Ketogenic Diets and Endurance Sports

In the spirit of full disclosure,  at EAS we have a Ketogenic Meal replacement product called Myoplex Ketogenic.  I love putting the cinnamon bun flavor in my morning coffee!

The number one searched diet term at the writing of this post is the Ketogenic Diet.  Hit Google,  hit Reddit, and our own Dave Scott,  and you can find a variety of opinions and thoughts on its effectiveness and multiple applications.

I have now been in the nutrition industry since 2003.  I have been an endurance athlete since HS,  so combine the 2 and I am the ultimate lab rat.  I will try anything to get faster, leaner and feel better while training and racing.  When you are in the industry you also get exposed to the latest ingredients,  science and its potential applications for sports performance.

What got me most excited was one study published in Cell Metabolism, by authors Pete J. Cox, Tom Kirk, Tom Ashmore, Richard L. Veech, Julian L. Griffin, Kieran Clark,  where there was “Improved Performance during cycling time trial suggests ketosis during exercise may be beneficial for some athletes.”

Basically,  a group of cyclist were given a ratio of carbohydrates and ketones compared to a carbohydrate only group which showed the ketone group road further than the carbohydrate only group in a time trial.  Ride further?

I was definitely intrigued and began to experiment on my own.

My journey began with our Myoplex Ketogenic powder mixed in coffee for breakfast (which became my staple),  lettuce wrapped sandwiches for lunch,  and meat,   cheese and veggies for dinner.  I also had a lot of mixed nuts for snacks.  I tracked my diet for 3 weeks using Myfitness Pal which made the tracking easy enough.

I did not change my exercise routine,  and stayed with my normal 6 – 8 hours of cycling per week via my coach.  I averaged 800 KJ’s of work per day on the bike.

Note,  for my longer rides,  I did stay with my normal routine of 270 calories an hour via sports drink and gels / chews.  I was not into eating sticks of butter while out on the road.

Over a 3 week period,  my body fat % went down from 12.8% to 10.5%.  However, my weight stayed the same around 175lbs, meaning I gained muscle while losing fat!  I did no strength training and nothing else changed in my workout procedure.

There were some things I liked about the diet:  I never felt hungry like I normally do on other diets,  and I ate a lot of meat!

Some things that were tough:  I know I did not stay under the 25g of carbs recommenced by most ketogenic stalwarts.  But I also know they are not burning 800 – 1500KJ a day training on their bike.  When I looked back,  I stayed under 80g per day on average.

This brings me to my point,  was the diet effective in helping me get leaner?  According to my Garmin scale it was.  Was I fully in Ketosis?  I cannot confirm that,  but drastically lowering my carbohydrates and eating more fat did something for sure.

My power remained steady on the bike and I did not feel my performance suffered.  However,  I also did a lot of “sweet spot” training and was not pushing maximum sugar burn with any V02 Max sets.

I am sure we are only scratching the surface on learning what Ketones can do for performance.  I also predict that the carb heavy diets of endurance common in endurance sports today will get modified to incorporate less carbs and more fat and protein.

I also predict that everyone will respond differently to different fuel sources.  I still believe carbohydrates are important to sports performance,  especially properly timed carbohydrates.  But the ketone as a compound and how it can help your body sustain longer term energy is an area we are only beginning to understand and study.

Visit if you want to learn more and get a free meal plan to get started.









Victory at Last / Dirty Dozen Mountain Bike Race

It finally happened,  my partner and I put ourselves on top of the podium at the Dirty Dozen mountain bike race.  After 6 hours of racing and average lap of :37 per lap,  we went to the front and stayed there from the gun.  Congrats to my partner Raul Luzardo for leading us out and doing 1 more lap then me!

My nutrition was simple:  Honey Stinger Chews,  MyoPlex BCAA + Electrolytes every hour.  Upon completion it was Muscle Armor for recovery and some awesome Texas Bar B Que.

The best part was getting to spend some time with friends and family after our move to Ohio.


Final Race Cross Fun & First Place!

In September I decided to take up Cross Racing.  Cross is quite big here in Ohio and I wanted to try something new.  The triathlon scene is not quite the same as the Woodlands, TX and riding my bike more became the summer stress buster.

In Columbus,  there is a race series hosted by a great group of people at Cap City Cross.  The races start in September and ends in December.  Although it took me 4 tries,  I finally podium in the last race of the season.

