Thursday, May 22, 2014

Nutrition Bites From Around The Web

Physical Activity Infographic: It Pays to Play from Sports Management Degrees
Stress relief, lowered risk of heart disease, new friendships, stronger muscles, goal setting, understanding the value of commitment and hard work — the list goes on and on about the benefits of playing sports during your adult years. But there are some not-so-obvious benefits that can improve, and possibly lengthen, your life.

Can't focus?  Exercising the Mind to Treat Attention Deficits from The New York Times
In 2007, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, published a study finding that the incidence of A.D.H.D. among teenagers in Finland, along with difficulties in cognitive functioning and related emotional disorders like depression, were virtually identical to rates among teenagers in the United States. The real difference? Most adolescents with A.D.H.D. in the United States were taking medication; most in Finland were not.

Another gem from The New York Times.  Fussing over a Fitbit?  Gaga over a Garmin Vivofit?  See the Well Guide for information here

Friday, May 16, 2014

Iron and Exercise Performance

Iron status is usually the last thing athletes think of when exercise performance is the topic. However, an iron deficiency can actually impair performance. In short, iron gives hemoglobin (a protein in red blood cells) and myoglobin (a protein in heart and skeletal muscles) the ability to carry oxygen. When an iron deficiency is present, oxygen delivery to tissues such as the muscles becomes limited. This can result in shortness of breath and fatigue – especially with exercise. Therefore, iron status plays a large role in exercise performance.
Iron-deficiency anemia is not as frequent in athletes as suboptimal serum ferritin levels – the amount of iron stored in the body. All athletes can be prone to suboptimal serum ferritin levels, but women of reproductive age are at a larger risk due to menstrual blood losses and diets deficient in iron.
image source
Iron can be obtained in the diet from heme or nonheme sources. Heme iron is present in meat such as beef, pork, and seafood. Whereas, nonheme is present in select plant foods like spinach and kidney beans. Unlike the readily absorbed heme iron, nonheme iron absorption is hindered by several dietary factors. For example, the oxalic acid found in spinach or the polyphenols in tea or coffee bind nonheme iron and reduce its absorption.
However, when iron losses – from menstrual blood losses, or gastrointestinal bleeding – exceed iron intake from food, tissues and iron stores become deficient.
This brings us to the question, does iron supplementation benefit physical performance in women of reproductive age?

Pasricha et al. performed a systematic review and meta-analysis – which was recently published in Journal of Nutrition – to address this question.
While, I’d love to tell you details about the meta-analysis – let’s cut it short and jump to the findings.
Women who were given an iron supplement showed improvements in maximal oxygen consumption. Additionally, daily iron supplementation enabled women to perform an exercise using a lower heart rate with greater efficiency. The improvements in maximal and submaximal exercise performance from daily oral iron supplementation were clearest in iron-deficient and trained women.
According the Pasricha et al., this is the first published meta-analysis providing evidence of beneficial effects of iron supplementation on physical performance.
Athletes should always remember to consult with a registered dietitian prior to taking any dietary supplement to assess any risks.

Gavin Van De Walle is an ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer, a NANBF Natural Competitive bodybuilder, a nutrition columnist for “The Collegian,” and a dietetic student at South Dakota State University. Once Gavin becomes an RD, he will aim to achieve the distinguished Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) credential.

1.       S.-R. Pasricha, M. Low, J. Thompson, A. Farrell, L.-M. De-Regil. Iron Supplementation Benefits Physical Performance in Women of Reproductive Age: A Systematic Review and Meta-AnalysisJournal of Nutrition, 2014; DOI:10.3945/jn.113.189589

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Get In the Game: SCAN Symposium 2014

The 30th annual SCAN Symposium is quickly approaching! Why should an RD be interested in attending? What will they get out of it? Cutting edge sports nutrition information is one thought to consider. See what presenter, Dr. Steve Hertzler, has to say about his session: The Paleo Diet: From Stone Age to Today’s Athletes.

What is your area of expertise and your experience as a research scientist?
Dr. Steve Hertzler is presently a Senior Research Scientist at Abbott Nutrition. Prior to joining Abbott, Dr. Hertzler was a faculty member at The Ohio State University in the Division of Medical Dietetics in the School of Allied Medical Professions and the Department of Human Nutrition. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Community-Medical Dietetics at Viterbo College in 1988 and his PhD in Human Nutrition from the University of Minnesota in 1995. He is also a Registered Dietitian with 3 years of clinical experience. Dr. Hertzler is an author on 20 peer-reviewed scientific research articles and 6 book chapters. He is a member of the NSCA, the ACSM, the CPDSA, and the Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition dietetic practice group of the American Dietetic Association (SCAN).

