For access to all of our training, gear, and race coverage, plus exclusive training plans, FinisherPix photos, event discounts, and GPS apps, sign up for Outside+.
The six-time Kona champ adheres to a ketogenic diet, which is high in healthy fats, and low in simple carbohydrates. Scott breaks it down like this: About 60 percent of what he eats consists of omega-rich, good fats (seeds, nuts, olives, coconut oil, cold-water fish), 20–25 percent is protein, and the remainder consists of fiber-rich carbohydrates. After 3 to 4 weeks of following a ketogenic diet, the body begins burning body fat stores as its primary fuel, not carbohydrates. Scott also touts the benefits to healthy brain function.
You want to look at the fiber content of your carbohydrate source, says Scott. He recommends nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich carb sources like kale, broccoli, asparagus and dark berries (blueberries, acai, blackberries). “The carbs athletes really need to get rid of are the simple carbohydrates, the ones with low fiber content,” he says. That means most grains should be reduced dramatically for most endurance athletes. He does, however, say quinoa and amaranth are good in moderation. But ditch the mounds of pasta and processed snacks like crackers and chips. And refined sugar drinks (high in fructose) are a no-go.
A glass of red wine has a number of healthy compounds, including resveratrol, which is good for your heart, Scott points out. And wine, in moderation, elevates HDL, the good kind of cholesterol.
For breakfast, Scott eats two pieces of toasted gluten-free bread with Manuka honey, which is highly antibacterial. He also layers on homemade nut butter, which he makes using a NutriBullet blender. The recipe: 2–3 tablespoons of coconut oil, an equal handful of almonds and walnuts, half as much macadamia nuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, and sometimes he’ll throw in some cashews. “The coconut oil is the single biggest shifter for those looking to change over their diet,” he says. “It goes right to the liver and fuels your brain, and it will enhance this shift of producing ketone bodies [molecules produced by the liver that support the metabolism of fat stores]. I put coconut oil in virtually everything I eat.” He adds a dollop to his morning cup of coffee and also makes ice cubes that are half coconut oil and half coconut milk to drop in his afternoon iced coffee.
When it comes to snacking, “You don’t want to graze throughout the day—that’s a real fallacy,” says Scott. Instead, to keep him full throughout the afternoon, he makes a shake consisting of a couple tablespoons of coconut oil, almonds and/or walnuts, coconut milk, plain organic whole yogurt, 30–35 grams of EAS whey protein, frozen berries (mostly blueberries). He’ll also eat a few eggs, preferably over easy, but hardboiled if he’s on the go.
Scott eats “a mountain” of fish, predominately salmon, mackerel and halibut. He recommends grass-fed beef to his meat-eating athletes, as well as cage-free chicken. If it’s not fish, another go-to dinner meal is 2–4 eggs cooked frittata style on a baking sheet with coconut oil, salt, pepper and lemon. The eggs sit atop a mound of fresh veggies like Brussels sprouts, asparagus, red bell peppers and celery.
Before a ride, he’ll fill a bottle with EAS Muscle Armor (which has the amino acid L-leucine), water and some lemon. He also brings a Ziploc bag with mixed nuts and coconut flakes (which add moisture).