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303Endurance Podcast

Nov 21, 2020

This weeks guest and topic is Josh Clemente, Founder of Levels which uses BGM to track your BGL 24x7 to and give you insights to how your body reacts to food and exercise to teach you how to fuel, train, and optimize your metabolic health.

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In Today's Show

  • Feature interview with Josh Clemente, President and Founder of Levels (Health App)
  • Endurance News - PTO Paid Maternity Leave and a Dr's advice for avoiding the Bonk
  • What New in the 303 - Ride for Racial Justice and Adelaide Perr interview on her book Degloved


Interview Sponsor: UCAN

Today's interview is sponsored by UCAN.  I just tried the brand new UCAN Cherry Berry Almond Energy Bar powered by SuperStarch®, Plant-Based, Gluten-Free, No Trans Fats, and Naturally Sweetened. 

UCAN Performance Energy and Bars are powered by SuperStarch®.   Use in your training and racing to fuel the healthy way, finish stronger and recover quickly!   It gives me steady energy and never upsets my stomach.  Use the code MHE2020 for 15% off at,

One of the reasons I love UCAN is because of how it works. UCAN is made from SuperStarch which is a complex carbohydrate that doesn’t spike blood sugar, delivering a slow and steady release of glucose into the bloodstream. Stable blood sugar provides steady energy to both the muscles and the brain, and controls cravings caused by blood sugar lows.  After the interview I'm going to share some results from some long rides using UCAN and not using UCAN.


Interview with Josh Clemente:

Just like our friends at UCAN, the goal of today's show is to help you fuel the healthy way.  We are going to be sharing some insightful information about how our bodies' react to food and exercise.  Have you ever wanted to know how far before a workout to take on calories to maximize your energy?  Have you experienced bouts of fatigue and had a hard time figuring out why?  It could be that your diet and exercise habits and timing might be putting you on a blood glucose roller coaster. 

I've been super exited to share my experience with Levels.  Levels continuously records blood glucose which allows you to monitor your metabolic health in real-time with the Levels program.  Their app gives you Zone Scores that show your body's reaction to food and exercise–so you can tune your diet to optimize your health. 

For peak athletic performance, fueling your body is everything. Levels helps you eat the right foods at the right times to help you optimize your fitness performance gains, recovery, and overall mental clarity.

Our guest, Josh Clemente, has a fascinating background.  Before he started Levels he was the Lead Life Support Systems Engineer for SpaceX and the Dragon program.  You are about to find out how a space engineer found himself creating a company whose mission is to help you maximize your metabolic health.  Josh is also an accomplished CrossFit athlete and L2 Trainer.  I think he's even dabbled in triathlon. 

Let's get into the interview with Josh Clemente.


Post Interview Discussion:

From the first day I started using the Levels App and CGM, I knew I was going to learn some things, but I really didn't know what.  So I wrote down a dozen or so questions that I wanted the answers to.


  • For a given carbohydrate, what is my blood glucose at different times of the day?
  • Same carbohydrate paired with protein/fat different times of the day
  • Same carbohydrate with no post exercise
  • Same carbohydrate followed by aerobic exercise
  • Pre/during/post aerobic exercise fasted
  • Pre/during/post aerobic exercise fueled (Skratch vs. UCAN)


What I learned:

A few weeks ago, I read out some of my early findings.

  • White bread and white rice really spike my glucose.  1 small slice of sourdough with protein and fat, it doesn't spike too much.  Two slices for a sandwich or jasmine rice and it jumps over 150
  • A salad with grilled chicken and avocado and there was no reaction
  • Eating with a daily macro nutrient goal of being metabolically efficient made an improvement in my daytime and nighttime "time in zone" scores.
  • To guide me I used the recommended macro goals of 120g carbs, 130g protein, 110g of fat. This was the personalized nutrition plan that Bob Seebohar prescribed for me after our first metabolic rate test on the treadmill with the mask.  After following Bob's program for seven weeks we retested and I had a significant improvement.  My metabolic exchange point improved by 50 seconds per mile. 

The one test I really want to highlight goes back to the question of "what is my BGL before, during and after aerobic exercise fueled by different sports nutrition products (Skratch vs. UCAN).

I did two different 3+ hour bike rides.  On Ride A 3+ hour ride, I used a sugar/dextrose-based carbohydrate drink for fuel.  On Ride B, I fueled with UCAN.

