout at an RPE of 5-8 and exactly how to adjust supplementation to reach his new goals.

Example 2 is a Cross Country (5K) runner who is entering the preseason. They need to develop muscular strength and a large aerobic base prior to specifying their workouts for the actual competition season. These are two different requirements, of which the solution to is different macronutrient ratios depending on the type of stimulus (workout) and intensity. If this athlete were to incorporate the A.R.C., those macronutrient ratios could quickly be calculated to a very specific amount, based completely on the individual Cross Country athlete, without consuming additional calories detrimental to a distance athletes performance.

Example 3 is a Soccer Team. All of the athletes complete relatively similar amounts of work on the same day throughout the season. But not all athletes weigh the same. Some may be nursing injuries and just doing physical therapy. Some days may be more conditioning oriented, while others have weight training sessions. Point being, even within a team environment, there are different considerations that handing out a protein shake cannot possibly account for. A team can quickly categorize players by weight class, make shakes for each weight class based on the type of training for that session, and now every player has a custom shake that accounts for these variables, and keeps the athletes from consuming unnecessary calories in an effort to recover from workouts and training sessions.

What separates the elite from the very good? After equalizing for talent and athletic ability, which is always very close in high level athletes, it comes down to doing the small things better and more consistently than everyone else. This new tool allows athletes to know exactly how to reach each goal throughout their training calendar, including competitions. Being armed with the knowledge of how to prepare the right storage amount of energy, the perfect intra workout/contest calories and the optimal way to maximize recovery post workout could be what elevates you from very good to elite.