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Q. I’m the coach of both a youth football team and a youth baseball  team. in the summer, I’ve have noticed that the kids ask for water breaks during baseball more often than in the fall. Since the weather is typically cooler in the fall, should I schedule fewer water breaks or should I give the football players the same drinking opportunities as the kids in the summer?

 

ANSWER:
Yes, you should indeed schedule as many water breaks! For youth football players, the weather can become tropical inside their uniforms. They can sweat a lot, even if the weather feels cool for the coaches and parents. Yet, because the weather is cool, the kids may not think to drink as often.

 

If the kids become dehydrated, they will be cranky, tired, and have less fun. One goal of youth sports is to have FUN! So please do offer your team frequent drinking opportunities. You can use the breaks as a time to educate the kids about the importance of staying well hydrated so they feel better and prevent needless fatigue.

 

As for what to drink, water is generally fine for youth sports. As long as they have had a pre-practice snack, they will have the energy they need to perform well and will not need sugar-based sports drinks.They will not be sweating enough to require the little bit of sodium (electrolyte) that is in a sports drink. Sports drinks are designed to be takenduring endurance exercise that lasts for more than 1.5 hours, such as marathons; sports drinks generally are not essential for youth sports.

 

While many kids enjoy sports drinks before, during and after practices and games, I’d encourage wholesome foods before exercise (banana,bagel, orange, graham crackers), water during (or water fruit such as watermelon chunks or orange slices if they seem low on energy), and chocolate milk afterwards (if the kids will not be eating a meal soon thereafter). Chocolate milk for recovery contains both carbs to refuel the muscles, as well as protein to build and repair muscles – as well as calcium for growing bones. While the kids should not be training to the point of becoming depleted at which point they would really need a recovery drink, teaching them about optimal sports nutrition practices will invest in their future athletic career when sports becomes more intense.

 

With best wishes for a rewarding season,

 

Nancy Clark MS RD

Boston-area Sports Nutritionist

Author, Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook

www.nancyclarkrd.com

836 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: dehydration, nancy_clark, youth_sports, chocolate_milk, sports_drinks, youth_football

Pro-what?? Probiotics!

Probiotics are foods that nourish the harmless bacteria that live in your gut. 

Just as antibiotics kill bacteria, probiotics enhance their growth.

 

Bacteria and other microbes might be very influential regarding good health.

The human body contains 10 times more microbial cells than human cells.

About 2 to 6 pounds of these microbes live in the intestines, where they help

digest food, synthesize vitamins, and enhance the immune system. This gut

ecosystem changes according to diet, use of antibiotics, heatstroke, and other

factors (some known, some unknown). For example, the gut bacteria of obese

children can differ from that of lean kids, just as the gut bacteria of gastric

bypass clients can change after surgery. (Maybe this is one reason why bypass

patients lose weight faster than predicted?)

 

Microbes might play also play a role in Alzheimer's disease, hyperactivity in

kids, and heart disease, so take good care of your gut! This means enjoying

fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (microbes like to eat fiber) as

well as cultured foods (yogurt, kefir) and fermented foods (miso, Kimchi, tempeh,

blue cheese). Probiotic supplements might also be helpful.

 

For female athletes with PMS, taking probiotics for the seven days before the

start of the menstrual period might reduce PMS symptoms, as well as the risk

of diarrhea (a common problem at the time of the menstrual period). Give it a try?

 

 

For more information on how to eat well to stay healthy:

Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook

838 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: gut, probiotics, antibiotics, pms, yogurt, immune_system

As a coach, would like to give a sports nutrition book to each athlete on your team?

As a group exercise leader, would you like to raffle a doorprize to the folks who show up for class?

As a health teacher, would you like to provide a practical nutrition text at a minimal cost?

 

Well guess what: the fourth edition of my Sports Nutrition Guidebook is on sale!

 

Special Sale: 24 Sports Nutrition Guidebooks for only $240.

         That's one case of books at half price! I can even autograph them, upon request.

 

Please pass along this info to people who might be interested in this special offer--
--collegiate athletes -- a book for everyone on the team
--coaches and parents of youth sports organizations (soccer, football, gymnastics)
--health teachers who want an inexpensive text book (or supplemental text)
--corporate wellness programs as a give-away upon enrollment

 

Disclosure: A new 5th edition of my Sports Nutrition Guidebook is hot off the press. Hence, I'd like to sell the copies of the 4th edition that remain in my garage. The nutrition information in the 4th edition is accurate, so this is still a good book.

 

For more information, email nclarkrd@rcn.com

 

Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone could win with good nutrition?

 

Nancy

 

For a single copy of book: www.nancyclarkrd.com/books

1,081 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: nancy_clark, sports_nutrition_guidebook, book_sale, raffle_prize

Are you an active woman who has stopped having regular menstrual periods?

Do you want to participate in a research study?

If so, please keep reading!

 

The Female Athlete Program at Boston’s Children's Hospital and Dr. Madhu Misra,

head of the Sports Endocrine Research Lab of the Neuroendocrine Unit at Massachusetts

General Hospital are specifically recruiting female athletes aged 14-25 who do not menstruate

regularly.  The study focuses on bone density. Estrogen (needed for women to have regular

menstrual periods) plays a key role in maintaining and building strong bones through adolescence. 

Female athletes who have stopped menstruating often lose bone density and suffer stress fractures.

 

Participants will receive free bone density testing, hormonal and nutritional evaluation, metabolic rate

tests, and VO2 max testing.  They will also receive a stipend of up to $625.

