Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Why athletes should be snacking

High-level athletes ask a lot from their bodies day-to-day. Proper fueling is essential for an athlete to be able to arrive at each day's workout ready to give 110%. A key part of proper fueling is snacking. Read on to find out why athletes should be snacking and score a few healthy snack ideas too.

1. Blood sugar regulation
Eating only meals typically means many hours between eating sessions. Athletes should be eating every 2-3 hours to be sure to keep blood sugar stable. Spikes in blood sugar can lead to loss of focus and concentration and increased headaches as well as feeling cranky, dizzy or lightheaded. These symptoms can keep athletes from getting the most out of a training session. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Why you need to worry about dehydration when exercising in bitter cold

It's February 19th, yet here we are again with below-zero wind chills in the Chicago area. Competing or training in cold weather presents its own set of challenges. Dehydration – believe it or not – is a major issue. Here is why...

1. The body tries to keep your core warm
Normally your body carries blood to your extremities during exercise. But in the cold, your body preferentially tends to keep blood close to its core in order to stay warm. This increases your blood pressure, which will affect your kidneys and increase your need to urinate. 

2. Cold, dry air = more fluid lost
When you exercise in the cold, your lungs have to warm and humidify the incoming cold, dry air. Just by doing this, you can lose up to one quart of fluid daily. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Spiralizing Veggies - the Newest Trend: Should you do it?

Avocado-Basil Zucchini Noodles with Chile-Lime Shrimp & Corn

One of the newest trends in nutrition is using a spiralizer to spiralize your vegetables. Spiralizing means taking vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes or zucchini and turning them into noodles. These vegetable noodles can then be used in place of regular grain-based noodles. While the dishes look very pretty, is this a trend you should follow? The answer is depends on your goal....

If you are a high level athlete putting in long training hours
The more training required of an athlete, the more carbohydrate that needs to be present in the diet. Using spiralized vegetables instead of pasta noodles cuts down significantly on carbohydrate content of the meal. This is not entirely bad if the athlete is then getting carbohydrate from another food source, such as fruit, bread, etc. However, that carbohydrate does need to come from somewhere, as lacking carbohydrate intake on a daily basis can lead to poor recovery, increased risk of injury and a weakened immune system.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Lentils: A hearty and healthy's why!

Lentil and Brown Rice Soup. Photo by Derf

Perhaps many of you have heard of them, but not all have tried them. Lentils are a fantastic pantry staple: easy to cook, versatile and packed with powerful nutrition. To find out why and how to cook with them, read on.....

1. High in fiber
Because lentils contain a high amount of soluble fiber, they may help lower blood cholesterol levels. Maintaining good cholesterol levels lowers risk of heart disease over time. Plus fiber helps keep you full for longer, potentially lowering overall caloric intake.