Ironman athletes are special population that also need Functional Medicine. They already focus a lot of time and effort into optimizing their fitness, but the information that is provided to them is mostly consumer based. Athletes struggle with systemic symptoms such as gastrointestinal distress, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, joint pain, and other problems that aren't only distressing, but also negatively affect their performance. Functional Medicine addresses these problems and often in ways that Ironman athletes never even knew were possible. When Dr. Cook started coaching professionally, he coached similar to other coaches, he tried to keep his medical practice out of his coaching business. Now, he only coaches athletes that are willing to commit to becoming patients of his as well because this new model is focused on the whole person. Not including Functional Medicine in his coaching is counter to Dr. Cook's philosophy of achieving your best health, which includes your best possible fitness.