Essential Sports Nutrition


Read this to be inspired

I'm not one for excuses. Too many people expect to be perfect and because of that, excuse actions, repeatedly, because they aren't living up to personal extreme expectations. I believe in owning up to your habits and holding yourself accountable to making things happen.  For if the intent is there, hopefully the action will follow. But if the intent is there but the task at hand seems too overwhelming, well that is when the mindset needs to be changed so that every day isn't filled with excuses and no results.
I believe every person can accomplish at least one thing a day to make for a better tomorrow. For you can't expect everything in life to be easy. You have to accept what is given to you for the day and just focus on what you CAN do to make for a better tomorrow.

The other day I was counseling a client with motivational interviewing (a very powerful technique I learned during my dietetic internship, specifically while interning at Preferred Nutrition - who specializes in eating disorders) and my client was telling me that he was struggling with eating out too much and that is why he wasn't losing weight.

Like many people, his questions were in regard to eating out - how to choose healthier options to help with his weight loss. But my thought was not to address the eating out, but rather to gain a better understanding as to why he was eating out so often.

Although he admitted that he enjoyed the smells and tastes of restaurant food and even though he was retired, he was just too busy to cook at home, he also admitted that he didn't feel good when he finished eating, the portions were too big and he knew he was consuming food that wouldn't promote weight loss.

So, after he recognized that he needed to make it a point to eat out less, he (not me) set a goal to reduce eating out from 6-7 times a week to 3-4 times a week. A very realistic goal that he created, which he told me he could do.

So, next the conversation quickly moved from eating out to creating a positive food environment at home so that he could stay consistent with this goal of eating out less. He assured me that he would buy more fruits and veggies because he knows he needs to eat more for overall health but when I asked him if he is making a plan to eat these foods on a daily basis,  his response was:
 "The problem is that I buy them but they always go bad"
I then asked:
"why do they go bad"
He said
"Because I am not eating them every day"
I asked
"Why aren't you eating them every day?"
He responded
"Oh - I get it. Because I am always eating out"

I just love motivational easy way for the client to recognize what it is they are struggling with at a much deeper level rather than me, as the professional, telling the client what to do. For I could tell people all day long what not to do (humm, makes me think of every "diet" book or plan out there) but that doesn't address the long-term problem. More often than not, if people could accept their excuses, much more could be accomplished in a shorter amount of time.

For my client, it was important to recognize that it wasn't the eating out that was the problem but rather that he was not making it a priority on a daily basis - which was to have a plan with filling his body with nutrient dense foods. It wasn't that eating out was off limits but rather that consistent actions bring consistent results. It's one thing to have the foods at home to encourage weight loss but you have to have a plan as to when you will eat them - and of course, why it is important to prioritize healthful actions on a day-to-day basis.

I'd like to introduce you to George...a Trimarni Nutrition athlete who I have been working with for the past 2 months as part of his 3-month nutrition/lifestyle journey Trimarni service. George contacted me after meeting with his doctor and recognizing that he was ready to stop making excuses and to start making things happen.

George has worked really hard over the past 2 months - recognizing what habits he needed to change in order to bring consistent results. Again, I could have given him a strict meal plan and told him what not to eat...but that's not my style. I told George "the purpose of my program is to change lifestyles". Thankfully, George was ready for the journey and he has loved every minute of it!

George has sent me a few "thank you" emails and I wanted to share a personal email that George sent to me (with his permission to share) describing his journey. I am not posting this to toot my own horn but rather, to inspire others that YOU can make things happen IF you make your health a priority.

Thank you George for sharing your story with me and my blog readers. I'm hoping George's story inspires you to take a deeper look at your life and what you want to accomplish in your one and only life.