I am racing Masters 45+ which is still quite fast and competitive.

My nutrition and race day preparation:

  • Trainer Road: 30 Minutes at home in the basement to warm up the legs
  • Before Race: Honey Stinger Chews & Myoplex BCAAS + Electrolytes.


Klean becomes official supplement of the Major League Baseball Players Association!

Who would have thought,  in less than two years since launch,  Klean would be recognized and utilized by professional, Olympic, college and some super fast amateur athletes all through the USA.

Athletes have told us that they came to appreciate the brands focus on the holistic health of the athlete and most importantly the safety of the products thanks to the NSF Certified for Sport testing done on every bottle of Klean manufactured.

The highlight of this partnership came when we were invited by the MLBPA as their guest to attend the MLB All Star game!  What a time that was.  From amazing media interviews to VIP parties with players,  we definitely lived the life for a weekend.

None of this would have happened without an awesome team behind the brand!  I am grateful to everyone for making the weekend a special one.

Here is a copy of just one of the interviews we did with the USA Today:–keep-players-clean/30152209/



First Mountain Bike Win!

What an awesome time yesterday at the Big Ring Challenge, Cat 2 Mountain Bike race. If you have not done one of these, you need to sign up. The crowds are awesome, the people are very friendly and the laid back nature of the before and after is a welcome respite. However, the racing is anything but! I managed to stay upright and after a poor start, about Mile 18 I finally caught back up to the lead group. With some hard efforts I was able to squeeze by and with about 2 to go, I managed to get away and put in enough time to cross in first. I am not Jesse Robinson, so my pictures are normally terrible, but these came out quite good. Looking forward to some more Terra Firma racing in the very near future. Proud to support my Klean Athlete team kit!

Back to Back Racing

What a couple of weekends! We kicked off our race expo season at Klean Athlete with attendance at both the Lifetime Fitness Austin Rattler 100K Leadville qualifying mountain bike race in Austin, TX and followed that up with attendance at the Memorial Herman Ironman 70.3 in Galveston, TX.

The traffic at the booth was incredible at both events. It was awesome spending time with my colleagues at Klean Athlete and seeing them in action. The idea behind clean and safe sports nutrition is causing a lot of people to think more about what they chose as a supplement. The really fun part was the ability to work hard, then play hard by racing both events post expo! Prior to both races, I added a great blog on my supplementation plans on our Klean site, which can be found here.

First up, my first ever enduro mountain bike race outside of Austin, at the Rocky Hill Ranch. Wow, what an incredible way to spend a Saturday morning! To toe the line with 800 other racers, all looking to challenge themselves over 100K on a hilly and fun course was a great feeling. The race started much faster then I imagined, but I was able to get into a good group. I learned that there is a lot of drafting in these races, so I tried to find a solid pace group and see what happened. The first lap went well, as I came in with Red Bull’s Rebecca Rusch with her on my wheel during the last bit of single track. I have never ridden in front of someone so nice that was coaching me as I tried to stay up right. The last 3 laps were just as challenging with me having to learn how and when to take in nutrition and hydration while bouncing around on a mountain bike. I made some tactical errors on lap 2 as far as this was concerned and lost some time. By lap 4 however, I felt very strong and was able to push the pace and finish up with 65th overall. I just missed out on a Leadville slot, but will use that for motivation for next time!

Hats off to the race organizers at Lifetime for putting on a fabulous expo and awesome event. The vibe at a mountain bike race is like nothing I have experienced before. Great people, great athletes, and great crowds make for an incredible day on the bike.

The very next weekend, we headed over to Galveston, TX for the first big 70.3 (half ironman), of the season! Despite a lot of wind and crazy weather, the expo was awesome. Again, more people are recognizing our Klean brand from our advertising efforts and we got to meet a lot of clients already on the product. We also had a lot of fun with some of the pro athletes sharing stories and great laughs over dinner on Friday night.

Race day came on Sunday with wind, rain and some cooler temperatures. I give Ironman credit for doing the swim leg. I just knew it would get canceled. As a swimmer, if they drop the swim leg from a race, it really puts a dent into my placing.

Our wave went about 1 hour after the pro athletes and we started off with a heavy headwind for the first 500 M. There were swimmers struggling everywhere. There would be up to 6 people hanging on each buoy for either a rest of looking for support. I personally found it challenging and exciting to go out in rough water. For me the swim ended a bit slower than normal, but I was in very good shape overall.

