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What’s new in nutrition for athletes?

What’s new in nutrition for athletes?

More than 3,000 research studies were presented at the American College of Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting in Boston, 2016 (www.ACSM.org). Here are just seven nutrition-related highlights that might be of interest:

Protein and muscle

  • As we age, we lose muscle. Eating protein prior to sleep is a nutritional strategy that helps curb overnight muscle loss. When healthy 71 year-old men added resistance exercise in the evening, and then consumed 40 grams of bedtime casein, the overnight muscle-building response increased 31% compared to men who did not do evening exercise. Sounds like we should lift weights at night and then eat casein-rich cottage cheese?
  • Soldiers who ate a protein-rich diet but not enough calories lost muscle during 4 days of hard military training. If you are training hard, you want to be sure to consume not only adequate protein but also adequate calories if you want to maintain your muscles.

Weight

  • If you think the more you exercise, the more weight you will lose, think again! Overfat middle-age adults who participated in a 12-month study saw no additional weight loss if they exercised for 250 minutes/week, as compared to those who exercised for 150 minutes. This suggests a compensatory response that thwarts fat loss.
  • Do you burn many more calories by standing at a desk instead of sitting at your desk? No. Just standing increases energy expenditure by less than 10 calories per hour. But you might be less likely to gain weight if you include a brief 2-minute walk every 30 minutes. For example, you could walk to a printer down the hall, or take the stairs to use the upstairs bathroom.
  • If you plan to go “on a diet,” you want to focus not only on eating less and exercising more, but also getting adequate sleep. Being sleep deprived can reduce your desire to exercise and eat well.
  • The hulky body valued by football linemen may predispose them to sleep apnea—with the associated risks of heart disease and diabetes. If you are a heavy athlete who thinks you might have a sleep disorder, you might want to get a sleep assessment…
  • A survey with college women reported exercise helped them feel strong, energized, more powerful, determined, balanced, content, inspired, and unstoppable. Yes, those are the right reasons to exercise—as opposed to exercising just to burn off calories.
Wanted: Host sites for my sports nutrition workshop

Wanted: Host sites for my sports nutrition workshop

Our 2016-17 Fall-Winter workshop series is over; exercise physiologist John Ivy PhD and I are now taking a break from organizing more workshops. However, if YOU want to organize a workshop, we would be glad to talk to you about having us be the speakers!

“Nutrition for Sports, Exercise & Weight Management: What Really Works and Why” has been popular at medical facilities, health clubs, colleges and universities alike.

The standard 1.5 day workshop can easily be held on a Friday from 9:00 to 4:00 and a Saturday from 8:00 to 12:30. We are flexible, and can offer sorter or longer formats, with one or both of us, depending on your interests. For more details, please visit:

 

www.NutritionSportsExerciseCEUs.com

Thanks for letting me know if you want any more information!

Nancy Clark

nclarkrd@rcn.com

Upcoming Sports Nutrition Workshops

Is it time to give yourself the gift of education? Not just another webinar, but a live workshop, where you can meet people, network, and enjoy meaningful conversations with the leaders?

Exercise physiologist John Ivy and I are looking forward to our upcoming live sports nutrition workshops in Washington DC-area, Norfolk, Virginia, and Raleigh, North Carolina. We hope you can come and have a good time with us!

Jan 29-30, 2016 Raleigh, NC
North Caroline State Univ: Vaughan Towers (football stadium) 4700 Trinity Road, Gate C, Raleigh NC 27607
Hosted by: North Carolina State Sports Nutrition

Feb 5-6, 2016 Arlington, VA (DC-area)
Marymount University: Reinsch Auditorium, 2807 North Glebe Rd, Arlington VA 22207
Hosted by: Marymount Univ. Malek School of Health Professions

Feb 26-27, 2016 Norfolk, VA
Norfolk State University Student Activities Building Room 149, 700 Park Ave, Norfolk, VA 23504
Hosted by: Norfolk State Univ. Dept of Health, Physical Education and Exercise Science

For more information: www.NutritionSportsExerciseCEUs.com

Both John Ivy and I are committed to make sure you get from this workshop what you want. You’ll leave with practical tips you can put right into use. We welcome health professionals who need CEUs, as well as athletes themselves. This blend make the workshop special. We get great reviews!

Food and Politics … sickening!