What will you be presenting on at the SCAN Symposium in June?
I will provide a scientific critique of the strengths and the weaknesses of the Paleo diet for athletes.  In particular, I will review the book entitled, “The Paleo Diet for Athletes” by Loren Cordain and Joe Friel from 2012.

Why is it essential for sports dietitians to hear the information in your presentation? 
The Paleo diet is a hot trend right now among athletes, especially in programs like Crossfit.  Dietitans get questions about the Paleo diet frequently. They need good scientific information on both the positives and negatives of this diet to help answer these questions. My presentation will arm dietitians with this knowledge to help educate the athletes they work with.

Can other health professionals who are not dietitians benefit from the information? If so, who? 
Personal trainers, athletic trainers, and sports medicine physicians are among those who could benefit from this information.

Overall, what is the number one reason you think dietitians should attend SCAN symposium? 
Personal interactions and networking that can be gained from SCAN are so important.  Attending SCAN allows participants to update their skill set for nutrition AND interact personally with other professionals in the field.  While there are lots of ways to update your knowledge base in today’s high tech world, there is no substitute for those personal interactions with other professionals.

Join your fellow nutrition professionals at the 30th Annual SCAN Symposium from June 27-29, 2014 at the Sawmill Creek Resort in Huron, Ohio.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

SCAN's 30th Annual Symposium Update

This June SCAN will be presenting its 30th Annual Symposium! The most comprehensive sports cardiovascular, wellness, and eating disorder symposium for RDNs available will be held June 27-29 in Huron, Ohio at the gorgeous Saw Mill Lake Resort on the shore of Lake Erie. The symposium offers the opportunity to earn up to 35 hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits through CDR, along with CPEs through other professional associations. While 26 credits are available through educational sessions, the symposium is unique in that an Advanced Practice Workshop will have 9 hands-on learning stations. Presentations will also emphasize career-building strategies, such as creating and expanding your practice, demystifying contracts and compensation, branding and how to promote yourself. You can register for symposium at
As the social media coordinator of SCAN’s sports nutrition subunit, SD-USA, I am happy to be able to highlight the expert speakers in the sports nutrition field that will be presenting cutting edge research, tactics and practices for not only sports dietitians, but also athletics professionals earning credits through ACE, ACSM and CHES.

In the first symposium post, we are highlighting David A. Wiss, MS, RDN, CPT. David is the founder of Nutrition In Recovery, which specializes in the nutritional management of: Food Addiction, Substance Abuse, Eating Disorders, Weight Management, Sports Nutrition, and General Wellness. Mr. Wiss has shared his expertise with a myriad of eating disorder and addiction facilities throughout the greater Los Angeles area. You can learn more about David, his expertise and services at

David will be presenting Muscle Dysmorphia: What Happens When Body Image Collides with Exercise, Nutrition, and Substance Abuse? on Friday, June 27. Below he answered some questions about his presentation and how it can benefit diet and fitness professionals.

Q: Is there any additional information you can provide about the topic you will be presenting about at the SCAN symposium this June?
A: The information will reflect the latest research in co-occurring eating disorders and substance use disorders. I recently published a chapter in an academic textbook on the co-occurrence in the male population. I have much insight and experience into this population, having a background as a private fitness trainer prior to becoming a dietitian. 

Q: Why do you feel it is essential for sports dietitians and future sports dietitians to hear the information in your presentation? 
A: Dietitians need to be able to screen for an array for behavioral health disorders. Muscle dysmorphia is often ego-syntonic, meaning that individuals see themselves as being healthy and are not inclined to seek help. It is a thin line between a healthy pursuit of fitness and psychiatric illness, and sports dietitians can often be on the front line to detect problems before they progress. 

Q: Can other health professionals who are not dietitians benefit from the information? If so, who and in what capacity?
A: The presentation will appeal to dietitians, fitness professionals, therapists, psychiatrists, or anyone who encounters Muscle Dysmorphia in the male population. The presentation will help professionals to detect potential dysfunction where they otherwise would not suspect it. Recommendations for assessment tools will be made. 

Q: Overall, what is the number one reason you think dietitians should attend SCAN symposium?
A: Dietitians should attend SCAN Symposium to stay-up-to-date on the latest research and continue building our professional networks.

You can register for this years’ SCAN Symposium at to benefit from David Wiss’ engaging presentation as well as many other presentations from expert speakers. Rates go up May 10, 2014 so register soon!

Kelly Jones, MS, RD, LDN, who teaches college nutrition courses and is a sports nutrition consultant, is the SD-USA social media coordinator. Follow SD-USA on twitter @Sportsdiet_USA and find us on Facebook and Pinterest!
Twitter: @eatreallivewell