I've included a visual in the show notes that compares the two rides, the time in target, events above max BGL, average BGL and the variance in BGL.  Here are some key takeaways.

  • No above Max Target BGL in the UCAN ride - Levels set a maximum BGL of 115.  In Ride A, I had 3 events during the 3+ hour ride where my BGL was above target.  For each of those spikes there was a corresponding dip.  In Ride B (UCAN) there were 0 events over max target.
  • Lower average BGL in the UCAN ride.  In Ride A (sugar) my average BGL was around 110 mg/dl.  For the UCAN ride it was about 90 - 20 pts lower
  • Less variance in the UCAN ride (fewer peaks and dips).  In ride A there were 3 spikes and crashes with sharp increases and decreases.  In Ride B, there was 1 spike and the rest were milder waves.


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Endurance News:

One Doctor’s Advice for Avoiding the Dreaded Bonk - Triathlete

For the most part, there are two types of bonking: hypoglycemia (in which your body runs out of fuel, or glucose) and hyponatremia (a loss of sodium in the blood). When you hear the word “bonking,” it’s typically the former, but both are terrible fates. Here’s how to distinguish between the two types and what to do about it.


You only need to experience exercise-induced hypoglycemia once to know it’s bad. Your body—and especially your brain—runs on glucose, and having low blood sugar means your body is out of fuel, often after about two hours of exercise without taking in carbs.

Recognize it: It starts as a headache and can also include nausea, fatigue and a slowed pace. Once you have a hypoglycemia “attack,” it usually takes about a half hour or more to cure—more than enough time to spoil any race or event.

Fix it: When you experience this type of bonk, ingest carbs. Sports drinks and gels are usually readily available, but a sectioned piece of an orange is a revitalizing, pure sugar injection for your system.

Avoid it: Prevention is key. During long exercise sessions, your body needs fuel, period. Gels and drinks are the easiest ways to keep your blood sugar from dropping. Pre-race nutrition is important as well: Make sure you’re getting in the calories your body needs.


Hyponatremia, a loss of sodium in the blood, is common during endurance events, especially those lasting more than four or five hours. The symptoms are often not apparent while they’re happening. When athletes sweat in hot and humid conditions, they lose both water and electrolytes like sodium and potassium.

Recognize it: The symptoms of hyponatremia are different from those of hypoglycemia. The main difference is the changes in mental status that are the hallmarks of hyponatremia: confusion and an inability to focus on where you are. Muscle cramping and swelling of the fingers and toes can also occur.

Fix it: Replace the salt you’ve lost. In the middle of a race, this could mean pretzels, potato chips or other salty snacks—even most sports drinks act as a quickly digestible source of sodium. If hyponatremia gets bad enough, you’ll need a physician-administered saline drip via an IV to bring you back from this bonk.

Avoid it: Take in sodium. Prevent hyponatremia by downing sodium in electrolyte drinks and gels instead of water during the race, especially during the second half of your event. As for how much, everyone is different, so go by how you feel, and test it out in training.


Professional Triathletes Organisation Announces Paid Maternity Leave Policy

17th November 2020, LONDON, ENGLAND: The Professional Triathletes Organisation today announced that it has adopted a Maternity Leave Policy for women PTO Professionals. Under the policy, a woman PTO Professional shall be entitled to take up to 15 months of Maternity Leave, beginning from her pregnancy date and ending six months after birth. At the time of her pregnancy, her PTO World Ranking will be fixed, and during her Maternity Leave she will be paid monthly payments based on 100% of the PTO Annual Bonus Plan in effect at the time. For example, under the PTO’s existing Annual Bonus Plan, the woman PTO Professional ranked World No.5 would be entitled to a $60,000 bonus payment at the end of a calendar year. In the event the woman PTO Professional ranked World No.5 woman athlete becomes pregnant and takes her full 15 months Maternity Leave, she shall be paid $5,000 per month for 15 months from her pregnancy date, totalling $75,000.

Rachel Joyce, Co-President of the PTO, commented, “We are delighted to have adopted this Maternity Leave Policy. It recognises the unique reality women athletes face in trying to maintain a professional athletic career while balancing family planning. The PTO’s Maternity Leave Policy will ensure that in the future women PTO Professionals who seek to start families can do so with financial support and additionally maintain their PTO World Ranking. It truly is an innovative maternity policy.”