Marni, I just wanted to say thank you so much for your help. I started training for triathlons last year and competed in 4 sprints. My story starts in December 2010 when both my kids came to me with tears in their eyes and asked me to please get healthy so I won’t die early. The reason they were concerned was the health on my father’s side of the family. My father passed away when he was 62 years old and he was the oldest male on his side of the family. His father, uncle cousins and brother all passed away before they were 61 and most of them were due to heart attacks. After he passed away I went to my family physician to check my health and my cholesterol was out of control. My doctor tried to get it under control for about 1 year and then referred me to a specialist to see if she could help. I worked with this specialist for about 2 years and due to a job change and bad insurance I had to stop seeing her and taking medications. My last visit with her I was on 3 medications for cholesterol, 1 for being border line diabetic and 1 for my thyroids. I went 1 year without medication or seeing my specialist and I even got up to 235 pounds and I’m only 5’7”. Due to all this that is why my family was worried. I made a decision after that day when I children approached me to not let the Miller family curse take me, if I was going to die then it was due to old age and not bad health. I stated training on December 24, 2010 and later that week I watched the Ironman Championship that I recorded. I knew after watching it and seeing people that have overcome many challenges in life compete and complete the Ironman. I was amazed and said one day that will be me. In March 2011, I went to see my specialist for the first time in over 1 year and my lab results showed I was in better health then when I was on medication for over 1 year. Keep in mind I was off medication over 1 year and I have only been training for 3 months. When I left my visit I was prescribed 2 medications for cholesterol and that was it she said I no longer needed my diabeticor thyroid medication. I knew if I keep this up I will get to watch my kids grow old and have kids of their own. I trained for 8 months and lost 13 pounds. In August my body was tired and I could not get out and train anymore. In March 2012 I decided I wanted to try a Half Ironman so I set my goals on Ironman Miami 70.3 on October 28, 2012. But I knew I needed some help since the training was going to be more intense then what I have done before and I did not want my body to give up like it did the past year. This is when I contacted you and decided I would want to use you as my nutrition coach. I was a little worried at first because I never really believed in using a nutritionist, but I have to say you have proved me wrong. In the 2 ½ months I have worked with you I have dropped 13 pounds where last year it took 8 months. I also feel better than I have in a very, very long time. My training has me currently swimming around 2400-2600 yards a session, running between 45 minutes on weekdays to 1 hour 45 minutes on weekend and cycling 1 hour on weekdays to 3 hours on weekends. I do 3 sessions of swimming, running and cycling each week. I never did this much training in the past and after the workouts I still feel great and this is all because of you. I now know how to feed my body to handle the trainings and also the recovery. I just had another visit with my specialist on July 3, 2012 and the numbers are still going down. She told me that whatever I’m doing to keep it up because its doing wonders for me. I told her that it was because of my awesome nutrition coach Marni. My look on food has made a 180 degree turn, I’m eating foods that I never thought I would and I love it. Marni you really have saved my life and from the Miller family we want to say THANK YOU.


Triathletes n' Training

Two words. Diet and Sleep. There's really no other way that I would be able to function on a daily basis...for I have a lot of contained and natural energy for life and I want to be sure I perform beautifully on a daily basis....forever. Every day I strive keep my body fueled with food that makes me feel good inside and to rest my body for 7-8 hours, every night of the week. For triathlon training is my lifestyle and not my life. I don't have to be a triathlete to be healthy (not to mention an Ironman lover) so I consider my triathlon training a gift that I have been given for my body allows me to train optimally on a daily basis - so long as I reward it with healthy fuel and adequate sleep.

On Sunday morning, I did a 5 mile run (average pace 7:30 min/miles) just to wake up the legs. Saturday's brick was tough so I welcomed a change in the routine from a normal "Sunday long run".

After my run, my bike took me to the biggest mountain near my place...ok, a hill maybe? Here in Florida, we will take whatever we can get so after my warm-up, I did 10 x bridge repeaters with the highest cadence I could sustain (I was aiming for over 80 rpm) and I stayed seated during each climb. I recovered on the downhill, spinning out my legs with a few deep exhales to rid my body of CO2 and did it again and again and again, etc. As Karel would say "it hurt so good."

Monday was an active recovery day so Karel and I swam at the Y for a drill focused swim - after we woke up without an alarm...ah, love a restful night of sleep. I think we swam around a 2500, primarily focusing on form and efficiency.

Tuesday was a nice twist to the normal routine. Karel's boss, Jeff invited us to join him at the UNF track for a workout at 6:30am. Karel was totally up to the challenge and after he texted me to check my Training Peaks schedule, I read that I was about to be up to the challenge as well. Notes from coach Karel "Track workout w/ Karel". It's nice being married to my coach :)

This is a pic of the certified track which we are not allowed to use but I wasn't able to snap a pic of the other track that we used next door because the sprinklers were on....a refreshing feeling mid workout!

After a few laps for warm-up, we did a lap of dynamic running drills to open up the hips and to further loosen the body.

Main set 3 x 1 mile repeaters at threshold pace. 1 lap (400 meters) walk/jog recovery.

We all started together but with Karel as our rabbit, Jeff and I stayed together and let Karel run like forest....looking like he was trying to break the 4-minute mile! What a speedster!

With Jeff being a lean Ironman triathlete yet former NFL player, he pushed me to be consistent as I was drafting right behind him for each mile repeater.

Jeff and my splits for each mile:

Karel's splits for each mile:

After a few cool down laps, I couldn't believe the amazing workout that we had. I am now giddy for the next track workout as it was a great change in the routine and it felt so great on my legs to be running on a rubbery track. So....workout #1 was complete, now time for the bike.

We drove a few miles down the road to the Beach Trek Store and changed into our bike gear and off we went for a ride along Jax Beach and the Ponte Vedra Beach. Karel and Jeff were riding at a comfortable pace and I was behind them, drafting with a slightly higher heart rate than normal.

Karel and Jeff did a 15 mile TT (time trial) so I wanted nothing to do with that. My set was quality and just perfect for me...
4 x 8 min Z3 upper to low Z4 (the first minute of each 8 min interval was "hard" with a high cadence) w/ 4 min EZ spin.

A fantastic morning of training....which was just the start of a fun-filled, busy day w/ a lunch n' learn and lots of computer work for my coaching and nutrition athletes.