I don’t usually write about politics, but this sickening article needs to be shared …

Leave the science alone on Dietary Guidelines of 2015
By Laura MacCleery

Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. One-third suffer from
diet-related illness. We invest massively in treating cardiovascular
disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes and other preventable illnesses,
while funds trickle into prevention and wellness programs. A full one-third
of our national diet even today is burgers, sandwiches, pizza, dessert,
sweet snacks and sugary beverages, according to government estimates based
on a national dietary survey. Only half of Americans exercise regularly, yet
we find time to watch an average of 5 hours of television per day.
Continue Reading

Are your kids participating in the Billion Mile Race?

Active kids simply do betterbetter in the classroom, better attendance, better health and fitness. Karen Finnegan, a fifth-grade teacher whose school in West Roxbury, MA, is participating in the Billion Mile Race, noted, “The children have more energy, and they’re more focused on their school work.”

Only one in three children is physically active each day. School-based walking and running programs are a winning approach to building more physical activity into kids’ daily lives and forming the essential healthy habits that will help to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic. The Billion Mile Race challenges 5-12 year olds to collectively reach one billion miles by participating in school-based walking and running clubs. More than 1,200 schools have already signed on to the multi-year effort and students have already logged more than 5 million miles, the equivalent of 21 trips to the moon.

Every school in the country can sign up for the Race at no charge, accessing support materials and tracking their progress through the online portal. If you want more information on how to join the movement, visit the Billion Mile Race website www.billionmilerace.org. The website provides all you need to start a walking and running club, set goals, log miles, track progress, and participate in this national movement. As a parent, you can support this movement and make a big difference in the wellbeing of the kids in your community. It’s the right thing to do!

Wanted: Host sites for my sports nutrition workshop

For my next Fall-Winter workshop series, I am looking for a medical facility, health club or university that would enjoy hosting “Nutrition for Sports, Exercise & Weight Management: What Really Works and Why.” I co-lead this workshop with exercise physiologist John Ivy.

We would like to hold the workshop in the vicinity of :

Boston and Providence – sometime in November and December 2015

Washington DC– sometime in January, Feb or March 2016

If you know of a facility with a conference room/lecture hall that holds about 100 people for this workshop please contact me at nclarkrd@rcn.com.

The workshop schedule is Friday (8:00 to 4:30) and Saturday morning (7:00 to 12:30), We trade the room for some free registrations for the staff at the facility.

 

Nancy Clark

www.NutritionSportsExerciseCEUs.com

What happens when you overeat?

From Thanksgiving to New Years Eve, most of us try hard to maintain weight. But sometimes we just overeat. What is the fate of those excess calories? Do they all turn into body fat?

Dr. James Levine PhD of the Mayo Clinic designed a study to look at the biological mechanisms associated with overeating. Dr. Levine studied 16 non-obese subjects (12 males and 4 females), ranging in age from 25 to 36 years. They volunteered to eat 1,000 excess calories a day (above what they needed to maintain weight) for 8 weeks. The subjects were healthy, did not do purposeful exercise more than twice a week, and maintained a stable weight. Prior to being overfed, the researchers monitored the subjects for two weeks to learn how much food they regularly consumed to maintain their weight.

During the study, the subjects lived at their homes but ate supervised meals at the research center. The food had been carefully prepared and measured in a metabolic kitchen. The weight-gain diet was high in protein (20% of total calories) and fat (40% of calories), and low in carbohydrate (40%). The researchers accounted for almost all of the excess 1,000-calories a day. On average, ~430 of the 1,000 calories were stored as fat and ~530 were dissipated via increased energy expenditure. The researches even measured 3 days of poop before and at the end of the study to be sure the subjects did not excrete calories during overfeeding. Only 38 calories a day got flushed down the toilet during overfeeding — 13 calories more than during normal eating.

Here is the fate of the 1,000 excess calories the subjects ate:

Energy stored as fat ranged from 60-685 calories per day

Energy stored as muscle ranged from 15-80 calories per day

Additional calories burned by organs: about 80, on average

Additional calories used to digest the extra food: about 135, on average

Additional calories burned via NEAT ranged from none to 690.

The researchers used highly accurate methods to measure changes in body fat (DXA). Some of the subjects gained 10 times more fat than others, ranging from 0.8 to 9 lbs (0.36 – 4.23 kg). The overall weight gain ranged from 3 to 12 lbs (1.4 -5.5 kg), some of which was additional muscle. Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT; your daily activity apart from your purposeful exercise) explained the big variation in weight gain that occurred with the subjects in this overfeeding study. The subjects who gained the least weight were fidgety and puttered more than the other “mellower” subjects.

