You can check out all of the great questions and my responses on the Oakley Women page but I wanted to share some of the questions and my responses on my blog that I felt would apply to all of you athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
Q: Hi Marni - Is there a big difference between peanut butter and almond butter? I have always eaten peanut butter, but I've been told that almond butter is healtier. Any insight you can provide there (note: I have a crazy addition to PB! hahah).
Q. I have heard that peanut butter can be an inflammatory for some people while almond butter certainly is not. Any truth in this?
A. Great question - I try to not dissect food too much for I feel a varied diet is the best way to avoid eating too much of any one thing. Peanuts (being a legume) offer great mono unsaturated fatty acids for heart health but depending on what brand, they can be rather processed so avoid hydrogenated oils and added sugars.A great snack is to choose raw nuts over butters as another option. If you prefer almond or cashew butter there will be a different fatty acid profile which may be a bit better than peanut butter but which ever nut butter makes you the happiest, that would be the one I would recommend.
Q. Regarding salt tabs - is there an all inclusive tab that keeps from having to use both salt stick and amino acids! I get lost trying to keep track of which tabs I need to take next!
A. Great question. For endurance athletes seeking both electrolytes and amino acids, the best strategy is to try to get everything in your bottle through a sport nutrition powder to make it efficient and easy to meet your fluid, electrolyte and carbohydrate needs. I recommend my endurance athletes to have at least 400 mg sodium along with other electrolytes like potassium, chloride, calcium and magnesium. For BCAA's - most research studies mgs per kg so weight comes into play so to figure out your individual needs, consult a RD who specializes in sport nutrition. But a drink like Infinit Nutrition will cover the electrolyte and BCAA needs. There are other products for pills on the market like Hammer endurance aminos, liquid add-ins like eletewater and fizz/nuun electrolyte tablets that can also be used. For my racing (and my athletes) I try to keep things as simple as possible - everything in a bottle through liquid sport nutrition.
Q,. Do you agree with the suggestion of using at least 0.6 grams of carbohydrate, per hour, per pound of body weight, on the bike and ~0.3 on the run during IM? (source: Race-day nutrition)
A. That's a good general suggestion to help athletes get started. But I feel that many things can affect that guideline so always good to met with a RD who specializes in sport nutrition to assist in individual needs. We need to consider the fitness level of the athlete (efficiency), type of energy systems being used during training, weather, terrain, intensity, duration. The best suggestion (aside from metabolic testing - although I would rather use real world settings than controlled lab) is to monitor training files and calorie expenditure and then to use that as a guideline - generally we can replace around 30-50% what is expended through sport drinks (if properly digested and absorbed).
Q. Practicing hot yoga, and running in NYC during these cold months... What is the best way to stay hydrated ...besides just water????
A. Since you will still be losing water through breathing in the cold air outside as well as hot yoga (sweating) I recommend an electrolyte tablet such as FIZZ ( Hammer Nutrition) or Nuun Hydration. 1/2 tablet per bottle per hour. Also, think about hydrating foods (fruits/veggies) as well as smoothies and soups to keep you hydrated throughout the day.
Q. Hi Marni! So lately I've been told by some friends and various media sources (like magazines and health websites) that I need to stop eating dairy. Am I harming my body by consuming these kinds of products? What are your views on this?
And as a follow up question, would this be a good recovery drink after a long workout? I know people drink chocolate milk and I feel like this would have to be a better choice? This would not be in place of a healthy meal.
A. If the kids are needing to drink this drink to boost fruit/veggie intake because they have not yet appreciated the goodness in fruits/veggies, then this brand is a great choice. When you read the ingredients, if any form of sugar is in the list that means that sugar has been added. In the case of juice concentrate with added sugar, the sugar is coming from the fruits/veggies so it is natural sugar and this is what we want in our diet (same thing with milk - lactose is a natural sugar just like fructose).
Part 2: when it comes to recovery drinks the important components are protein and carbohydrates and typically in a ratio of 2:1, 3:1 or 4:1 of carbs to protein (Ex. 20g of protein 40-80g of carbohydrates). But the key is what type of protein. With the bolthouse smoothie drinks which would be better than a juice post workout because of the protein, they use whey concentrate. It's recommended to use whey isolate, a more purified form of whey. Also the key to recovery drinks is leucine (a BCAA) which works with insulin to maximize protein synthesis with carbohydrates. Leucine is also oxidized at high rates during activity. This is why chocolate milk is shown to be effective (milk is 20% whey and milk also contains leucine). My suggestion is to focus on a high quality protein source such as 20-25g whey or vegan protein powder and you can mix with 8 ounces of this juice for carbohydrates after a long (2+ hour workout). Chocolate milk is fine but I do find it's hard to find a quality chocolate milk.
Pre race run nutrition
Q. I've been hearing some talk recently about the benefits of using creatine to help increase speed and aid in recovery. I'm not sure if this is a "nutrition" question, but have been dying to ask you if you feel that creatine would be of any benefit for an endurance athlete.
Q. Which greens are the best for nutritional value and if romaine was on that list?