Wednesday - strength and swim. I did several hip and core/lower back exercises before master's swim and was joined by Karel who has progressed exceptionally well with his swim. In the past two months since he started swimming seriously, he has swam 3 times a week for most weeks with most of the workouts dedicated to stroke technique and skills. There have been only a handful of times where he has done "a set" for he has the endurance but it is all about efficiency. When we do sets together, I typically have him doing 50's so that he can get his HR up to improve his threshold but not to fatigue him so that he will lose his form. Karel often joins Masters swim for our coach really helps him with his stroke and he adjusts the workout as needed to meet his needs based on his comfort and skills in the water. There's no rush with his tri-journey for it is all about the skills to make up great performances. Quality not quantity.

This morning was a fantastic workout given by coach Lindsay....
300 swim, 200 IM drill, 100 skull
12 x 50's free (desc every 4) on 1 minute
500 kick (25 fast, 25 free)
Main set 6x's:
300 (75 fast, 75 easy, 50 fast, 50 easy, 25 fast, 25 easy) w/ 15 sec rest
100 cool down (for me - I had to get out early)
Total: 3600 yards

As for fuel.....this was last nights dinner which was so delicious and savory and just bursting with flavor and color:

Jambalaya rice (prepare ahead of time - 20 minutes)
Sweet potato (cubed)
Frozen veggies (broccoli, carrots, peas, peppers, onions, corn, green beans)
Large portabella mushrooms (thick slices)
Orange juice (a few splashes)
Olive oil
Ginger (shaved around 1 tsp)

1. In large pot, cook veggies in a little olive oil (enough to lightly cover middle part of pan and add about 1/8 cup water to help with mixing. Cook on low-medium heat.
2. Add tofu while cooking sweet potato in microwave. Stir occasionally.
3. Splash with a few spoonfuls orange juie and add in ginger.
(recommend season with curry, marjoram and chili pepper - or your favs)
4. Serve 1 serving rice (cooked) in shallow dish and toss in lots of the veggie stir fry. Top with cubed sweet potato (Karel and I split a large one)

Be sure you make leftovers for work the next's my leftover dish that I enjoyed at my hospital, Baptist Medical Center Beaches after helping to teach a 4-hour diabetes class.

I added Kale, parmesan cheese and peanuts to last night's meal. YUM!

Sleep well tonight and dream of this.......


Super simple lifestyle tips - really, just that simple!

Thanks Northwest Mutual for having me speak today about a topic that I am so passionate about..healthful living! If you are interested in me speaking to your company/business, send me an email. My power points are always very entertaining and fun to watch - your group will never get bored, I promise!

Hopefully I can get the video uploaded soon so I can share with was a great group and the talk went great!

So, I had a fantastic blog written but my computer decided to clear it all and now it is time for bed so without wasting my energy on something that is now out of my control, I'm going to go snuggle with Campy to make me feel happy again.

To get you motivated for a brand new day tomorrow, I leave you with this (below) as I conclude a jam-packed day today
.......which I will re-blog tomorrow after I do my swim and strength workout in the early morning and then help to teach the Diabetes Class at Baptist Medical Center Beaches later in the day.

My 8 simple tips for healthy "dieting" involved...focus on the lifestyle and the journey. It's just that simple!
  1. Have a mindful eating plan
  2. Be consistent with exercise
  3. Develop a positive food and body vocabulary
  4. Appreciate food for nutritional value, not just calories
  5. Welcome change by relying on the power of goal setting
  6. Work on sleep, stress and attitude management
  7. Prioritize real food
  8. Focus on YOUR needs – live for a better tomorrow

Did you see this yet?

June just came and went. Whewww...what a month!
Hopefully you are enjoying mid-summer and finding yourself moving closer to your goals.

In case you missed it...

My latest Iron Girl Column on Planning a Healthy Event.

Karel made us homemade pizza (dough from grocery store) on 4th of July with sauteed spinach, garlic and onions (just like his mom would make back in Czech when he was a young boy).
The pizza was delicious - he made 1 personal pan pizza (glass casserole dish) and LOTS of spinach. The pizza had veggie meat, corn, onions, garlic, marinara sauce and tomatoes. YUMMO!

On Saturday night, I made a yummy dinner. On top of spinach - sauteed veggies (yellow bell pepper, eggplant, peas, mushrooms, purple cabbage and onions) in olive oil, mixed with wild rice. Another YUMMO!

My latest Plate Not Pills Column from Lava Magazine on pyridoxine (check on my zippy cabbage slaw creation on the left side link).

Campy looking cute - like always.
Is there a way to bottle this up so I can always have this cuteness with me?

And, in case you missed this awesome issue of Fitness Magazine, you can check out the Fitness Fix project on pg 61 and 62 with a few of my quotes and suggestions on how I helped Weng boost her energy and lose weight healthfully.

And in the August issue of REAL SIMPLE (2012, pg 44), how cool are these BPA-free expandable containers to hold veggies or to keep crackers and cereal from crumbling in a baggie? Great stuff from Aladdin-pmi

Lastly, check out the New Releases from Oakley Women HERE. I'm a bit on the excited side that my
FAVORITE sunglasses for training and racing (Commit SQ) are available in many different colors. I love my white ones but these are super cute!


