Thursday, April 28, 2016

Join the Conversation Live 8 PM EST! SCAN Monthly Twitter Chat on Local Foods May 5th

Attention RDs and students!  Are you interested in joining a live Twitter conversation on local foods?   Join us on Thursday, May 5th at 8 PM EST.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Latest Nutrition and Health Podcasts You're Missing

Keeping up on nutrition as a student or working professional can be daunting.  We might start with the best intentions to read scholarly/peer reviewed articles but there's nothing better than conversation and research on the go.  Here is a round up of nutrition and lifestyle podcasts to keep you up to date.

Monica Reinagel answers questions about food and nutrition in snappy segments less than 10 minutes each.

Nia is a personal trainer with a positive attitude about empowerment, fitness, and nutrition.  Her podcasts focus on these topics while interviewing industry professionals from other trainers, health coaches, and dietitians.

This show focuses on food relationships, nutrition in the news/trends, and also health at every size.

Ben Greenfield gives sane advice regarding fitness and proper training.  His short segments provide useful information from getting started to competitive athletes.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Foods from Your Pantry to Boost Performance

Reading a food label is hard enough as it is, but add wording like “naturally delivers electrolytes” or “vital nutrients” or “performance aminos” makes it even more challenging to know what to choose. The sports nutrition supplement market grows year after year as new nutrition information is published. Searching for the right foods to benefit your tennis game can be hard. Sit down for this one…did you know that you have foods at home ALREADY that can fuel your game? Things that you find in an every-day-pantry!

As a sports dietitian, I see all types of athletes – from elite to weekend warrior. The most important thing for all of them to learn is that sports nutrition can be easy. You can get what you need without breaking your bank or needing to design custom sports nutrition products. It is hard to know what to reach for when shopping for performance. One brand may have 3 or 4 different post-workout protein shakes, while the other has 3 or 4 different types of energy chews. The choices are endless. How do you know what to eat and when? Here’s some basic info that will take you a long way:
  Before Activity: eat a balanced snack that’s low in fat with not too much protein.
        During Activity: eat a simple carbohydrate (yes, sugar!) and some water or sports drink if your   activity will be longer than an hour.

        After: choose a good balance of carbohydrate and protein.
Walk on over to your pantry and reach for these items next time you need to fuel for tennis.

1.       Applesauce: this is a great snack immediately before activity or even during. When you grocery shop, look for the individual packets of applesauce. Keep a couple of these in your gym bag. They are great if you don’t have time to get a snack before working out.

2.       Fruit Snacks: reach for Star Wars, Elsa, or just plain old fruit juice gummies. These are great to eat at changeovers. They are made of sugar, so are very easy for your body to digest and use. Did you know that this is the only fuel your brain wants when your muscles are working hard? These aren’t just for lunchboxes any more.

3.       Granola Bars: these are great a couple hours before activity. Look for brands with the least amount of ingredients. “Trail mix” granola bars are typically made of nuts and dried fruit. These provide a good balance of the carbohydrate, protein, and fat that you need for sustained energy.

4.       Beef Jerky: low fat and high protein, pair this with a banana or other carbohydrate after activity. 
      They are also shelf stable, so are going to be fine sitting in your car or gym bag.
Applying the principles of sports nutrition to everyday life doesn’t have to be complicated. Don’t worry so much about choosing the perfect sports nutrition product. Instead, use the nutrition guidelines above to get creative with the items you already buy each week at the store. Next time your kid asks why the fruit snacks are disappearing, with a wink and a smile, just remind them that elevating your game with proper nutrition might just win you that next championship.

Caroline Sullivan, MS, RD, CSSD, LD is a sports dietitian based in College Station, TX. She works with all athletes from recreational to elite. Follow her on Twitter @SullivanRD

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Protein- Not just for Arnold Schwarzenegger

Iceberg lettuce with grilled chicken, high protein shake, and hard boiled eggs. Not my idea of balance, but some believe this to be the perfect balance when trying to maintain or build muscle. You may not be trying to achieve a body like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but it is important to build muscle and maintain it to ensure power, strength, and explosiveness as an athlete. So, is protein intake only important for Arnold? Absolutely not! Whether you are 16 years old and focused on building muscle or 65 years old and trying to maintain what you’ve got, protein plays a very vital role.

Understanding protein is pretty simple: rebuild, recover, and repair muscle. Did you know that muscle protein synthesis continues for 24 hours after a single resistance exercise session? That’s a complicated way of saying your body continues to build and repair proteins for a full day after strength or weight training. Since your body is hard at work for a full day after training, it is important to supply protein regularly through the day to help this process.

How much protein do you need in a day? Rather than concentrating on a daily total, research is showing that it is more helpful to think about timing. Americans tend to eat the majority of their protein in the afternoon and evening hours (think BIG Texas steak for dinner!). What you need to start doing is distribute protein intake throughout the day.
      Choose lean proteins: chicken, fish, lean pork and beef, egg/egg whites, beans, low fat and fat free dairy, tofu.
      Each lean protein with each meal
      Try to eat 15-20 grams of protein following weight training

Following the new guidelines for protein intake, your day may look like this…

Breakfast – Whole wheat toast with Greek yogurt and a scrambled or hard-boiled egg.
Lunch – Leafy green salad with grilled chicken, a whole grain roll, glass of skim milk, and a piece of fruit.
Afternoon Workout
Snack – Grab a string cheese and graham crackers with peanut butter for a post workout snack
Dinner – Marinara sauce with lean ground beef and whole wheat pasta

The more research tells us about sports nutrition, the more I begin to understand the importance of balance. Protein intake should be balanced throughout the day, not heavy towards the end of the day. Don’t worry so much about meeting a daily total, but rather including a source of lean protein each time you eat. The American diet is rich in protein, so spacing it through the day will help your body rebuild, repair, and recover.

Caroline Sullivan, MS, RD, CSSD, LD is a sports dietitian based in College Station, TX. She works with all athletes from recreational to elite. Follow her on Twitter @SullivanRD