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Tag Archives: Nutrition

  • Food/Fuel Considerations

    Nutrition is an important factor in becoming and being fit and in performing our best. It is important to have a plan that works for your body to prepare, perform and recover in training and racing.

    Before Workout
    For many people, it can be difficult to have anything in their stomach before running; however, eating prior to a longer run can be critically important when workouts go beyond one hour. We recommend eating one to two hours before a long run. For runs under one hour, runners do not necessarily need to eat but may feel better if they do – it is a personal choice.

    For most runners, eating a food with simply and complex carbohydrates like oatmeal or toast/jam provides an easy to digest and good start for a long run. Others may choose an energy bar or beverage that is formulated to provide an elevated, consistent energy level over an extended period of time. These typically include a balanced mix of simple and complex carbohydrates, some protein and fiber.

    It is good to get use to eating something prior to running by slowly introducing light foods or energy bars on longer training runs.

    During Workout
    During a workout or race, no matter what type, you need to quickly absorb carbohydrate-based calories to replace the glucose you are burning at 400 - 600 calories per hour or you will begin to lose concentration and energy. There are several alternatives to fuel the body during exercise:
    Food like fruits
    Sports Drinks
    Energy Gels/GU
    Energy Bars
    Energy Gelatins

    These are designed for easy digestion and absorption into your bloodstream. The goal is to provide sustained energy through a gradual rise (not a spike) in energy followed by a similarly gradual decline. Chews, gels and beverages are favorites due to their simplicity and agreeable taste.

    Also during exercise proper fluid intake is critical. Good hydration helps to prevent overheating and increases your blood flow, transporting vital nutrients and oxygen to your working muscles,
    which is the most important factor for a good workout. Yet during exercise water is not enough to keep your body properly hydrated. Your body needs electrolytes in the correct ratio to replace the sodium and potassium you are losing through sweat. At the same time, your body needs complex carbohydrates (not sugar) to maintain your blood glucose and muscle glycogen at levels necessary to have a great workout/race from start to finish.

    Again, some runners have some difficulty taking different types of fuel sources while running. It is important to experiment and find what works best for you.

    What is GU?
    GU is the most popular energy gel for endurance activities. GU is a convenient, carbohydrate gel formulated to energize before, sustain during, and aid in recovery after your training and
    competitions. Made with a unique blend of ingredients, GU provides: complex carbohydrates for sustained energy, amino acids to maintain muscle protein, antioxidants and muscle buffers to aid with recovery.

    Recovery Phase
    If rehydration was the only factor to enhancing performance, a conventional sports drink would be enough. But athletes don't just need to rehydrate, their muscles need to recover, too. Protein
    speeds muscle recovery. During prolonged exercise, up to 10% of the muscles' energy can come from metabolizing protein, which can come from the breakdown of muscle. Having protein in sports drink minimizes the breakdown of protein from the muscle during exercise. The result can be a quicker recovery.

    The ability of any athlete to perform at their best is directly related to how fast their muscles recover after exercise. Protein-enhanced recovery drinks give muscles a jump-start on getting back to peak performance. In fact, recovery drinks have been shown to significantly reduce muscle damage following exercise. Compared to a conventional sports drink, it minimizes
    muscle soreness. These are fortified with proteins, amino acids and other muscle-restoring elements to help hasten the repair and restoration of cells in your body.

    What do these products offer that traditional foods cannot?
    Easy portability. Bananas, as great as they are as energy boosters, quickly get beat up when transported in an adventurer's pack.
    Long shelf life. No refrigeration (or similar food-handling precautions) needed. Convenience. What you need (concentrated, specialized nutrients), when you need it (any time you choose) and where you need it (any place you choose). Which items are best suited for you? We suggest you experiment with various products. Stick with the ones that:

    • Deliver the best results for you
    • Feel most comfortable in your stomach
    • Offer the most appealing flavor and texture for your tastes.
    • Many products can serve more than one of these functions. But these general designations can help guide you to choices best suited to your needs.
    • How many of these items do you need? It depends on the intensity of your activity or workout. For a light training run, for example, you may not need any. A more moderate run may call for just a single item from one of these categories. The more demanding (and prolonged) your activity, the more options your body may likely need to sustain peak performance.

    Try different methods during your training so that you can be confident on race day!

    Please Note: This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional dietary advice. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding proper nutrition for your body.

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  • The Marathon Taper

    THE MARATHON TAPER...HOW TO ACHIEVE OPTIMAL PERFORMANCE

    Why Taper?

    • Training provides the long term improvements necessary to successfully complete a marathon.
    • Training leaves athletes a bit tired most of the time.
    • The 3-week cycles provide some reduction in fatigue, but it is not enough to completely eliminate it and allow your body full physiological recovery.
    • The goal of tapering is to balance continued training and resting to allow for the best possible marathon experience.
    • The International Journal of Sports Medicine examined over 50 scientific studies on tapering and concluded that there is no doubt tapering works.
    • Studies have found improvements in performance of up to 16% with most studies showing 3 – 5% improvement. At a 5% improvement, that means a 3:30 marathon can become a 3:19 marathon through proper tapering.
    • A single workout, on the other hand will give you less than a 1% improvement in performance!

    How Long Should You Taper?

    • Studies show for the marathon one should taper for a minimum of 2-weeks with 3 weeks being optimal. Too short a taper will leave one tired on race day while too long will lead to a loss in fitness.
    • It is wise to err on the side of tapering too little rather than too much.
    • NEVER try to make up for lost time due to injury, etc during the taper weeks. By this time any gains in fitness that will impact marathon performance have already been realized and attempting to make up for lost miles or workouts will just leave you fatigued at the starting line.

    How Should You Reduce Training to Improve Marathon Performance?

    • Evidence indicates that the key to effective tapering is to substantially reduce mileage while maintaining intensity.
    • Reducing mileage reduces the accumulated fatigue
    • High intensity effort maintains fitness level
    • Exactly how much to reduce training mileage depends on your current training mileage, age and health. Older runners tend to need a longer taper than younger runners.
    • Studies have shown as a general rule of thumb:
    • 3rd Week Premarathon: Taper 20 – 25%
    • 2nd Week Premarathon: Taper 40%
    • Marathon Week (6 days before): Taper 60%.
    • Three weeks before is the most important time for a successful taper.
    • Marathoners often do too much this week because the marathon still seems a long way off.
    • It is much better physiologically and psychologically to allow your body to start to rebound this week, or you will find yourself feeling flat the last two weeks.
    • Often marathoners also decrease training efforts. This can result in a small loss in fitness as well as a lack of psychological reinforcement.
    • It is more effective to intersperse harder efforts within the recovery trend.
    • For example, the Gazelle schedule has 3 x 1-mile intervals the 2nd week pre-marathon.
    • Marathon week itself is all easy recovery, with the exception of Tuesday or Wednesday where it is recommended you do a 6 – 7 mile run with 2 miles at marathon pace.
    • This is a dress rehearsal, even wear the same shoes and clothes you will wear for the marathon!
    • By this time, if you have tapered properly starting with the 3rd week, you should feel light on your feet, like you can fly...this will provide a great psychological boost!