EVERYTHING you need to know about sport nutrition


At the ISSN conference in Clearwater. Dr. Graves was one of my graduate professors and played an instrumental role in my education, especially how to become a better public speaker.

Sports nutrition is a fascinating topic. As a professional in the field, I find it absolutely intriguing and challenging, in terms of understanding the metabolism and physiology of the body during exercise. As an athlete, I know it is one of the few determining factors that can make or break a race (with the other factors being proper training, pacing, attitude and gear/clothing). From an outsider’s perspective, I’m sure sports nutrition is challenging alongside confusing, overwhelming, stressful and unclear.
One of the most difficult parts of "sport nutrition" is the battle between health and body image. According to Tufts Health and Nutrition Letter (July 2012, vol 30, number 5), your cardiovascular health improves if you meet at least 6 of the 7 heart-health lifestyle factors:
  • not smoking
  • being physically active
  • having normal blood pressure
  • normal blood glucose
  • normal total cholesterol levels
  • not being overweight or obese (BMI less than 25)
  • eating a healthy diet
Funny - no talk on eating organic, not eating carb, avoiding dairy, not eating meat or being gluten-free. Just a few simple suggestions to improve overall health.

As a RD specalizing in sport nutrition, the most popular questions I receive are “how many calories do I need before and during training, what’s the best pre and post training snack, how can I recover faster and of course, how can I lose weight while training."
I find active individuals fit into two categories:
1) Believe as if they are not worthy of sport nutrition… or better said, overlook the importance of sport nutrition to support their active lifestyle.
2) Obess about sport nutrition but neglect the importance of consuming a balanced, healthy daily diet.

So, is sport nutrition needed for every active individual? No. However, more cases than not, it may be one of the missing links to reaching your body composition and performance goals. Secondly, you don't have to be a triathlete or runner to live an active lifestyle.

I think you’d agree with me that there are a large handful of people in the world that feel they are “too good for” or don’t need sport nutrition. These are the ones who choose to either just drink water during training and racing or eat a large amount of solid food (jerky, sandwiches, candy bars, etc.) during training to “fuel” workouts. I hesitated to even put training in the above sentence because in my mind, a body that is training (and not “exercising) is working to become stronger and faster and without proper "scientifically formulated" nutrition, would have a hard time tolerating and benefiting from the “nutrition” that people choose to consume before, during and after training.
Perhaps this is where the confusion begins for as science evolves in the modern world, many athletes are able to succeed in sport by blowing off science and let a large ego prevail and choose to “fuel the natural way”. However, I wouldn't recmmend this strategy for when we are exercising we are placing a large amount of stress on the body and the body needs to be fueled properly in order to reap consistent gains.

In my opinion, any athlete or fitness enthusiast that is driven to succeed should seek out suitable methods in order to become better at their sport or activity of choice. Thus, the reasoning for sport nutrition - products to be used during (and sometimes before and after) training and racing. Thus – this  is the clear difference between daily nutrition and sport nutrition. If you want to improve immunity, improve performance, decrease risk for injury and illness and get stronger - you must prioritize sport nutrition.

So, do you have to be an Olympian or Elite athlete in order to justify your need for supplements, sport drinks and recovery drinks?

When it comes to sports, there are no prereqs as to how fast you need to be in order to call yourself an athlete nor are there any rules as to the approach you need to take in order to reach your goals. In understanding the many types of active individuals in this world, I believe this is where sports nutrition becomes so intimidating.
Ethically speaking, would you consider it beneficial to “Supplement” with well-researched, safe and effective  “Sport Nutrition” if it would give you the competitive edge? Or, do you feel as if it is not natural to reward your body with nutrients before, during and after training in order tot support the physiological processes that are needed to help keep you consistent, injury free and energized with your workouts and training routine?

Well - this is a tough area and the questions that I feel many of you are asking yourself. Do I need supplements and sport nutrition if I am not winning races, qualifying for world championships or not even racing?

When it comes to the idea that we should be consuming a more “natural, wholesome, real-food diet” this is where I have to put on my exercise physiology hat just slightly over my RD hat. Although I believe health first, performance second, there is nothing natural about a 140.6 mile race and no research supports a triathlon, running or cycling training plan in order to “be healthy”.

So, maybe the question should be “is it healthy that I put my body through so much training and I DON’T prioritize sport nutrition to keep my body healthy?”
Kona 2011 - Ironman World Championship

30-60 minutes a day is what most researchers are promoting in order to improve overall health. Certainly, something many of you are striving for but for others, a simple warm-up to a 1+ hour workout. So next time you feel guilty that you had to shorten your 2 ½ hour workout or weren’t able to work out twice in one day, perhaps before fearing a loss of fitness you should be evaluating your “sport nutrition” which can help to maximize the time spent in training and to ensure consistent performance gains with all the stress that you put on the body – both during the day and during exercise without having to do more than is necessary to reach your athletic goas.

