Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Q: How does CORE work?
A: CORE uses information about the athlete the activity and the goals to define personalized targets. It then uses athlete input about preferred fuels and course nutrition availability to build a custom nutrition plan that best achieves those targets.
Q: What is the basis for CORE recommendations?
A: CORE recommendations are based on evidence-based guidelines from the latest sports nutrition research.
Recommendations further incorporate athlete specific information as well as event and product data.
Q: Why do you want to know my weight?
A: It’s very important to accurately know body weight so the tool can calculate acceptable sweat losses for the athlete and calculate your fluid intake targets that will optimise performance and prevents drinking too much as well as drinking too little.
Q: Why do you want to know if I’m restricting carbs or trying to lose weight?
A: Just like you can train muscles or aerobic capacity, you can train your gut. On the other hand, diet’s low in carbohydrates are associated with lower ability to process carbs. If you’re restricting carbs or trying to lose weight, your carbohydrate target will need to be adjusted.
Q: How does training with carbohydrate impact planning?
A: If you regularly train with carbohydrate, your gut is trained to handle full targets. Conversely, if you rarely train with carbs, it wouldn’t be prudent to start you off with full carbohydrate targets. CORE will adjust targets appropriately.
Q: I’m really not sure of my sweat rate
A: If you are uncertain of your sweat rate, please try to characterize your sweating as above average, average, or below average. Based on this classification, we’ll use a population average sweat rate to get started with your first plan. In parallel, we’d encourage you to confirm try measuring your sweat rate. We will shortly have tool to assist in this effort. In the interim, simply search internet for “sweat rate calculator” and you’ll find multiple good options or check our blog.
Q: How do I know if I’m sensitive to caffeine?
A: Research shows that people have a genetic predisposition to be sensitive to caffeine. It is possible to do a genetics test but people who are sensitive generally know well. If you drink a cup of coffee and will be up all night you are sensitive to coffee. If you’ve never used caffeine, the safe choice is to indicate sensitive. In any case, you have the final choice to include or not include caffeine in your nutrition plan. CORE will not automatically select caffeinated products for you. If you wish to use these, you will have to add these yourself.
Q: Can I use CORE for training?
A: Absolutely. This is a premium feature but you can select different types of training.
Q: Why are there so many choices under Event / Activity Goal?
A: Racing for a personal best is certainly one of the most common race goals. Not everyone races to set a personal best, for many making it safely to the finish line is the main goal. Also athletes may use CORE to plan their nutrition for training and this it is important to consider the different training goals one might have, such as training the gut, training fat burning (train low), avoiding GI issues, or other goals.
Q: Why can’t I change units for event temperature and distances?
A: The units used for events are currently set by the events. So for example if you select Boston Marathon as your event, this is an event in miles (the organisation communicates aid station information in miles). If you select a European race you may find that the main units are kilometers. We are considering adding the feature to allow user to toggle units for events.
Q: My favorite event isn’t available?
A: We are just launching the product now and hope to rapidly expand the set of events included. Please click the feedback icon (happy / sad face) to offer suggestions including adding particular events, or send an email at email@example.com.
Q: What is Hydration preference?
A: This slider allows you to select the proportion of water versus sports drink that you prefer to use in your plan. Note that your fuel choices must match this preference (for example, if you pick 100% sports drink preference, but choose water as fuel, you will be asked to add sports drink).
Q: What if I can’t find my favorite product?
A: We’ve started our database of products with the products from leading manufacturers. We will be adding additional products on a regular basis. Please click the feedback icon (happy / sad face) to offer suggestions including adding particular manufacturers / products, or send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Can I enter my own custom or home-made product?
A: This is a planned feature that is not yet available. For now choose an existing product that is similar in composition.
Q: I’m not sure I understand the gauges?
A: The gauges show where your plan is versus the evidence-based guidelines.
The green area on the gauges is the ideal target range. Orange and red are cautionary areas… performance could suffer due to over or under consumption. The red area on hydration indicates the area where hydration could cause weight gain and creates a health risk (hyponatremia); do not drink at this level!
By default, the gauges show the entire event. If you select (click on) the box below time/distance line for a particular hour, the box will highlight (grey) and the gauges will then reflect that hour’s nutrition. Selecting (clicking) the box again, will revert to full event.
Q: What are the boxes with “H” and “C” below the timeline?
A: The boxes represent hours in the event overall and the circles next to H and C indicate status of Hydration and Carbohydrate for that hour. If you click on the box, the gauges above will show reading for that hour.
Q: Why are some hours very high and others very low for hydration, carbohydrate?
A: When working with doses of product that are big (for example, a 700ml water bottle or an energy bar with 60g of carbohydrate), those doses can become a large percentage of the hourly target, making it difficult to exactly hit the target. In your event you can of course spread consumption over the two hours.
Q: Why is the timeline/distance line showing in units I didn’t select?
A: The units used for events are currently set by the events. We are considering adding the feature to allow user to toggle units for events.
Q: Why doesn’t bike nutrition show up at aid stations?
A: With biking (whether cycling event or bike leg of triathlon), it is possible to store large quantities of fluids and carbohydrate sources (one or more 500-700 ml water bottles, multiple gels or other carb sources, etc.). With that in mind, the plan is generated to show when nutrition should be consumed, and it’s important to consider the aid stations as restocking opportunities to ensure you can support consumption. Contrast this with running, where the planning is done to take advantage of aid stations to extent possible.
Q: Why don’t my gels pair up with water on the bike?
A: On the bike, doses of hydration (bottles) typically cover 30 or even 60 minutes per dose. Even though a gel may not appear aligned with a drink, you as an athlete will have the water bottle or sports drink on board to wash the gel down. It is recommended to always drink water with a gel or solid food source.
Q: Why don’t my gels pair up with water on the run?
A: The planner attempts to pair gels with water to the extent they are available. If your hydration preference is 100% sports drink (or a high percentage sports drink) and you have low hydration need, then it’s quite possible there will gels paired with sports drink or even unpaired. It is recommended to always drink water with a gel or solid food source.
Q: Why does my report only show hydration and carbohydate?
A: Other nutrition information such as electrolytes and caffeine, and more will be offered through the premium package.
Q: How can I best remember my plan?
A: In the near future, we will offer multiple other options for providing nutrition reminders on the course (event or training). For now, we can offer several suggestions that may help. The first is good guidance in any case… practice your nutrition plan in training until it becomes second nature. Simplifying the number / type of products in your nutrition plan also helps. Be sure to check the graphical plan with total consumption by hour; you should see a clear rhythm appear there (4 cups and 2 gels per hour on the run, for example).
Stay tuned for the next generation of options for reminders.
Q: What is the Fuelscore?
A: The Fuelscore is an assessment of how well your nutrition plan stacks up against your personalized targets. It ranges from 0-100%. Intakes that are too high or too low both reduce the score. Read more.