Plus -COVID Relief Fund

World famous triathletes from past and present including Jan Frodeno, Dave Scott, Daniela Ryf, Mark Allen and Lucy Charles-Barclay are donating their time and merchandise in a global prize draw called “10 Days to DAYTONA®,” which will offer over fifty triathlon prizes between Nov 23rd – Dec 2nd in aid of the COVID-19 Triathlon Relief Fund. Every day for ten days leading up to the PTO 2020 Championship, five unique prizes will be up for grabs with the five lucky winners of each day’s prize draw selected at random. In addition to once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to engage directly with legends like Frodeno, Scott and Ryf, tens of thousands of dollars of unique prizes—from Normatec Recovery Boots to VIP Race experiences—have been donated by PTO Professionals, sponsors, USA Triathlon, British Triathlon, Challenge Family, Challenged Athletes Foundation, and many more.


Fans will also have the opportunity to donate to the COVID-19 Triathlon Relief Fund as part of the live stream broadcast. Since triathlon is truly a global sport, but lives at the grassroots level, use of the donations will be targeted to the countries or regions designated by the donor. Proceeds from U.S. donors will be routed to the USA Triathlon Foundation, which will then distribute grants to eligible members of the U.S. multisport community who have experienced financial strain during COVID-19.


What's New in the 303:

Adelaide Perr, Our Interview and Thoughts on Her Book, Degloved - Bill Plock

Adelaide Perr almost lost her life in 2014 when she was struck by a motorist who pulled out from a side road in front of her. She violently smashed through the drivers side window degloving her face. In some ways, degloving her life. Already diagnosed with bipolar 1 and coping with that, this near tragic accident propelled her and her soon to be husband into a whirlwind of emotions, struggles and ultimately a more clear understanding of themselves, life, and their relationship. Adelaide opens up about her discoveries and her journey since the crash. In her book Degloved she takes us through the physical, mental and emotional challenges she faced. In this interview we unlock more of the story and talk about her future and the why behind the book.

The book Degloved shares incredible details about Adelaide’s injuries, her treatments and her mental struggles before, during and after her recovery. She takes us a deep, vulnerable dive into her life, into her and her husband, Kennett’s life. She shares some intimate moments between them like when Kennett proposed to her while she was in a coma. Or when she saw herself for the first time in a mirror, how the leeches saved her lip and how she felt constantly victimized for years following the crash because of the false reporting of how it happened.  Read more.


Ride for Racial Justice Partners with SBT GRVL in Trailblazing Program

DENVER (Nov. 18, 2020) – Ride for Racial Justice and SBT GRVL today announce a new, trailblazing partnership and athlete program that will bring greater diversity, equity and representation to one of the world’s most premiere gravel races. Launching today, the joint program offers 25 secured spots for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) cyclists at the starting line of the 2021 SBT GRVL race taking place in Steamboat Springs, Colo. BIPOC cyclists of all disciplines are invited to apply to the SBT GRVL X RFRJ BIPOC Athlete Program, which will also offer financial assistance through a fund to each of the 25 athletes to help cover costs related to transportation, lodging, coaching services, mentorship and gear to compete in the race.

“In cycling, we often say that everyone is welcome at the race start line, but that is not always the case,” says Ride for Racial Justice co-founder Marcus Robinson. “So many athletes from the BIPOC community express that they often feel marginalized or have experienced overt racism at cycling races and events, and it’s our duty to collectively change that. Our new partnership and program between our organizations sets a precedent in creating a tone of inclusivity, equity and safety not only at SBT GRVL, but for other race directors to follow suit and create a model for change and diversity from local to national race level.”


Video of the Week:

Adelaide Perr and her book Degloved


Upcoming Interviews:

Matt Hanson came in 2nd at IM Florida this past weekend behind last week's guest Chris Leiferman.  Matt is a professional triathlete and coach for triathletes, cyclists and runners. He has an extensive background as an athlete and is highly-educated in all things sports-related.  Did you know he has a Doctorate in Education for Adult and Higher Education.



Thanks again for listening in this week.  Please be sure to follow us @303endurance and of course go to iTunes and give us a rating and a comment.  We'd really appreciate it!

Stay tuned, train informed, and enjoy the endurance journey!