As you read my condensed recap of the 2012 International Society of Sport Nutrition conference, I encourage you to consider your current fueling routine alongside your desire to live a more healthful and active lifestyle.  I took notes during the conference but did not write down the recent and credible research by the professionals (primarily PhD’s and a few RD’s and MD’s), however, the slides will be posted on the ISSN website and you can check them out for more details and information.

As a professional in this field, my job is to give you practical, safe and effective methods to improve quality of life – both with your health and with exercise/training. Obviously, this is a tremendous amount of research and it is not practical to assume that everyone can take all this information and make it work to your competitive advantage. It is recommended to work with a RD who specializes in sport nutrition to help you find what works best for you, your health and your performance goals.

If you don't feel like reading my condensed yet long summary - here are my suggestions: simple and effective and certainly these guidelines are to enhance your training. To maximize gains in performance, an optimal daily nutrition plan and adequate training regime must FIRST be in place.
1) Have a small snack (or mini meal) 1-4 hours before training. Aim for at least 30g of carbs (~120 calories) + a little protein. Keep it simple and think "race ready" - easy to find, easy to make, easy to digest.
2) Stay hydrated during the day with water and include 8-12 ounces of water w/ your pre-training snack. Coffee or tea is encouraged pre-workout (8-12 ounces).
3) During training lasting longer than an hour (or intense workouts 45+ min), experiment with different sport nutrition products to provide you calories, liquids and electrolytes. At minimum, consume 30g of carbs per hour, sipping every 10-15 minutes (small sip) - aiming for 20-28 ounces consumed per 60-70 minutes. If workouts last 1-2 hours, 30-60g of a maltodextrin drink is encouraged. For 2+ hour workouts, you may consider trying a 2:1 blend of glucose/maltodextrin: fructose containing drink if you feel you need to consume more than 60g per hour (if tolerated).
4) Postworkout recovery is essential: the window for recovery is open for 24 hours but the sooner the better. So whatever ratio you choose of carb: pro that is fine (4:1, 3:1, 2:1) so long as you are consuming the nutrition post workout. Make it simple and see what works best for you:
-8  ounces skim milk post workout if you need something quick and easy to digest to recover and a meal is soon after. Also, this will help if you tend to overeat post workot or crave sweets later in the day.
-Whey protein (or for vegans: brown rice + pea) - 20g of protein is ideal - recommend mix in a smoothie and consume as a meal (w/ carbs)
-Chocolate milk (low fat) - post intense or long duration workout where you need something quick and easy to digest (for some) or tend to crave something sweet (and indulge) later in the day.
-Many companies (like Hammer) offer ready-to-consume products like Recoverite to make it easy to obtain your carbs and protein quickly post workout (especially if traveling or no cooling system for milk - however, likely a gas station is nearby).
5) Spread out your protein throughout the day, aiming for around 20-30g per meal. Recovery is enhanced is you consume a bolus of protein post workout rather than small amounts here or there throughout the day. Don't neglect carbohydrates throughout the day - always consider the workout to best identify how you will vary your carbohydrates (ex. refueling/fueling) on a day to day basis.
6) Focus on good sleep to gain the competitive edge. Yoga, strength training and periodized training are encouraged.
7) Prioritize a whole-food diet and focus on your individual nutritional needs to enhance training. Give yourself a prescription with your food depending on the intensity and duration of the workout.
8) Talk with a RD (specializing in sport nutrition) to determine what supplements are right for you and the ideal nutrition strategy throughout the day.
9) Don't let the scale affect your style of eating - especially around workouts. Eat to get stronger and faster not to purposely lose weight or get lean/skinny.  With this approach, the body will change in a favorable way because it will receive the nutrition it deserves.

Improving endurance w/ strength training and cardio

-To improve endurance, VO2 max, fat burning and increase lean muscle mass, intervals are recommend during cardio training. Strength training as another component of training, is encouraged but should NOT be done on the same day as intense cardio unless the cardio workout is short (ex. in a study 4-5 x 30 sec sprints w/ 4 min rest) and recommended less than 20 minutes. Research shows cycling or short sprinting is better on strength training days if you have to do both in one day. However, to maximize endurance, strength training should be done as the primary workout in order to improve endurance (ex. it’s not recommended to strength train in the morning or in the evening and do a separate workout of an hour running or an intense 2 hour group bike ride. You should allow at least 24 hours to recover from intense exercise, like strength training. To increase endurance and lean muscle mass and NOT muscle hypertrophy (speaking to endurance athletes/triathletes primarily) , power lifting is encourage such as plyo’s or 40-60% 1RM (explosive).