    Carbo-loading and Hydration During the Taper

    • It is vitally important that your muscles and liver be stocked with glycogen at the starting line.
    • Marathoners used to deplete glycogen stores for 3 days (sometimes even completing a long run up to 20-miles the week before), then carbo-load the 3 days prior to the marathon. This is no longer recommended since carbohydrate depletion can suppress the immune system (this is why many marathoners get a cold the week after a marathon – glycogen stores have been depleted) and the long run will leave you sore and tired.
    • What works just as well is to eat a normal diet until the last 3 days and taper your training program.
    • Then the last 3 days, eat a high carbohydrate diet and do a short, slow run these days.
    • Your body will store glycogen to almost the same level as if you did the whole depletion and loading program.
    • Also, make sure you are well-hydrated in the days leading up to the marathon so that you don’t arrive at the starting line suffering from accumulated effects of dehydration.

     

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  • The Marathon Aftermath

    By Shelly Glover

    You may not have given much thought to marathon recovery. After all, you trained, ran, finished and got your medal. With a wave of blessed relief, you realize the pressure is off. Now what?

    Coping – The First Few Hours and Days

    What’s more painful than running a marathon? How about the fatigue and soreness of the hours and days afterwards? Expect it, its part of the deal. Marathon recovery goes backward. At first you’ll feel worse instead of better. Whether you are bragging or licking your wounds, quicken recovery with our tips for rehydrating, refueling, and reducing soreness.

    Keep Moving. When you finish the marathon, it’s a hike to get your medal, a hike to get your blanket and a hike to the baggage and family reunion area. That’s good. Moving prevents stiffness. A 15-to-20 minute walk is helpful. More is better if you can manage.

    Drink and Eat. Refuel with carbs and fluid soon. Drink until your urine runs light yellow or clear. This takes a while. Of course how long depends on what you drink. A swig of beer can go straight through you and cause further dehydration. With beer your urine will be clear, but you’ll still be dehydrated. At least you will think you feel better.

    Ice. Contain swelling in painful areas by icing for 10minutes or so. Repeat along with ibuprofen for the next few hours and days to combat inflammation.

    Stretch Lightly. Limber up, but don’t overstretch fatigued muscles.

    Closure. Go ahead, hang around after the race to celebrate. Share stories of the gory and glory. When you’ve gathered the strength, or friends to assist you head home for the shower. You’ll feel better. The shower is optional for your friends. Some runners say a hot bath or whirlpool relaxes and loosens their muscles. Experts resist. They say heat increases inflammation and body temperature. They suggest instead cold showers or baths. No thanks. Not for me!

    Stop and Shop. Take a nap. The day’s caffeinated gels and excitement may keep you awake, but just resting a bit is a good idea. Later, go for another walk (15 to 30 minutes) and stretch lightly, or swim to combat stiffness and help you relax. My personal solution to movement and relaxation: go shopping! Every good effort deserves a reward!


    The Morning After

    Take a bath or warm shower to loosen up. Treat injuries first with ice. Walk and stretch gently. A professional massage speeds recovery. Schedule one 24 to 48 hours after the race and another a few days later.

    The Next Few Days

    Get plenty of sleep. At night, go to bed early. Other times take naps. Shuteye boosts immunity and heals the overexerted body. The first few nights after a marathon, runners often have trouble sleeping. If that includes you, at least lie in bed and rest often. On the other hand, if you are having trouble staying awake, don’t worry. Your body deserves the extra downtime.

    Refueling and Rehydrating

    It takes three to five days to refill glycogen stores. Runners often don’t go for carbohydrates hard enough after the marathon. Forgetting to munch with an eye on nutrition prolongs fatigue and delays a comfortable return to training.

    Returning to Training – The Reverse Taper

    Rebuilding. One predictable truth about runners is – if something works, they’ll change it. Case in point, if a runner runs a strong marathon, the urge is to jump back into training with a little more mileage, a little faster, a little harder, or a little more of something. This is how success breeds failure. After your great marathon effort, don’t be so anxious to start training your heart out and improve. Actually take a few easy runs to enjoy the scenery.
    Hold Back. Even if you feel strong, you’re only as strong as your weakest (or sorest) spot. Take one recovery day for every mile of your race. Um, for the math challenged that’s about 26 days or roughly a month. Recovery rate depends on the runner and the marathon. It’s usually easier to recover from a good marathon than a disappointing one.

    Biopsies done on marathoners show muscle cells take up to a month to recover from the microscopic damage inflicted during a race. Besides recovering from soreness and blisters, you need time to ignite the desire to train.
    Recovery deserves as much planning as your premarathon schedule. Think of it as the premarathon taper in reverse – a few off days, then a few short runs, then a gradual increase in weekly mileage until you reach your normal, pre-marathon peak level.

    To Run or Not To Run?

    Many veterans insist on running the next day, perhaps even the evening of the marathon. They believe it helps recovery. But a study by Dr. Costill at Ball State University in Indiana indicates you may be better off not even running a step for the first week. Researchers compared a group that didn’t run for a week with a matched group that ran easily for 20 to 40 minutes a day. The nonrunners scored better in tests for muscle strength and endurance three days and a week after the marathon.

    Why pound away on muscles that need time to repair? If you insist on working out, stick to 30 to 60 minutes of nonimpact aerobic exercise. Swimming is particularly good with its natural massaging action. Frequent walks help too.

    First Few Return Runs

    After a few days of nonrunning, try two to four miles per day or alternate days the rest of the week. Increase mileage the second week to no more than 25 to 50 percent of normal and to no more than 50 to 75 percent during the third and fourth post-marathon weeks (but less than this is okay). By the fourth or fifth week you may be ready to resume normal mileage. For example, this may be 40 miles a week compared to 50miles at peak marathon training.

    Pace and Speed Work

    Forget about for awhile. Run easy according to how you feel. First aim to run without soreness. Then gradually get back to your normal training pace. Hard runs aren’t advisable for a month or so.

    Ease into speedwork. If your body is ready and willing, about 10 to 14 days after the marathon try a light speed session. Controlled fartlek or a tempo run will help you ease into quicker running. Repeat this (or put it off) the next week, or try a few long intervals at 10K pace or slower. By the fourth or fifth week, you may be able to run harder speed sessions.

    Anytime during your four-week “reverse taper” feel free to back off training. If you feel fatigued or sore, run less. Take plenty of extra rest days until you’re back to normal. Don’t run on an injury – damage is compounded in postmarathon legs. Remember, recovery is priority for at least 4 weeks after a marathon. There’s no need to rush: Research shows you won’t lose much, if any, fitness.