The average increase in NEAT was 336 calories a day, but this actually ranged from burning 98 calories less than baseline to burning 690 calories more than baseline. The subject who burned the most calories strolled around the research facility (or did equivalent movement) about 15 minutes more per hour than the other subjects.

The moral of the story: If you are going to overeat and want to suffer the least weight gain, stay active. You don’t have to start fidgeting, but you do need to get off the couch, turn off the TV, take some walks and be more active.

 

For more information on how to manage weight, enjoy the chapters about weight and body fat in Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook.

What to do with all that Halloween Candy…

As I am writing this blog, ghosts and goblins are getting dressed for Halloween–and many parents are getting concerned about how to handle all of their kids’ candy-haul. Do they—

–let their child have just five pieces and then toss the rest?

–send the excess candy to soldiers in Afghanistan (as if it is good for their teeth and waistlines)?

–let their kids eat as much as they want, with fear the kids will eat and eat and only eat candy for the next week and this will ruin their health and make them fat? (Note: Kids certainly are not obese because of Halloween!)

If you want my suggestions on how to manage Halloween (and other holiday) treats, keep reading….

Sugar is a hotly debated topic. Yet, a few days of Halloween candy will not ruin your children’s health. You can use the Halloween candy stockpile as an opportunity to observe how your kids can self-regulate.

Before my kids embarked on the rigors of trick or treating, I’d feed them a good dinner. And then, I’d let them eat as much candy as they wanted. After all, Halloween is a holiday (of sorts) and indulging in treats is part of normal eating. After two days of Skittles and M&Ms, they got “sugared out.” Their candy sat untouched. They’d had enough. No big deal.

in comparison, if you plan on restricting your kids’ candy, notice how this can easily backfire into a major conflict.

–Will your kids end up having to sneak candy if they want to enjoy some of their Halloween haul?

–Do you really want to be the food police?

–And, please, don’t even try to define the “healthiest” Halloween candy. That’s absurd.

Just let you kids enjoy the holiday, and observe how your fears are unlikely to become facts.

 

Once, your kids have gotten tired of their Halloween candy, what can you do with their leftover stash? Maybe you could….

• enjoy the candy corn or red licorice instead of gels during extended exercise if you are a runner or endurance athlete?

* use it when making gingerbread houses at Christmas time?

• put some in the freezer (out of sight, out of mind) so you can have little treats all year long?

 

For more information on how to manage sugary sweets, please read the chapter on snack attacks in Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook.

Why do some athletes eat more than others?

Some athletes are less active than others –even if they do the same amount of exercise. In their non-exercise hours, they tend to be sedentary. They look forward to finishing their workout, settling into their Laz-y-boy chair, putting their feet up, turning on the TV, and vegging-out for hours on end. Sound familiar? If so, you may believe you have a “slow metabolism” and that is why you cannot eat as much as your friends.

Sedentary athletes commonly have undesired body fat, and many believe something is wrong with their metabolism. The truth is, they barely move their bodies during the day—other than during their five mile run or one hour spin class. To their detriment, sedentary athletes (who are good at sitting) tend to burn fewer calories than they realize over the course of the day. They may think they are active – but their one-hour of exercise does not compensate for the other 23 hours of sedentary behavior the rest of the day.

In comparison, other athletes rarely sit, and when they do, they can’t sit still. They shift and wiggle in their chairs, and are very good fidgeters. Their desire to fidget is genetic; it starts at birth and explains why these fidgeters prefer to relax by puttering (as opposed to sitting and reading)—and why they eat far bigger portions than their sedentary teammates. They have a “fast metabolism” and can out-eat their friends.

Of interest, people who are overweight or obese tend to be very good at sitting. They may sit 2.5 hours more each day compared to their peers and that can save them about 350 calories a day. A good fidgeter, in comparison, can burn an extra 300 to 500 calories per day. So a question arises: does obesity foster sedentary behavior? Or does the tendency to be sedentary foster obesity? Whatever the answer, the smart person builds activity into his or her day by parking the car further away, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and planning walking meetings

Too fat to exercise (or so he says)

“I know I should exercise to lose weight, but I’m so fat. I feel too embarrassed to be seem exercising in public” reported Tom (not his real name), a 35-year-old sports fan who wanted to lose about 50 pounds. He was an avid sports watcher, but he himself had never enjoyed playing sports because of his size. “You know, my knees ache when I walk more than 10 minutes. I’ll never be able to lose weight…” Continue Reading

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