-What are they? Enzymes, scavengers for free radicals and oxidative stress. Many studies study antioxidants in vitro and NOT in vivo. In other words, research is not food-related but rather test tube/plates and not always helpful to compare to the human body.
-Glutathione is a great antioxidant and L-carnitine has some promising outcomes for use by athletes.
-Many research studies with antioxidants are done for a specific duration of time and diet is often not controlled. Although oxidative stress will increase inflammation in the body, antioxidant supplements are not recommended.
-Many supplements include nitric oxide as a supplement and when consumed in high amounts, peroxinitrate results and can increase oxidative stress. Additionally, high fat meals (especially high in saturated fat) can increase oxidative stress because during beta oxidation (fat metabolism) , electron carries in the electron transport chain can increase the production of free radicals. High Sat fat increases triglycerids which can increase RONS generator and too many electron carries at one time which can increase stress in the body.
-Research shows that it can be harmful to consume antioxidant supplements when exercising (ex. vitamin C and/or E) and can decrease defense and performance.
-There is trivial research showing that quercetin is effective as an antioxidant during training, to help with workouts.
-If you want to reduce inflammation, focus on whole food as the first line of defense. The ultimate goal is to train more frequently and to adapt more favorably to training.
-If you are to supplement with antioxidants (although for overall health, research is not supportive of supplementing), it is encouraged to do so with meals and not during exercise. Wine and grape juice also have antioxidants as well as dark chocolate.
-Many research studies with antioxidant use during exercise involve untrained subjects. Oxidative stress appears to be less in women compared to men.
-Final thoughts: Why are you supplementing? Your eating/supplementation strategy should be a prescription based on your lifestyle – every individual is different but food is the first-line of defense as well as a practical training routine that allows an athlete to train more frequently.

Clean nutrition

-Clean eating is a marketing term – organic, ethical, healthy, local, sustainable. Lots of definitions.
-There is no basis/criteria for “Whole Foods Market” “black list” of ingredients not allowed in products on shelves.
-Organic foods are not healthy or better than non organic. Organic foods only prevent use of synthetic pesticides, not from natural pesticides. There are no studies (not one!) on organic diet to improve exercise and performance or to improve the health of athletes. Evidence lacks in consuming an organic diet to improve overall health. Research study by Schuldt (2010) “Organic path to obesity”
-Goal of nutrition is to feed athletes to win. As science moves forward, companies are getting better at understanding who needs what supplements/sport nutrition/foods and how to market for it.
-“if you don’t eat, you don’t compete”
-Weather and soil make it hard to control pesticides and keeping foods organic in a large farm. Research actually shows broad spectrum synthetic pesticides appear better for producing more nutritious and sustainable foods.
-food choices are all about how you feel – for if you feel good when eating it (organic or not), you will improve your well being and performance will likely increase.
-Supplements are necessary and practical but should never contravene doping regulations. Recommend to review supplements and use supplements that are approved by the BSCG, NSF and HFL to control purity.
-There is a major component to feeling healthy which is well-being. If you feel better when eating something, you will likely improve training and performance as well as immune system health.
-Guidelines: food should work for you, Depend on whole foods, processed w/ a purpose (Ex. cereal fortified with iron, bars for traveling, etc.), choose organic if it makes you feel good, supplements w/ third party guidelines.
-You have a personal responsibility to plan, shop and cook.

Sports Nutrition Roundtable

-15g essential amino acids before exercise (if tolerated) has been shown to improve performance during endurance exercise.
-Thermogenesis with weight loss pills? Appetite control pill ingredients are not as effective as they seem. Caffeine appears to be the best way to increase metabolism and the other ingredients are not shown to be as effective. However, with appetite suppressant pills, if used, they may be best utilized by individuals who have lost a great amount of weight and to help with weight maintenance rather than for helping with the weight loss journey. Most pills show an increase burn of 5-20 kcal per hour however this does not last forever. Omega-3’s have also been shown to help with weight loss.
-In order to increase lean muscle mass you need to increase MTOR which increase muscle synthesis. To do this, eat a little protein before bed and get proper sleep and rest.
-Creatine continues to show amazing health and performance benefits (2-3g/day is recommended, loading is not necessary) for neuroprotective benefits, to delay disease and to improve strength. Creatine monohydrate is the best form and if you take it, it is best to split up your dosage twice a day (once post workout and the other late in the day).
-Post workout, 20g protein is the “magic” number with 6-10g essential amino acids. As you age, more protein may be needed.
-Leucine is the hot supplement (branch chain amino acid – BCAAs) and 2-3g/day are recommended. Most researchers study it in a recovery drink post workout.
-Glutamine to help with recovery and digestion – 5g/day
-Beta alanine + creatine are best combined and consumed post workout to improve endurance and performance. Recommended to consume 800mg as a minimum for 1 month, then cycle off for a week.
-To improve endurance – the top “supplements” or strategy’s are: caffeine before and during activity, water (all the time) and creatine post workout (to help optimize glycogen during training) and BCAA’s .
-Do not overlook the importance of physical fitness and mental focus when focusing on your sport nutrition. Everyone is different in terms of how you fuel and how you will perform.
Understanding Sport Nutrition
Source: HERE