    Depression and Rebound

    Your emotional post-marathon experience depends some on your personality type, according to Maryellen Duane, Ph. D., clinical psychologist at Winning Lifestyles.

    Duane knows what’s she speaks. A 10-time marathoner, she’s on the frontlines as head of the New York City Marathon Psyching Team.

    Newbie’s often have a different post experience than veteran marathoners, she explains. “For first-timers, finishing the marathon is a lifetime experience. They often
    revel in feelings of accomplished and pride. Like having your first baby, there’s nothing like your first marathon.

    Rebound with your post marathon rush to tackle projects or lifestyle changes you’ve been trying to get up the nerve to do. You know, write the novel! Go get that new job! Start that internet site!

    As per Lombardi-ism, “It is time for us all to cheer for the doer, the achiever – the one who recognizes the challenge and does something about it. “Thanks, Vince. The doer is you. The achiever is you. You proved it finishing the marathon. Now go recognize a new challenge and do something about it!

    But alas – not all runners rebound from happy marathon experiences. Some runners must rebound from unhappy experiences.

    Unhappy competitive marathoners tend to focus on a single negative aspect of the race (for example finishing time) instead of the overall positive experience. They miss the pleasure. Come on all you narcissists; we are talking about you. That should at least make you happy!

    Even if you ran a good race, you may feel down for a few weeks. Allan Steinfeld, NYRP top honcho, at the AfterMarathon Clinic compared the let-down to postpartum depression. (Here we go with that baby simile again...) “Your ‘baby’ has reached the finish line and your long-sought-after goal, around which your life revolved for months, has been achieved, leaving you feeling empty, “ he explains.

    It’s okay to cool serious running for awhile. Shoo away the blues by delving into stuff you had to give up while consumed by running. Duane suggests setting another challenge for yourself. “Enjoy your marathon accomplishment, and then focus on a non-running goal. Try yoga, or cross country skiing. Run in a new place. Do something novel to avoid staleness.” Not only does this nurture a positive focus, but helps avoid injury too.

    But, don’t forget to run. Training during the winter months is a good investment in your future.


    Recap

    • Generally the first week after a marathon you run very little or a few miles here or there.
    • The second week try running about 10 to 20 percent of your base mileage going into the marathon. Some 15 to 20miles for the week is usually more than enough.
    • The third week after the marathon, it is ok to come back up to base mileage.
    • The third or fourth week try a little light speed training such as modified fartlek or
    • a tempo run.
    • After four to six weeks competitive runners, depending on conditioning, may return to racing. Novice and casual marathoners may want to take a little more time and return to racing within five to eight weeks.

    Race & Training Analysis

    After weeks and months of training a runner races the NYC Marathon, gets a time and moves on. That’s that, it’s over, done, kaput, fine and the end. The course is run. You’ve been there and done that. Onward ho, you cry, to the next race!

    Slow down. Hold on. Back up. The finish line clock isn’t the only valuable feedback from a marathon. A backward glance helps direct and focus where you are going with training and racing goals. Most marathons aren’t all good or all bad. While the event is vivid, mentally play back the episode. Take the time to set down what went right – and wrong into specifics.

    The objectives of analysis are to:

    1. Reinforce what you did well.
    2. Learn from your mistakes.

    Here’s a key to looking for clues in your marathon performance:

    Race Time
    Record your splits. These are your times along the way (i.e. at 2miles, 10K, 1⁄2 marathon, 20miles) How was your pacing? How does your time compare to your goals, other marathons, predicted time, and training partners?

    Weather
    It makes a difference in how your run. Write down specifics for accuracy.

    • Air Temperature
    • Wind
    • Rain
    • Humidity
    • Snow
    • Sun Glare
    • Heat
    • Cloud Cover

    Course Conditions

    • These variables can speed or slow your time.
    • Hills
    • Drainage slant or camber
    • Mud and puddles
    • Pavement conditions including fallen leaves, loose gravel, stones, oil
    • Car and spectator inference
    • Aid station bottlenecks
    • Runner crowding conditions
    • Crowd support

    Marathon Goal Time
    First-timers may have wanted to just finish. Others may have wanted to run the second half faster than the first. Still others may have wanted to beat another competitor or have enough energy to show off to the crowds on First Avenue. Mental Preparation. Record your motivational techniques. Maybe use a few from out list:

    • Visualization
    • Course memorization
    • Progressive relaxation
    • Themes such as songs or slogans to keep you sloggin’ along
    • Mental rehearsal

    Race Strategy
    Make notes on how you planned to run the course. Did they work? Eat and drink. Record what you did and if it was successful. If it gave you less than optimal results come up with an alternative for next time. Cover three areas of intake – before, during and after the marathon. Here are a few suggestions to trigger your memory.

    • Breakfast
    • Medications
    • Sports foods and drinks
    • Supplements
    • Miscellaneous foods on the course

    Shoes and Clothing

    • What did you wear?
    • Did the clothes rub or bind?
    • Were they the right warmth for race conditions?
    • Any ideas for improvement?
    • Which socks worked out?

    Aches and Pains

    • Notes what hurts when and where.
    • Transitory aches
    • Sharp pains
    • Blisters
    • Discomforts
    • Cramps
    • Where fatigue appeared first
    • Trips, slips, dips and zips that can result in pulls, plunges and pains.
    • Menstrual cycle status

    Training Review

    • How many total miles did you run in training?
    • How long was the taper?
    • How many long runs of 18 to 23miles did you complete?
    • While marathon training, how many races did you run and what was their quality?

    Summary
    This is where you play sportscaster and recap the event. Make a few notes on each topic:

    • Best parts of race
    • Lessons learned
    • Comments
    • Goals for next marathon

    Post-Marathon Cold
    One in seven marathoners will get a cold during the first two weeks after the marathon. Yuck! That’s a six times greater risk than controls who did not run a marathon. Maybe marathoning should come with a Surgeon General’s warning, “Marathoning may be bad for your health.” Yeah, well, before you start running away from running, look at it this way: six out of seven marathoners do not get colds after running a marathon. Now, which is the newsworthy headline?

    The take home message here is that exercise at mild to moderate levels increases immunity. The intense level of marathon racing lowers immunity temporarily to upper- respiratory tract infections, e.g. colds. Young rookie marathoners are more at risk than veteran competitors.