The bike was blessed with a nice tailwind to crosswind on the way out, making for some fast cycling at low watts. The turn brought more of a crosswind then headwind due to changing conditions which suits my riding style. In the end, I had my fastest ever bike split in a 70.3 of 2:19 or 24MPH.

Finally came the run. I knew if working back to back events and racing back to back was going to hit me, this would be the time. Shockingly, the first mile came in at 7:00. The legs felt strong, HR was good and I was able to get in some nutrition. I told myself that the goal was to hold this through 7 miles and see what happens. Mile 7 came and I still felt good.

That pace in a multiple loop run has you passing a lot of athletes. Racing in your backyard also has you running with and sometimes by a lot of people you know. Thus, the words of encouragement and support were everywhere. I just used that to fuel my effort and decided to go for it the last 6.

In the end, I ended up in 6th in my AG, and a slot to the 70.3 World Championships (which I had to pass on unfortunately), and a new PR of 4:27! Bottom line, it felt great to race again, and to race fast! The last time I broke 4:30 I was 37, so to do this 5 years later in my 40’s has an even better feel to it.

Special thanks to my family, coaches and colleagues at Klean Athlete that constantly support me. Special recognition to my family that had to deal with me being gone both for the event and the race, plus other travel over that two weeks.

In conclusion, it felt awesome to race back to back! I can’t wait to toe the line again for our next big event, Ironman Texas here in The Woodlands.

Trying to ride with the Bike Team

Well, I have purchased a new road bike! I have never owned a nice road bike, so I was excited to ride. I picked up the Cervélo R3 Team. Bottom line, it is awesome!

To test out any new road bike, you should plan to go ride with the local bike team. They are what we call “Roadies.” In the Woodlands, we have some pretty good roadies. On Sunday’s the Woodland’s Cycling club has an all comers ride for about 1:45 (27 – 30 miles). It has a lot of slow, and a lot of fast stuff on key parts of the course. You quickly get to see what kind of watts you can generate on some of the faster sections as the bike team starts to push the pace. I managed to get with he lead pack of the bike team on Dobbin Huffsmith and hang until the end. I hope to pick up some more fitness and get back to pulling the packs soon.

Stay Klean,

Awesome Underwater Dolphin Sets

I love Swimming. I don’t know what else to say, other than, I enjoy every workout in the water. Yes some are better than others, and some days you feel sluggish. However, the sensation of streamlining off every wall, the silence of being underwater, it is always the same.

This year I want to work my underwater dolphin. As a swimmer in the 80’s, we had no idea what an underwater dolphin was, until we watched David Berkoff go 40 out of 50 meters underwater in the 100 backstroke. It was awesome! I also remember having to swim my breaststroke leg after a gentleman named Jeff Thibault led off Cypress Creek HS with a 50 backstroke, most of which was underwater. Needless to say, I could not make up a 2 second defect over a 50 against my competition. Two years in a row, Cy Creek was first, and we were second. I heard Jeff went on to swim at UT and is still lurking in the shadows of masters somewhere.

So that brings me to why an underwater dolphin at 41 years old? Easy, the bar is set so low, I can only improve. Here are a few workouts helping me get there:

6 x (25 Underwater Dolphin on :45, 100 Free on 1:30). You have to make the underwater. This one lights your lungs on fire.
(We call this work out the Gale Strickland, I don’t like Air)

2 x (4 x 25 Underwater Dolphin no fins on :45, 100 kick w/ board dolphin on 1:45, 4 x 25 Underwater Dolphin) – Your core and lungs will go on vacation after this.

4 x (50, 25 underwater with fins, 25 on back on the surface with fins on 1:10)

So far improvement has been made. I feel it with some new found underwater speed, and I am starting to see it in the core. I don’t use a nose plug, and some backstroking friends have told me I am weird. My big nose somehow keeps the water out.

Keep swimming.

The Off Season (Klean Athlete Blog)

The Off-Season November 9, 2012

I was reminded today from my coach about the importance of a good off-season. It is not the physical rest that matters but more the mental rest that provides the most return. So what exactly is mental rest?

