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Active Expert: Nancy Clark RD CSSD

2 Posts tagged with the performance tag

Sleep is a biological necessity. Don't skimp!


Sleeps is restorative and is needed to align circadian rhythms. Sleep deprivation erodes well being. Speaking at the SCAN Sports Nutrition Conference (Baltimore, April ,2012), Allison Weiss BS reported that Americans are sleeping less than they used to sleep:

--Nearly 30% of adults report sleeping less than 6 hours per day.

--80% of teens report getting less than the recommended nine hours of sleep.

This lack of sleep is having detrimental effects on our health.


Obesity and sleep deprivation are concurrent issues; sleep seems to be a risk factor for obesity. One in four post-menopausal women has problems sleeping; is this linked to mid-life weight gain? When people are tired, grehlin—the hormone that makes us feel hungry—becomes active and we become hungrier and can easily overeat.


Sleep deprivation is also associated with development of Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease. People younger than 60 years who sleep less than five hours a night have a higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease.


Athletes who travel through time zones are at high risk for sleep deprivation. This can impact performance by disrupting the circadian rhythms and causing undue fatigue and reduced motivation. Because mental alertness enhances athletic performance, low motivation can be detrimental to performance. On the other hand, extending sleep can enhance performance. A study with basketball players indicates they shot more baskets and completed more free throws when they were well rested (as opposed to sleep deprived).


Make sleep a priority!

5,269 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: weight, performance, obesity, sleep

I recently received an email asking:

What happens to vitamins? Do we need to replenish them every day because they get flushed out of our bodies and down the toilet?

And in the course of a bout of exercise, which of them can contribute to a decline in performance? That is, are they removed from the point of use?


Here’s what this athlete needs to know about vitamins.

• First off, vitamins are like spark plugs in a car. They get recycled and re-used.

• As humans, we can store vitamins in our body--in the liver. (That’s why liver is so nutritious, for people who enjoy eating chicken livers or beef liver). A healthy person has about a six-week supply of Vitamin C, and a several months supply of vitamin A.

• If you fail to eat the RDA for a certain vitamin on one day, you will not become deficient overnight.

• The goal is to eat well over the course of the week, month, and year, so you can consume the vitamins you need from food. One day of poor eating will not hurt your performance.

• A decline in performance is more likely due to lack of fuel (from carbohydrates) or lack of water--but not lack of vitamins in an athlete who eats adequately (as opposed to restricts food intake). The exception is the common deficiency of iron, which can lead to iron deficiency anemia.

• By eating colorful vegetables, a variety of fruits, whole grains, lean meats and low fat dairy, you can consume both the vitamins you need for spark lugs and the carbs you need for fuel to excel.

Eat wisely and well!


Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD

1,647 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: performance, vitamins, supplements, iron

Nancy Clark RD CSSD

Nancy Clark RD CSSD

Member since: Jul 8, 2007

Hi! I specialize in nutrition for exercise, and help active people figure out how to manage food, weight, exercise, energy and enjoyment of eating. Let me know if you have any questions!

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