    Stay healthy:

    • Wash your hands frequently
    • Get your rest
    • Avoid unnecessary stress
    • Eat properly
    • Avoid that sneezing, coughing germ-incubating co-worker
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  • Long Distance Race Checklist

    Marathon/Half Marathon Checklist

    1. Get your packet early at EXPO – have time to look around – it’s fun
    2. Make sure you have YOUR CONFIRMATION
    3. Have your number pinned on your shirt the night before – it must be in front
    4. If you want crowd support – iron on your name or something to your shirt – people will yell what is printed to cheer you on!
    5. Tie the chip in to your shoe the night before
    6. Have an alarm or wake up call (not that you won’t wake up several times during the night)
    7. Remember to Body Glide the areas needed before you put on shoes, shirt, shorts
    8. Remember nothing new to wear today
    9. Double tie your shoes
    10. EAT breakfast
    11. Hydrate – hydrate – hydrate. Take at least one bottle of water with you to start
    12. Take an OLD SHIRT to put on for prerace warmth that you are willing to throw aside somewhere as the race begins or in the first mile or so (there are organizations who will pick up these shirts and give to shelter)
    13. Have a pair of cheap gloves (found at Meijer or a hardware store) or socks for your hands that you can throw aside
    14. If drizzling or raining take a garbage bag and wear it over your body until the start – there may be one in the race package
    15. Have a BATHROOM strategy for prerace – I suggest a trip to the porta-potty early for any bowel movement and use an empty water/Gatorade bottle (wide mouth) for while your standing in the huge line up to start – just squat and go
    16. Have a meeting place decided for afterwards – it is hard to find your family or friends if you don’t – there is a runner reunite area that has letters that you can use to meet someone
    17. Bring for afterwards: sandals (you’ll be glad to get out of your running shoes!), extra shirt (probably long sleeve), Ibuprofen, stretch or sweat pants, towel or towelette, and any personal special food/drink you like (there’s plenty at the event but some people have picky stomachs and may want that special item). Check in your bag if you do not have someone to carry it.

     

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  • Eating for the Long Run

    It comes as no surprise that providing your body with the proper nutrition while training for a marathon will help optimize your running performance. We know that good nutrition will help your body to “run” more efficient, enhance your overall health and immune system, aid in preventing/healing injuries, improve your body’s adaptation to training as well as promote speedy recovery. The food you eat and the way you eat it will indeed dictate how well you run! But with so much information out there it can be hard to know what to do and when to do it! Below are some basic recommendations to help you fuel your body for peak running performance. Use this information to guide you, but don’t be ultra concerned about all the details so much that you don’t enjoy eating!!!!! After all we run to eat! Or do we eat to run? Remember what might work for one person, may not work for you. Try to remember that just like running should be fun, eating should be fun too! Practice, practice, practice during your long runs to see what does and doesn't work for you and than follow that on race day!

    BASIC GUIDELINES: Endurance runners should aim for a diet high in carbohydrates (60-70%), moderate in protein (12-20%) and low in fat (20-25%). Food choices should include foods from all the 5 food groups: Grains, Vegetables, Fruits, Milk/dairy and Meat/Beans. Calories should be spread evenly throughout the day (no skipping meals, especially breakfast which is the MOST important meal of the day) eating 3-6 times per day. Women should aim for 2,000 to 3,500 calories/day, men should aim for 2,500-4,000 calories per day. On rest days and shorter run days, aim for the lower end of the calories; on long run days shoot for the upper range.

    CARBOHYDRATES: are truly a runner’s best friend because they serve as the primary energy source for working muscles and help the body to use fat more efficiently. Carbs also help to maintain optimal blood sugars levels. Carbs are stored in the muscles as glycogen, which is the primary fuel you need to keep MOVING. When glycogen stores start to diminish, so do you. This is when exercise intensity reduces and you start to feel pain, cramping and sluggishness known as “The “WALL” take place. This will usually happen after about 90 minutes to 2 hours of running. Going out too fast too soon will also contribute to the deletion of glycogen stores. Therefore, training you body with running as well as carb intake will help avoid hitting the wall. Carbohydrate is also the source of many photochemicals and antioxidants which help us repair, recover, maintain a healthy immune system and prevent/heal an injury. Therefore a diet high in carbs is essential for long distance running performance. Examples of Good sources to fuel your body are: pasta, rice, potatoes, cereal fruit, vegetables, some low fat/fat free dairy products and whole grain product. Remember that 60-70% of your diet should be coming from these carbohydrate sources. One of the rewards of running is being able to sneak in a few sweets/treats now and then. But make sure you avoid “living” off from junk food as your main carb source because these carbs are virtually nutrient free and could end up harming your training efforts. To help figure out the amount that’s right for you, multiply your weight in pounds by 3.2 to give you the number of grams of carbohydrates you should consume per day.

    Examples include:

    • 15 grams of carb =1/2 cup cooked rice or pasta & 1 serving of fruit, 1⁄2 cup of starchy vegetables or 1⁄2 cup dried beans.
    • 12 grams of carb = 1 cup of low fat milk or yogurt or 1.5 oz of cheese
    • 5 grams of carb = 1 cup leafy raw vegetables or 1⁄2 cup chopped vegetables

    PROTEIN: is used to build and repair body tissues including muscles, tendons and ligaments. Protein is NOT a primary source of energy for long distance runners. Your body can only use so much at one time, any excess may be converted to fat. 12-20% of your diet should come from protein. To figure out the amount for you, multiply your weight in pounds by .6 to calculate the number of grams of protein you should consume per day.

    Examples include:

    • 21 grams of protein: 3 oz lean meat, poultry or fish provides
    • 8    grams of protein: One cup of low fat milk or yogurt provides
    • 7 grams of protein: 1⁄2 cup cooked beans, 1 ounce of cheese, 1 egg, 4 oz of tofu or 2 T peanut butter
    • 3 grams of protein: A serving of whole grain product (i.e. 1⁄2 cup cereal, 1 slice of bread)

    FAT: helps a runner sustain prolonged exercise. It is also an energy source that insulates the body against cold as well as helps protect and cushion vital organs. Limit fat for pre run/pre race meals as it exits the stomach slowly and my cause cramping. Fat burns better when combined with carbohydrates. There are three kinds of fat. Saturated fats include butter, hydrogenated oils, coconut oil and palm oil. Polyunsaturated fats include corn oil, soybean oil and margarine. Monounsaturated fats include olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil and are the preferred fat. Peanuts butter (natural) is a good source of monounsaturated fat. Approximately 20-25% of your diet should come from fat, 10% coming from saturated fat.

    FLUIDS: Marathon runners are at risk for dehydration, and hyponatrimia (Low blood sodium levels, a dangerous but easily preventable condition). Dehydration can bring on fatigue, cramps and impair performance. If you drink too much and aren’t properly replacing your electrolytes you lose in sweat you are at risk for hyponatremia (low sodium levels) which can produce symptoms such a nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, headache, disorientation and bloating in face and hands. In general water is sufficient for any runs under one hour.    Any runs 60-90 minutes or longer generally require more than water.(i.e. Gatorade, Ultima, Endurox R4) To figure out your basic fluid needs take 1⁄2 your body weight (lbs) in fluid ounces. (140 # person would require 70 oz/day)


    BASIC GUIDELINES BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER RUNNING:

    Before: A meal or snack should provide sufficient fluid to maintain hydration, be fairly low in fat and fiber to aid in bowel elimination and minimize any GI distress, be relatively high in carbohydrate to help maintain blood glucose, be moderate in protein. Choose foods that are familiar and well tolerated, avoid unfamiliar foods. Drink 14-22 oz of fluid 2-3 hours before a long run and another 7-10 oz 10-20 minutes before the run.