-Prevent, build, fuel and protect = nutrition for athletes. Your food
-Omega 3’s recommended (Nordic Natural is a recommended and popular brand) 2-4g EPA + DHA per day.
-Macronutrient recommendations:
Daily: 1.2 – 2g/kg per day of protein
Daily: 3-7g/kg day of carbohydrates
Daily: .5-1g/kg of fat
post workout: .3-.4g/kg protein
post workout: .4-1.2g/kg carbs
(research shows that a 4:1, 3:1 or 2:1 ratio of carbs: protein can help with recovery post workout).
To find your BMR: Harris Benedict x activity factor (ex 1.5-1.6).
-Nutrient timing – focus on foods with high biological value to stimulate protein synthesis (ex. whey protein, milk or chocolate milk). Post workout your body will remain in a negative net protein balance unless you feed it. Carbs + protein post workout will increase muscle protein synthesis.
-The rate limiting step in translation for protein synthesis is MTOR – which helps to signal protein synthesis. You want to active MTOR which can be done with amino acids from protein.
-Chocolate milk post workout can increase glycogen synthesis and help improve subsequent exercise performances, increase myofibrillar protein synthesis.
-Nutrient window is open for up to 24 hours…you are always recovering from exercise and body is sensitive to nutrition for up to 24 hours. However, a little protein before and after workouts and before bed can help with performance. Protein post workout provides the greatest delivery and muscle protein accretion. Phosphorylation of signaling proteins is best 1 hour post workout. Post workout carbs has a direct use for muscle glycogen storage (refueling) and does NOT inhibit fat oxidation and can actually increase the burning of fat.
-The major limiter of endurance is carb depletion and dehydration, which lead to fatigue.

Pre, during, post nutrition
Source: HERE

-Prior  – exercising in a fasted state may decrease performance. Best to consume a meal 6 hrs to 75 min before a workout. There is no difference between high GI vs low GI carbs – it’s all about gut comfort and hydration. Best to record and monitor your foods and workout performance.
-During – the limiting step to prolonged endurance and reducing fatigue is intestinal absorption and sodium transportation.
 -Sport drinks: glucose can be absorbed around 1g/min due to SGLT1 and fructose uses GLUTS (different pathway) and has been shown (when combined with glucose/maltodextrin) to be absorbed at 1.5g/min. A 2:1 ratio of glucose/fructose has been shown to improve absorption rate. But this higher dosage of carbs (more than 30-60g per hour) may not be well tolerated by everyone and that can affect performance.
-Many athletes are dehydrated before they start training. Sweat loss can be 1.5-3L/hr (1L = 1kg loss in body weight). Gastric emptying is around 1.1 – 2 L/hr.
-Best strategy for preventing dehydration is a regimented drink protocol for better performance.
-Post – recovery is dependent on glycogen restoration, especially if you are exercising within the next 24 hours. Recommend a mix of protein + carb post workout to increase glycogen synthesis and reduce muscle damage. Caffeine post workout can help with glycogen storage.
-The goal of sport nutrition is to meet the demands of training, to meet individual goals, to refuel quickly and to be best tolerated for each circumstance of training (ex. environment, pacing, etc.).

(proud to provide this research on milk, especially after this article was published in th NY Times by Mark Bittman)
-There is no credible research that organic milk is healthier or better than non organic. Raw milk is not encouraged and most milks are free of rBST hormone (although research shows that this still hasn’t been proven to cause cancer).
-Milk is an effective recovery drink – it has protein, carbs, electrolytes (sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium), fluids, ca + vit D, B vitamins and 10 essential nutrients.
-Milk is a quality protein – it has amino acids (leucine), contains niacin, riboflavin, B12, vitamin A, vitamin D and phosphorus as well.
-There is a tremendous amount of research showing the benefits of consuming Ca + vitamin D in milk to help develop peak muscle mass in kids and to prevent osteoporosis throughout aging. Without milk, individuals show a greater risk for bone fractures at earlier ages.
-Milk protein is 80% casein and 20% Whey. Casein is slow digesting, whey is quicker digesting. When consumed separately, casein and whey show different metabolic responses. Casein takes longer to plateau whereas the whey helps with protein synthesis immediately post workout. Before bed, a glass of milk can help with recovery during sleeping. 1 glass (8 ounces) skim milk is a great post workout drink.
-Chocolate milk (8 ounces) is a suitable recovery drink but if wanting to lose weight and increase lean muscle mass, calories should not be added to daily diet from chocolate milk so adjust calories to accommodate for this recovery drink. Chocolate milk also has iron in it.
-Purpose of recovery nutrition is to be able to train hard the next day and to stay on your training program.
-No significant difference between 2:1 ratio of carbs: protein vs 4:1 however more carbs are encourage post workout after higher volume or intense workout (ex. chocolate milk for more carbs compared to skim milk after more intense and high duration workouts).
-Milk has been shown to improve fat loss, increase lean muscle mass, increase vitamin D and decrease parathyroid hormone
Talks I attended at ISSN:

Michael Ormsbee PhD CSCS CISSN
Topic: "Chronobiological Eating: Do You Really Know What to Eat Before Bed?"

