Thursday, April 25, 2013

Does what you eat before a workout cause side stitches?

I have written blog entries on muscle cramping, but it suddenly occurred to me that I have never touched on side stitches. This likely crossed my mind because I was dealing with one that came on in the middle of a workout one day. But is there any correlation between side stitches and performance nutrition techniques?.....well, lets find out....

What is a side stitch?
Some athletes call it a stitch - some call it a cramp. It's that pesky, cramp-like pain that is localized usually on the side, just below the ribs. Sometimes it is accompanied by stabbing shoulder joint pain. The level of pain varies from mild to severe. Sometimes athletes can exercise through the pain, while at other times this is simply impossible and pace must be slowed down or stopped completely.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Coaches: How to prevent eating disorders in your athletes

Due to the pressure to be the best, meet a certain weight or achieve a certain level of body fat, athletes are at an increased risk of developing eating disorders. Whether or not an eating disorder develops is dependent on many things. However, a coach often plays a leading role in this process: in a way that can either encourage or discourage an eating disorder. Are you a coach concerned about creating a culture of restrictive eating and unsafe dieting practices? Being aware of this potential is an important first step. Here are some tips to prevent eating disorders in the athletes you work with every day.

1. First it is important to recognize that eating disorder behaviors are serious. The leading causes of death for people with eating disorders are cardiac arrest and suicide, so observing unsafe behaviors is not something to be ignored.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

When is the best time of day to eat protein?

With many athletes trying to build or maintain muscle, questions about protein are plenty. Many athletes wonder when, how much, and from what sources they should be getting their protein. What is the best way to meet their protein needs?

When and How Much
Studies have shown that the class American eating style of minimal protein for breakfast, small amounts of protein for lunch and gigantic portions of protein at dinner is not the most efficient way to feed muscles. Instead, eating 20-30 grams of protein 3 times per day with 10-15 gm protein incorporated into snacks between meals will help the muscles most efficiently process protein and, therefore, build muscle.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tiny eating and exercise tricks for big weight loss

About this time of year, many of my athletes come into my office asking about dropping weight. Whether it is for health, performance or vanity reasons, a request to drop 5-15 pounds is common. Perhaps with the snow thawing and weather warming, your overall health and/or summer races are on your mind too. One thing I emphasize with my athletes is that weight loss is not easy. It takes commitment every day and throughout the day. However, there many tricks with respect to eating and exercising that will increase your chance of success.

Methods of Eating
1. Eat slowly. Commit to at least 10 minutes for a snack and 20 minutes for a meal (minimum). Chew your food thoroughly. Put the fork down and drink water between bites.
2. Eat with someone. Enjoy conversation; this will naturally slow your eating pace.
3. Cut food into small pieces. This creates the allusion of a greater volume of food, as well as - again- slows your eating pace.