    Pre Race Snacks:

    • 1 small bagel +2 tbsp peanut butter + 1 small banana.
    • 4 oz juice, 8 oz yogurt, 2 slices toast.
    • 1 1⁄2 cup ready to eat cereal or 1 cup oatmeal + 1⁄2 cup skim milk + 1 fruit.
    • 1 fruit cereal bar + 4 oz juice

    During: The primary goals for nutrient consumption are to replace fluid losses and provide carbohydrate (approximately 30-60 grams per hour) for the maintenance of blood glucose levels and to keep muscles primed. 6-12 oz of fluid should be consumed every 15-20 minutes depending on tolerance. Race snacks: gels, cliff shots, bananas, oranges, Fig Newton’s, graham crackers, pretzels, Jelly beans or fruit chews, granola bar, rice crispy squares, raisins.

    After: The dietary goal is to provide adequate energy and carbohydrates to replace muscle glycogen and to ensure rapid recovery. Carbohydrate intake of 1.5 grams/kg body weight during the first 30 minutes (approximately) 60-100 grams carb) will be adequate to replace glycogen stores. Protein consumed after exercise will provide amino acids for the building and repair of muscle tissue. Runners should consume a mixed meal providing carbs, protein and fat soon after a long run/marathon. Drink enough fluids to replace sweat losses during exercise. Drink at least 16-24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost during exercise.

    Recovery Snacks:

    • Fruit smooth: 1 cup skim milk, 1 small banana, 1 cup frozen berries.
    • 1 cup cottage cheese w/fruit and 1 cup grapes and 1 cup orange juice.
    • 1cup low fat chocolate milk, gram crackers and peanut butter.
    • Baked potato with low fat cheese.
    • Pasta with low fat meat/cheese.

    Good eating habits are a lot like good training habits. Remember the big picture: don’t get caught up in the day to day things. A treat in your diet from time to time won’t harm your performance just like taking a break from your training schedule once in a while. In the long “run”, relax, have fun, be consistent, learn what works for you and above all, have fun running and ENJOY YOUR FOOD!

    Sources: Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and athletic performance, Gatorade Sports Science Institute, National Athletic Trainers Association, USDA My pyramid, Cool Running, Runners world, and American College of Sports Medicine.

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  • E2 Eating and Exercise for Optimal Fitness


    1.    Hydrate

    • Before, during, after exercise. 16 ounces, 2 hours prior; 8 ounces, 15 minutes prior; 7-10 ounces, every 15-20 minutes. Replenish based on sweat rate.
    • All day long – elite athletes will drink an average of 2 cups of fluid between and with meals, primarily water.
    • Water, 100% fruit juice, low fat diary products, sports drinks and recovery drinks.
    • Minimum 8 cups, although your specific needs are driven by age, weight, % body fat, training adaptation, weather and more.

    2.    Carbohydrate (CHO) Rich

    • 55-65% of calories
    • Fresh fruits & vegetables (50% of your plate), low fat dairy, grains (50% whole grain)
    • 25-38 grams of fiber per day
    • CHO are stored 2/3 in muscle, 1/3 in liver as glycogen that fuel exercise.
    • In the absence of CHO you will breakdown muscle (& fat) to fuel your runs.

    3.    Eat a Big Breakfast

    • Never start your engine cold
    • Replenish with 3:1 CHO : PRO ratio after morning workout

    4.    3 Meals, 2-3 Snacks

    • Meals – minimum of 3 food groups
    • Snacks – minimum of 2 food groups
    • Always fluid, smaller portion
    • 3 low fat diary, 2.5 cups of vegetables, 5 fruits, 5 grains, protein source at every
    • meal.

    5.    Balance

    • Most common missing nutrients: fluid, carbohydrate, calcium (low fat dairy, fortified OJ, shrimp, salmon, beans), iron (lean red meat, greens, beans, nuts, legumes, brown grains) potassium (OJ, low fat dairy, tomatoes, potatoes), Vitamin A (low fat dairy eggs, carrots, spinach, margarine & salad dressing), Vitamin C (bell peppers, broccoli, oranges, strawberries, cantaloupe), Folate (beans, asparagus, spinach).

    6.    Sleep

    • 7-8 hours minimum
    • Restless sleep is sign of overtraining, take day off

    7.    Train

    • Increases glycogen storage capability
    • Strengthens heart lung capability
    • Increases delivery of oxygen to muscle cells
    • Reduces potential for lactic acid build up

    8.    Weight Loss/Gain Timing

    • Not during final count down
    • Decrease with % increase in muscle, not increase in drag
    • Don’t be a yo yo.

    9.    Limit Sweets to 10% of Total Calories

    • No Good/Bad foods
    • Do Diets
    • As an athlete choose foods that fuel your activity so that you can train and compete at your optimal level.

    E2 Eating & Exercise for Optimal Fitness: How Can I Lose Drag, Gain Muscle?

    Many runners believe that a leaner physique will increase their speed. It’s a reasonable conclusion that a body comprised of a higher percentage of muscle will run faster if it has less body fat to tow. This rings true in most sports when comparing players whose positions require faster response times. For example, football lineman traditionally have more body fat than the linebackers, middle distance swimmers average greater than sprinter swimmers, and track and field distance disc and shot put are higher than distance runners. However some athlete’s pursuit of body fat level that is too low for their sport puts them at risk for increased frequency of illness, injury, slower times, increased recovery needs and potentially an eating disorder. If you are interested in losing weight as you train for this season’s summer and fall events, be wary of overly restricting calories. You must strike a very delicate balance when attempting to build muscle and lose fat simultaneously. A diet that is too limited in calories, results in the body breaking down muscle to use for fuel. A slow, gradual weight loss of 1⁄2 to 1 pound a week will minimize the muscle loss associated with fast and dramatic results. Minimize your muscle loss by consuming protein at each meal (beef, chicken, turkey, fish, nuts, legumes, eggs, low fat diary) and don’t skip meals. Instead you want to eat frequently to offer your muscles a constant supply of protein and fuel. In addition to your regular cardiovascular workout make sure you are strength training at least twice a week, all 3 major muscle groups (legs & buttocks, arms & shoulders, abdomen & back). Don’t worry about weight plateaus if you’re a scale watcher since muscle weighs more than fat.

    Hitting the Wall

    Muscle pain, overwhelming feeling of fatigue, lightheaded, irritable, and poor concentration are all signs of hitting the wall.
    Why we train is to store more fuel as glycogen, conserve glycogen, rely more on fat, improve heart and lung capacity and enhanced delivery of oxygen to muscle.

    End Note

    Train with what you will race with.