To me, the ability to use sports as a diversion from the mental strains of the day, plays a big factor in a healthy lifestyle routine. However, for the Type A athlete looking to log in workout after workout, this is not always the case. Yes, there is plenty of time during your training where you need to find the zone and be focused. You recognize that moment when you clock off your interval and relish in the sound of your breathing, your pace and the tingle in your legs.

But there is also a time during the off-season, when you simply run, bike, swim, lift or whatever it is you want to do and let your mind rest. This is often known as “mindless time,” even though you happen to be in motion. For me, mindless time happens most often while I swim. I love the sound of the water, as well as, the soundlessness of it – no iPod, no E-Mail, no Voicemail, no Text and no Garmins! I swim and think about whatever I want!

As much as I enjoy the mindless time, when the season is in full swing, I have learned to turn my mind back on and make sure I know every little thing about my pace, breathing and stroke count to propel me forward.

Off-season rest, requires focus of a different kind. It calls for focus on the right nutrition. One of the reasons we started Klean Athlete, was to provide the basics of good nutrition that you can use to maintain your health every day. Klean Athlete provides beneficial nutritional support regardless of your current training cycle. Take for example our Klean Multi, Klean Probiotic and Klean Cognitive products. All three of these were formulated to support proper nutrition any time of year and at any point in your training. Good supplementation can help power your mental rest strategy and fuel your recovery and rest period.

For me, good supplementation starts with giving up on those extreme sport supplement products designed to “enhance” my performance. Most of the products I’m talking about are not meant to be taken daily and your off-season should be void of them.

If you are not refueling yourself with the right nutrition during this off-season, we invite you to try Klean products and let us know how much better you feel. Most importantly, what you do now, can help you perform better in 2013.

Klean is Born (Klean Athlete Blog)

Klean Nutritional Supplements(Grey)

Welcome to Klean Athlete! September 17, 2012

For me, endurance sports are a passion and a lifestyle that find a way to permeate every aspect of my life. Triathlon is my main passion, with a trip to Kona in 2009 (yes, I qualified). I have also competed in multiple marathons and masters swim meets and continue to train hard. If you can swim in it, ride it or run it, I am your guy. I must impress, I have a very supportive family unit for all of my endurance escapades!

It is my belief that if you want to live an active lifestyle, you have to take extra care of yourself. And for me, this begins with good nutrition which leads me to the big idea and the reason for this blog entry. Individuals who both train and travel regularly can appreciate the need for a friend and colleague like René Augstburger who is both a creative genius and great on-the-road training partner. It was during a trip to Pittsburgh, between an evening swim and dinner that we came up with the idea to create a line of sports nutritional supplements.

As “industry insiders” we have seen many different sports products sold and marketed over the years. Our goal was to avoid the “fringes” of sports nutrition and stick to words used to frequently in athletics, the fundamentals. We simply wanted to create a line of products that you could feel good about taking every single day. Before you can get faster, you first need to be healthy.

The biggest and most obvious advantage we have is that we work for one of the most respected supplement companies in the industry, Douglas Laboratories, Inc. For over 50 years, Douglas Labs has been manufacturing and distributing products to Healthcare Practioners.

So from the “starting line”, we had incredible resources to tap into for manufacturing and developing the Klean Athlete Nutritional Supplements line which includes
a “deep bench” of in-house PhD’s and science advisors to help us find the right mix of ingredients for our product formulas. The project lead is Dr. Andrew Halpner, PhD. Andrew has been formulating quality products for HCPs and Douglas Laboratories for over 15 years. Needless to say, we had the guidance, wisdom and support of a published and well respected industry expert.

Our goal from the beginning was (and still is) to create a line of nutritional supplements that athletes can trust and it made sense to capitalize on our NSF International® compliant facilitates and have our full line certified and approved by NSF Certified for Sport®. The short version, the manufacturing is controlled by us and tested by NSF® – Klean Athlete products are manufactured and tested clean!

Now that you know a little about us, we look forward to learning more about you. We hope you take some time to tell us your story on our Facebook page ( or Twitter (@kleanathlete), and yes, race reports (embellished or not) are always welcome, even encouraged!

When you begin taking our products, rest assured we will give you everything you need and nothing you don’t. So whether you are professional athlete, a weekend endurance athlete, a parent of an athlete, or simply someone wanting to live a healthy lifestyle we welcome you to the Klean Athlete family!

Train Hard and Stay Klean,
Timothy J. Monk, Jr.