Jacob Wilson PhD CSCS
Topic: "Exercise and Nutrition Strategies to Prevent the Negative Effects of Aerobic Exercise on Resistance Training

Jim Stoppani PhD
Topic: "Maximizing Muscle Hypertrophy: Marrying Science with Real World Application"
Sponsored by the ISSN and

Rick Bloomer PhD
Topic: "Antioxidant use by active individuals: Rationale, benefits, and potential consequences"

Tim Ziegenfuss PhD FISSN, Richard Kreider PhD FISSN, Hector Lopez MD, & Rob Wildman PhD FISSN
Roundtable Discussion: "Supplements that promote fat loss, muscle gain,, and performance enhancement"

Amanda Carlson MS RD CSSD CISSN
Topic: "Taking Knowing to Doing – Meal Planning Tools, Strategies, and Systems"

Paul Cribb PhD CSCS
Topic: "The Best of Nutrient Timing"

Topic: "Milk Protein – Why You Should Love it!"

Sharlene Cribb B Ed.
Topic: "Fast, Delicious, Nutritious (FDN)- Cooking Demo for the Lean Physique"

Topic: "Power Eating Clean"

Michael Stroka JD MBA MS CNS CCN
Topic: "Who Can Legally do Nutrition Counseling?: The Credentialing and Licensing Landscape"
I could write a LONG blog about this one. This talk got me steamed up!

Product Review - sunscreen and garmin

It goes without saying that I am out in the sun A LOT. I live in Florida, Campy takes me on a walk at least three times a day, I'm a triathlete and well, I just love the outdoors. When I moved to Florida (from Lexington, KY)  I was all about getting a tan. Well, now I keep my tan year-round and I don't strive to be any tanner. The teenager years of wanting to be dark are gone for now I care about the health of my we all should.
One of the struggles with finding the perfect sunscreen as a triathlete/runner is finding something that is tolerable for sweating, isn't sticky and actually lasts throughout a workout. I've tried a lot and I tend to lean toward sprays for they are easy to use and they avoid the cakey feeling I get from rub-on sunscreens. Since most of my sunscreen use is for training (I don't have much free time to "lay out" at the pool or beach) I'm always on the hunt for a great sunscreen that I can use before a bike or run workout - or anytime I am in the sun.
Thanks to Oakley, I found one! And thank you to COOLA!
Coola has been at several of the Oakley Women events and after receiving a free bottle at the Napa retreat, Karel and myself have been religious about using this sunscreen before every training session.
The suncreen does not smell strong and you don't even feel like you are wearing it. The water-resistance lasts for only 40 minutes but in terms of a long bike and run workout (tested 7/7 with a 3.5 hr bike + 30 min run), it does a great job of keeping the skin safe - even in the hot summer heat.
Here's a great guide from Consumer Report (June 2012) on Sunscreen features.
According to Consumer Reports, "experts say it's best to check the ingredient list to make sure that your sunscreen contains avobenzone, Mexoryl SX, titanium dioxide or zinc oxide (these last two are more natural sunscreen ingredients), each of which is a key protective ingredient against UVA rays. Furthermore, only sunscreens that provide broad-spectrum protection with an SPF of 15 or higher will be allowed to claim a reduced risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. Those that do not meet the aforementioned guidelines must warn consumers that the product has not been shown to help prevent skin cancer and early skin aging."

Do you have a favorite sunsceen recommendation?


While in Napa for the Oakley Women event, Garmin provided all 100 women with a new Garmin 210 to use during the 5K...and to keep! Thank you Garmin!
I am all about technology when it comes to exercise and training but most importantly - you have to be able to know how to use it properly.
Garmin provides FREE Garmin connect which allows you to be the coach of your own body by downloading and analyzing your training data. You don't have to be an Exercise Physiologist to see a summary of your workouts and to track progress of distance, pace, mileage and your notes of perceived exertion.
I am a big fan of multiple screens on watches and computers. For example, on my bike computer is the Garmin Edge 500 and I have 4 "pages" (or screens) set up with various specs for me to look at when I am training. My running watch is the Garmin 405 (not water resistant) which is now the Garmin 410 (water resistant) and I have 3 pages set up.
On the Garmin 210, there is not an auto scroll option so I would suggest this watch for individuals needing a great quality watch, with many functions, but not complicated to use. I often hear of many athletes with expensive technology but only using the basic functions - HR and pace...or many times, just distance and time. If you are going to spend the money, use the technology to its full capacity. If you are wanting something simple, this watch is the way to go as you will still find yourself training smarter.
 This watch is water resistant and includes GPS, Heart rate, auto-lap, interval training and calorie consumption. So for a "basic" garmin, this is the one I would recommend. Certainly, if you wantto see your time, your distance, your pace and your HR - this is the watch for you. If you are looking for something more advanced for running, I suggest the 410, 610 or the macdaddy of them all - the 910xt to take your triathlon training to the next level.
Although I love technology, I like to keep things simple. I address what I need, what will I use and what will help me have a quality workout.
Thus, if I can achieve quality within my workout, I am not training harder but rather smarter. Legs are still burning, heart is still beating fast and some days my body screams "I can't" but with technology (like Garmin), I can get in-tune with my body and ultimately, take my training to the next level alongside respect my body with quality training.
I require all my athletes to have a Garmin prior to working with me for I am a firm believer of tracking progress and analyzing data (I do this for my athletes). If you have any questions about Garmin, GPS or bike computers, just send me an email.

What's your favorite piece of technology for your exercise routine?