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  • Athlete Nutrition Overview


    Carbohydrates

    • Most efficient fuel for the body
    • Select slower acting forms for steady energy: whole grains, legumes, low fat milk/yogurt, whole fruit
    • Select simpler forms during activity - 30-60g/hour after the first hour

    Common Mistakes

    • 50-65% of our diet should be Carbohydrates, and at least half of them should eb from whole grains.
    • Carbohydrates should be consumed every 3-5 hours
    • Choose whole grain carbohydrates to avoid peaks or crashing in energy
    • Supplementing appropriately during a workout

     

    Protein

    • Essential for building and maintaining muscle-mass, injury prevention
    • Include at all meals and snacks if longer time between meals
    • Lean choices: lean ground beef and pork, poultry, seafood, nuts, eggs, low-fat dairy, beans, seeds

    Common mistakes:

    • Consumption of too much protein and not enough carbohydrate
    • Not consuming protein throughout the day to maintain energy
    • Believing you need more

     Fats

    • Transports/stores vitamins; maintains cell membranes; assists with metabolism; maintains healthy skin/hair
    • Poor source of fuel for workouts
    • Choose heart-healthy choices: nuts, seeds, oil, avocado, olives

    Common Mistakes

    • Not consuming enough fat
    • Consuming more saturated and trans fats rather than unsaturated fats

    Hydration

    • The best indicator is urine. Try to keep urine pale to clear in color through out the day
    • 16-24oz within 2 hours before o 6-12oz just before start
    • 6-12oz every 15-20 minutes during
    • Sports drink with 6-8% carbohydrate for events longer than 1 hour or high intensity/high heat

    Common Mistakes

    • Dehydration: throbbing headache; dizziness; severe fatigue; restlessness; confusion, nausea/vomiting
    • Weight loss of greater than 2% of body weight during exercise can cause dehydration that can compromise cardiac function, metabolic reactions, and thermo regulation
    • Electrolytes need to be replaced after the first hour of exercise, water is not enough to re-hydrate.

    Supplements

    • Try to get all of the vitamins and minerals from eating colorful, varied meals.
    • When looking for a multivitamin, try to find something that provides about 100% of the RDA
    • Caffeine: beneficial before workout for increasing endurance-spares glycogen and aids fat metabolism
    • Protein: consuming 20g protein post workout is optimal, more shows no benefit; this can come from a 20oz glass of milk
    • Glucosamine: beneficial to joints in those with issues; little risk
    • Fish Oil: a good idea if you do not consume omega-3 fatty acids in the diet
    • Fish Oil: a good idea if you do not consume omega-3 fatty acids in the diet

    Common Sports Nutrition Issues

    Hitting the Wall

     

    • Glycogen depletion due to limited carbohydrate intake - muscle glycogen storage infinite - max is approx. 80-120 minutes before depleted
    • Once glycogen depleted, you convert fat = increased 0xygen uptake = fatigue (hit the wall)
    • Every gram of glycogen is attached to 3g water - lack of either can impact doubly

    Dehydration

    • Stroke volume decreases due to decreased blood volume
    • To maintain cardiac output, heart rate increases = fatigue
    • Follow guidelines above - use sports drinks as appropriate

    Cramping

    • Sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, hydration
    • Electrolyte supplementation

    Recovery Time

    • Carbohdyrates are essential to restock glycogen stores - intake should be at least 60-75g carbs
    • Aim for 4:1 carb/protein ratio within 1 hour after workout
      • Many commercial recovery products aim to do this (Accelerade, Endurox, etc)
      • Food examples: 1 1⁄2 cups Cheerios, 1 c. blueberries, 1 cup skim milk; 12 Triscuits and 1 oz cheese; 16oz chocolate milk; 1 cup Kashi Go Lean with lowfat yogurt; Power/Clif Bar with 8oz milk; 2 String cheese with 32oz Gatorade;
    • Waiting too long after workouts hinders recovery

    Cravings

    • Usually a result of poor meal timing, inadequate intake of foods
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  • Eat Your Way to Better Health

    What makes foods whole? Fruits, vegetables; whole grains, (such as brown rice, whole wheat, bulgur and quinoa; plus nuts, beans and lentils); wild salmon, olive oil, organic orgrass fed beef, organic, free-range chicken; milk and yogurt without additives produced
    from animals that have not been given hormones. While foods provide the vitamins,minerals, and antioxidants that your body needs to help fight disease and protect against aging. By eating whole/fresh foods instead of processed high-fat, high cholesterol foods and snacks, you get more fiber, complex carbohydrates, power
    nutrients, and good fats.

    Switching is easier than you think. Here are eight simple ways to shop smarter and eat healthier:

    1. Whenever possible, buy fresh/whole foods. Fill your fridge with the freshest produce; it’s loaded antioxidants. Frozen and can products without added ingredients/preservatives are also acceptable. Find farm-fresh eggs, fish and cheeses; and naturally raised chicken and meats without antibiotics, hormones,
      or animal by-products.
    2. Color your diet healthy. Instead of eating the same old fruits and vegetables everyday, expand your plate and your palette. Varieties that are red (cranberries), yellow (papayas), orange (peppers), and blue-purple (blueberries)are loaded with antioxidants. Leafy greens (such as kale and chard) and yellow-orange foods (butternut squash and carrots) contain vitamin A and calcium and
      are rich in carotenoids and other phytochemicals that boost the immune system, help prevent damage to cells, and protect against cancer and heart disease. Red and blue-purple foods (beets, grapes) contain anthocyanins (a type of flavonoid), which help prevent diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Try to eat nine servings of colorful fruits and vegetables a day. It’s not as intimidating as it sounds, one serving is just one-half cup.
    3. While shopping stick to the perimeter of the store. This is where you’ll find most whole foods: produce, dried fruit and nuts, fresh fish and meats, diary, and freshly baked whole-grain bread. The inner aisles are loaded with processed foods. Enter the danger zone only for such staples as heart-healthy extra-virgin olive oil, oats, other whole grains, and canned goods with no added salt/sugar; skip the snack aisle altogether. Although typically it’s best to buy fresh, there are still benefits to canned (i.e. Lycopene that is found in tomato products and other antioxidants that are found in fruit and vegetable juices) and frozen foods also as long as they do not have any added ingredients.
    4. Load up on whole grains. They contain the antioxidants and phytochemicals that are stripped out of white bread and pasta. Look for whole wheat breads with whole grains as their first ingredient and at least two grams of fiber per slice. Try
      whole wheat pasta, for extra vitamins, fiber and earthy flavor. In addition to brown and wild rice, try high-protein quinoa and cracked-wheat bulgur for pilafs. (However, most white pastas still have at least 2 grams of fiber preserving. So as long as you are sticking to the serving size pasta isn't all that bad!)
    5. Follow the thumbnail rule for packaged foods. Even organic or natural foods can sometimes contain lots of ingredients, an indication that they’re far from their whole food state. An easy test: Measure the ingredient list next to your thumbnail. If the list is longer than your nail (less than an inch) and contains anything you don’t recognize or can’t pronounce, take a pass. Remember the less ingredients, usually the better.
    6. Give breakfast a boost. Sprinkle ground flax seed (a great source of heart-protective alpha-linoleic acid) over oatmeal or whole-grain toast with peanut butter and honey. Keep frozen berries, bananas, and cherries in your freezer, blend with orange juice and yogurt for a smoothie.
    7. Snack smart. Switch from chips and pretzels to a homemade trail mix of salted, roasted almonds and pumpkin seeds (which contain healthy fats), and dried cranberries and raisins (which are loaded with concentrated antioxidants). Swap peanut butter crackers from the vending machine, which are full of trans fats for a natural peanut butter on apple slices.
    8. Make over your dinner. Stir-fry cherry tomato halves and minced garlic in extra virgin olive oil. Toss with whole wheat angel-hair pasta and a handful of arugula.Top with shavings of Parmesan cheese. Or make a colorful stir-fry with red bell pepper, eggplant, summer squash, and broccoli served over brown rice. Toss hot roasted sweet potatoes with red onion, baby spinach, a dash of balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Enjoy!
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  • Power Foods

