Happy New Year…..it is winter and “cold “ in most parts of the country!! However, lots of folks are still training for sports, fitness, and endurance activities…either inside or outside….
So, as usual at this time of the year….I like to give a quick review of some important sports nutrition findings from the ACSM and research from the previous year…….as the newer study reviews are now complete.
First; A question from prior posting asked; about working with a sports nutritionist and differences in sports nutrition needs for different types of sports. This is an important question. And supports a good reason to seek out the work and professional support from a board certified specialist in sports dietetics. (C.S.S.D.,R.D.) For different types of sports,(ie.endurance, “stop & go”,team,sprinting,etc)there are similarities and differences for sports nutrition guidelines and practical uses in the current science from exercise physiology and nutrition. Historically, most of the sports nutrition research in prior years has been in endurance sports. However in the last 5-8 years the research focus is shifting to more studies with team sports and the “stop and go” sports in addition to endurance training. There are many differences in the needs of athletes for team sports , stop and go sports, and anerobic(sprint) and other sports that combine aerobic and anaerobic activity, combined with all the other variables that come with participating in team sports, ie. travel, training differences, tournaments, etc. A dietitian specializing in sports nutrition is educated , current in the research, and versed in how to help all athletes apply the science to their everyday training and competition. Helping athletes learn how to use nutrition as an important part of their training program. We will try to address a sports nutrition tip for each type of sport in this coming New Year.
Next; a few research highlights that might be of interest from The 2009 American College of Sports Medicine(ACSM) Symposium , the world’s largest sports medicine and exercise science organization. In May 2009, over 5,000 exercise scientists, physicians, sports dietitians, and health professionals gathered to review the current exercise physiology and sports nutrition studies and highlights.
· An easy and alternative to more expensive recovery drinks: Chocolate milk was determined to be a good recovery drink choice. Cyclists did an exhaustive bike ride, recovered with equal amounts of chocolate milk and a commercial recovery drink, and then the next day did a time trial. The commercial drink offered no additional benefits.
· During endurance exercise, consuming carbs in the form of an energy bar, a gel or a sports drink are all equally effective. That is, they all get used for energy at a similar rate.
· “LactAway” is a sports supplement that claims to reduce blood lactate. A study with highly trained kayakers does not support that manufacturer’s claim.
· Participants in the Western States 100 Mile Run burned about 15,850 calories in about 27 hours. This averaged about 600 calories/hour. That’s a lot of food! A sports dietitian is a great help here for athletes that participate in these types of ultra endurance events as it is daunting task to calculate, plan for , and take with …a dietitian helps you figure it all out and how to make it more effective an easier.
· Exercise improves learning. Movement and physical activity in third graders has been linked with higher scores on tests involving problem solving. Among college students, those who spend more than three hours/day studying or have a grade point average of at last 3.5 are more likely to be physically active than students who study less and get lower grades.
(References: Journal of ACSM 2009 Symposium Supplement.,BegTriathlete.com)
· For a next discussion: As reported from the 2009 ACSM symposium research findings; Food vs supplements!
Finally, Enhance your training and performance potential. . Take control of your nutrition through education and counseling with a board certified sports dietitian.
In summary; Sports nutritionists or dietitians apply the science of nutrition, biochemistry, physiology, and exercise science to help athletes achieve peak performance, prevent and recover from sports injuries. They work with weekend athletes, as well as, school, college, or professional teams. Individual assessment, nutritional analysis, education, and dietary planning are the major focus of sports nutritionists’ work.
Professional sports nutritionists or dietitians are licensed and certified by a professional organization(ADA) based on successful completion of academic and work experience requirements. They are also licensed by their state as a health professional.
If you have further questions of the work of a sports nutritionist and how they can help your training program. Or, if you would like to explore a personalized sports nutrition coaching program for yourself with a Board Certified Sports Dietitian. Feel free to contact me:
FitHealth Consulting – AthlEATS
Complementary Care Chicago
Registered and Licensed Dietitian and Athletic Trainer
Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics
Tel: 312-320-6541 Fax: 708-453-0252