    Power Food What are the Benefits? When is this good to eat?
    Oatmeal Helps lower cholesterol, good
    source of fiber, and complex
    carbs that will sustain in a
    workout.
    Great pre-race food or any
    time that you wake up and
    feel hungry!
    Cottage Cheese It is packed with protein which
    runners need more for muscle
    repair and rebuilding.
    Anytime, except before your
    workout. This is also a great
    post-race snack.
    Pretzels Low-calorie snack, but
    provides you with a good carb
    boost, the salt helps you
    replace your sodium you lose
    when you sweat.
    These are a great afternoon
    snack and could be used as a
    post race snack.
    Hummus on Wheat Thins This snack is packed with
    protein, fiber, and vitamins. 
    This is a good mid morning or
    afternoon snack.
    Salmon High in Omega-3 fatty acids
    which help keep your immune
    systems protected; may aid in
    blood flow which could help
    your workout; also provides
    you with protein.
    This is great food for lunch
    and dinner. It’s great to put in
    salads or to combine with
    pastas.
    Blueberries These berries are loaded with
    antioxidants such as vitamin
    C that will help keep you
    healthy and provide you with
    essential vitamins.
    You can mix these with all
    sorts of things. They are
    great to eat morning, noon or
    night!
    Almonds Loaded with the antioxidant E
    they can help reduce muscle
    damage. They also give you
    a good dose of magnesium,
    potassium, and calcium.
    You can mix this with other
    nuts, throw them on a salad,
    or just eat them as a snack.
    Broccoli This green veggie has it all, it
    has vitamin C, which aids in
    muscle damage that is
    brought on by exercise and has a bunch of phytochemicals that helps
    fight diseases.
    You can snack on these
    anytime, steam them with
    your dinner, add them to a
    salad or soups.
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  • Food/Fuel Considerations for Training

    Nutrition is an important factor in becoming and being fit and in performing our best. It is
    important to have a plan that works for your body to prepare, perform and recover in training
    and racing.

    Before Workout
    For many people, it can be difficult to have anything in their stomach before running; however,
    eating prior to a longer run can be critically important when workouts go beyond one hour. We
    recommend eating one to two hours before a long run. For runs under one hour, runners do not
    necessarily need to eat but may feel better if they do – it is a personal choice.

    For most runners, eating a food with simply and complex carbohydrates like oatmeal or
    toast/jam provides an easy to digest and good start for a long run. Others may choose an
    energy bar or beverage that is formulated to provide an elevated, consistent energy level over
    an extended period of time. These typically include a balanced mix of simple and complex
    carbohydrates, some protein and fiber.

    It is good to get use to eating something prior to running by slowly introducing light foods or
    energy bars on longer training runs.

    During Workout
    During a workout or race, no matter what type, you need to quickly absorb carbohydrate-based
    calories to replace the glucose you are burning at 400 - 600 calories per hour or you will begin
    to lose concentration and energy.
    There are several alternatives to fuel the body during exercise.
    Food like fruits
    Sports Drinks
    Energy Gels/GU
    Energy Bars
    Energy Gelatins
    These are designed for easy digestion and absorption into your bloodstream. The goal is to
    provide sustained energy through a gradual rise (not a spike) in energy followed by a similarly
    gradual decline. Chews, gels and beverages are favorites due to their simplicity and agreeable
    taste.

    Also during exercise proper fluid intake is critical. Good hydration helps to prevent overheating
    and increases your blood flow, transporting vital nutrients and oxygen to your working muscles,
    which is the most important factor for a good workout. Yet during exercise water is not enough
    to keep your body properly hydrated. Your body needs electrolytes in the correct ratio to replace
    the sodium and potassium you are losing through sweat. At the same time, your body needs
    complex carbohydrates (not sugar) to maintain your blood glucose and muscle glycogen at
    levels necessary to have a great workout/race from start to finish.

    Again, some runners have some difficulty taking different types of fuel sources while running. It
    is important to experiment and find what works best for you.

    What is GU?
    GU is the most popular energy gel for endurance activities. GU is a convenient, carbohydrate
    gel formulated to energize before, sustain during, and aid in recovery after your training and
    competitions. Made with a unique blend of ingredients, GU provides: complex carbohydrates for
    sustained energy, amino acids to maintain muscle protein, antioxidants and muscle buffers to
    aid with recovery.

    Recovery Phase
    If rehydration was the only factor to enhancing performance, a conventional sports drink would
    be enough. But athletes don't just need to rehydrate, their muscles need to recover, too. Protein
    speeds muscle recovery. During prolonged exercise, up to 10% of the muscles' energy can
    come from metabolizing protein, which can come from the breakdown of muscle. Having protein
    in sports drink minimizes the breakdown of protein from the muscle during exercise. The result
    can be a quicker recovery.

    The ability of any athlete to perform at their best is directly related to how fast their muscles
    recover after exercise. Protein-enhanced recovery drinks give muscles a jump-start on getting
    back to peak performance. In fact, recovery drinks have been shown to significantly reduce
    muscle damage following exercise. Compared to a conventional sports drink, it minimizes
    muscle soreness. These are fortified with proteins, amino acids and other muscle-restoring
    elements to help hasten the repair and restoration of cells in your body.

    What do these products offer that traditional foods cannot?
    Easy portability. Bananas, as great as they are as energy boosters, quickly get beat up when
    transported in an adventurer's pack.
    Long shelf life. No refrigeration (or similar food-handling precautions) needed.
    Convenience. What you need (concentrated, specialized nutrients), when you need it (any time
    you choose) and where you need it (any place you choose).
    Which items are best suited for you? We suggest you experiment with various products.
    Stick with the ones that:

    • Deliver the best results for you
    • Feel most comfortable in your stomach
    • Offer the most appealing flavor and texture for your tastes.
    • Many products can serve more than one of these functions. But these general designations can help guide you to choices best suited to your needs.
    • How many of these items do you need? It depends on the intensity of your activity or workout. For a light training run, for example, you may not need any. A more moderate run may call for just a single item from one of these categories. The more demanding (and prolonged) your activity, the more options your body may likely need to sustain peak performance.

    Try different methods during your training so that you can be confident on race day!

    Please Note: This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional dietary advice. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding proper nutrition for your body.

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  • Top Ten Foods for Athletes

    By Kimberly J. Mueller; MS, RD, SDTC Sports Nutritionist Whether you are training for a marathon, getting dirty riding a muddy single track or surfing some beautiful waves, the food you feed your body will dictate how well you will perform. While supplements seem like an easy solution, research supports the notion that whole foods are still the best source of the nutrients you will need for optimal
    health and peak performance. Below I have listen the top ten foods for runners. Eat up!!!

    1. Go Red!!! Lycopene, a vitamin-like substance that makes tomatoes and watermelon red, has potent antioxidant qualities that help reduce some of the cellular damage that occurs to activate muscles during exercise. Lycopene has also been shown to reduce the risk for prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease, and other cancers too (particular breast and cervical cancer). The highest does and best absorbed form of lycopene is found in processed tomato products, such as tomato sauce or tomato soup. So the eating of spaghetti and pizza should be encouraged in the name of good health. Extra sauce please!
    2. Get into the Swim of Seafood!!! Seafood is high in protein and zinc. Zinc is important for immune function and also helps clear carbon dioxide out of our muscles to help enhance recovery from intense exercise. Cold-water fish, including salmon, herring, mackerel, and sardines are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are effective in lowering risk for heart disease and may help boost fat burning. Most health professionals recommend at least 2-3 fish meals each to reap the benefits of seafood! If you don’t like seafood, omega-3 fatty acids can also be found in canola, flax seed and soybean oils, as well as walnuts.
    3. Bring on the Broccoli!!! Is a nagging cold compromising your performance? Rich in vitamin C, broccoli may help boost your immune system, helping to prevent unwanted illness during training. Broccoli is also an excellent source of calcium and potassium, which help to maintain strong bones and contribute to healthy connective tissue and cartilage. Put chopped broccoli on pizza, in spaghetti sauces, in stir fries, and in salads to help maintain peak immune function during season.
    4. Energize with Asparagus!!! Asparagus is low in calories, contains no cholesterol or fat, and is an excellent source of thiamin, which aids in the conversion of glucose into energy and also helps synthesize and breakdown amino acids. Add a healthy ration of asparagus spears to your meal or snack as means to help boost performance.
    5. Soybeans (edamame)!!! Rich in complex carbohydrates and protein, soybeans have been touted as the perfect recovery food. Soy is the only complete plant source of protein, containing all the amino acids necessary for repairing and building muscle. In addition, soy contains disease-fighting phytochemicals and appetite-surpressing unsaturated fats. Soy can also be implemented in the diet in the form of tofu, textured soy protein, tempeh, soy milk, soy flour, soy nut butter and soy nuts.
    6. Sow your Oats!!! Starting your day off with a bowl of oatmeal will help sustain your energy levels as well as maximize your glycogen stores for peak endurance performance. Oatmeal is also an excellent source of B-vitamins (for stress and energy production) and contains a significant amount of zinc for immune function. My favorite oatmeal concoction is as follows: Mix ½ cup old fashioned oats with ¼ cut natural granola. Add 1 handful of favorite fruit and 1 handful of almond or walnuts. Pour over 1 cup of nonfat milk and cook mixture in microwave for 2-3 minutes.
    7. Bone Up on Calcium!!! As a good source of both calcium and vitamin D, milk is most commonly marketed as a bone builder. Milk is also an excellent source of low-glycemic carbohydrates and is a complete protein source making it a great pre- or post-workout snack option. In addition, calcium is crucial for proper muscle function; cramping may incur with a deficiency. Blend low-fat milk with yogurt and fruit for a delicious, nutrient-rich smoothie.
    8. Boost Endurance with Raw Honey!!! A recent study performed at the University of Memphis Exercise and Sport Nutrition Laboratory showed that the blend of sugars found in raw honey can significantly increase an athlete’s average power and endurance. In its natural state, raw honey is an immediate source of energy, full of B-complex vitamins, amino acids, and enzymes. Add honey to toast, cereal, tea for added sweetness and a quick boost of energy.
    9. Go Nuts!!! Eaten raw, nuts are a great source of vitamin E. Adequate vitamin E helps with heart health and also helps reduce some of that damage that occurs to our muscles during exercise. Nuts are also filling and satisfying because of their healthy monounsaturated fat content. Try a little raw nut butter on a piece of whole wheat bread with a half of banana sliced up on top. It’s delicious!
    10. The Bold and the Blue. A 1/2 cup and a mere 40 calories later, you get a hefty 2.5 grams of fiber as well as a significant amount of vitamin C, which is a potent antioxidant that keeps our immune system running at its peak. Blueberries have the highest ORAC score (oxygen radical absorbency capacity) of any fresh fruit, which means they can destroy free radicals in the body before they cause damage to our healthy cells. In addition, the dye that makes blueberries "blue" have been shown to improve memory, balance and coordination. So the next time you are at the store, be bold and buy blue. Blueberries are a tasty addition to cereals, salads and smoothies.
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  • 100 Calorie Snacks

    Cherries: 1 Cup

    100% Fruit Juice: 6 oz

    Raw Vegetables: 3 cups of almost all types of vegetables

    Salad: 1 ¼ pound bag (pre-cut)

    Apple: 1 Medium Size 3 inches

    Strawberries: 2 Whole Cups Sliced up

    Orange: 1 Large

    Blueberries: 1 ¼ Cup

    Grapefruit: 2 Large Grapefruits Plain

    Watermelon: 1 ½ Wedges

    Low-fat Milk: 1 cup (8oz) low fat is 1%, ½ % and skim

    Banana: Medium Size

    Yogurt: 4 oz

    Reduced Fat Triscuits: 6

    Reduced Fat Wheat Thins: 13

    Graham Crackers: 2 Sheets

    Saltines: 6

    Air-popped Popcorn: 3 Cups

    Pretzels: 12 to 15 individual

    Cheerios/Kix/Rice Krispies/Special K: 1 Cup

    Raisin Bran/Shredded Wheat/Bran Flakes: ½ Cup

    Oatmeal (plain): ½ Cup or 1 Packet

    Peanuts Dry Roasted: 19 Individual nuts

    Trail Mix (nut/raisin/chocolate mix): 2 ½ tablespoons

    Hershey Kisses: 3 individual kisses

    Jell-O Fat Free Pudding Cups: 1 Cup

    Almonds: 10 individual almonds

    Jelly Beans Sugar Free: 45 individual pieces

    Gummy Bears: 12 individual pieces

    Chocolate Chip Cookies: 2 Medium Sized

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12 Item(s)