 

This is a great opportunity to learn more about your body AND contribute towards the health of other

female athletes. Contact Kate to see if you are eligible to participate: KWARGO@PARTNERS.ORG

 

Best,

Nancy

 

For more information about the Female Athlete Triad and the links between exercise, stress fractures,

nutrition and amenorrhea, read the chapter on Dieting Gone Awry in Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook.

942 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: triad, amenorrhea, female_athlete, bone_density, research_study

Swish and spit?

Posted by Nancy Clark RD CSSD Jul 24, 2013

If you will be exercising for more than one to two hours, you will have better energy

if you fuel during the exercise session.The recommended intake is:

-- 30 grams (120 calories) of carbohydrate per hour during 1 to 2 hours of exercise

-- 60-90 gram (240-360 calories) of carbohydrate per hour for exercise lasting more than 2.5 hours.

What you eat within the hour pre-exercise gets counted into the first hour.

 

Some popular choices include sports drink, banana, gummy candy, gels,

maple syrup, tea with honey, raisins, dates, dried pineapple, and marshmallows.

Clearly, some choices offer more vitamins and minerals than others,

but all will do the job of providing energy.

 

Some athletes have intestinal issues and prefer to abstain

from food and fluids before and during exercise. If that’s why

you choose to train on “empty,” you should know that just

rinsing your mouth with a sports drink can reduce the perception

of fatigue and improve performance by 3%.

 

The next time your stomach can’t handle anything and you are about to hit the wall,

try swishing and spitting?

 

Fuel well and have fun,

Nancy

 

For more information on fueling before, during and afterexercise, refer to:

Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook

Food Guide for Marathoners

Cyclist’s Food Guide.

1,348 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: nancy_clark, sports_nutrition_guidebook, fueling_duriing_exercise, eating_for_endurance, swish_sports_drink, swish_and_spit
Q. How important are carbohydrates vs. proteins for runners?
Today's literature seems to say all sorts of things?
 
A. Runners (and all athletes) need carbs to fuel the muscles (and the brain) 
and protein to build and repair muscles. Carbs and protein do different jobs 
in the body so we need to consume both. 

All carbs (fruits, veggies, grains and sugars) digest into glucose, the fuel 
preferred by the brain. If you have low blood glucose, you’ll feel lightheaded 
and dizzy. No need to get to that point with proper fueling 
(plus being light-headedis no fun)!
 
 
Your body needs more calories from carbs than protein: 
--about 2 to 5 grams carb per pound of body weight 
  (depending on how active you are) 
--about 0.5 to 0.9 grams protein per pound 
  (depending if you are a fully-muscled adult or a growing teenager).
 
Rather than get caught up in numbers, just be sure to have wholesome grains, 
fruits and veggies as the foundation of each meal (two-thirds of the plate), 
with some protein as the accompaniment. You’ll end up with the right balance. 

But if you have just a protein shake, let’s say for a recovery food, 
you will lack the carbs needed to refuel the muscles. Make that protein 
shake into a carb-protein fruit smoothie! 
Or if you have a chicken Caesar salad (protein and fat), be sure to have a 
whole grain bagel with it, or crackers, or add some rice to the salad. 
 
If you want more help with how to balance carbs, protein, and fat, please 
refer to my Sports Nutrition Guidebook.

 

Eat wisely, fuel well, and feel great!

 

Nancy

802 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: protein, nancy_clark, carb, sports_nutrition_guidebook, right-balance-protein-carbs, sports-diet

Looking for 10 hours of continuing education credits? Keep reading!

Here’s your chance to update your sports nutrition knowledge while enjoying an information-packed workshop with two internationally known professionals:

Sports nutritionist Nancy Clark MS, RD, CSSD is respected for her skills with helping athletes and exercisers enhance their performance and achieve their desired physiques.

• Exercise physiologist WilliamEvans PhD is renown for his research on protein, exercise, and aging—plus his ability to translate that information into “how to” tips.


This 1.5-day program is designed to help both health professionals as well as serious athletes. You’ll find answers to your questions about how to--

--improve athletic performance with a winning sports diet.

--manage weight issues and resolve disordered eating practices.

—invest in lifelong health for longevity

--further your athletic and/or professional career.

Ten hours of education for ACE, AND, ACSM, CHES, NATA, NSCA.

“I was surprised to learn new information on a topic I thought I knew so well.”

            --Registered dietitian/personal trainer, Seattle

 

 

Jan. 24-25, 2014   PHILADELPHIA at LaSalle University

 

Feb. 7-8    PITTSBURGH at Allegheny General Hospital Conference Center

 

ONLINE:  Every day!

You’ll listen to the speakers’ voices and see their PowerPoint presentations. Almost as good as being there in person!

 

Please visit http://www.sportsnutritionworkshop.com for more details.

 

 

NOTE: If you live near any of the workshop locations, please share this announcement with coaches, athletic trainers, personal trainers,dietitians, nutrition educators, and yes, serious athletes themselves.

3,441 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: and, philadelphia, pittsburgh, ace, acsm, sports_nutrition_workshop, ceus, ches, online_sports_nutrition

“Training low” (with low carbohydrate stores) and "competing high" (with muscles fully loaded with glycogen) as a means to enhance competitive performance is receiving attention from coaches, elite athletes, and researchers alike. A 2005 study (1) with untrained subjects suggests that training with deplete glycogen stores can enhance adaptive muscle responses to conditions that might occur at the end of a competitive event. Training low might also reduce reliance on limited glycogen stores. When Hansen’s subjects“competed” with loaded glycogen stores, they performed better.

 

These results have raised questions and controversy. If you restrict your carbohydrate intake during training, you will become unable to train hard, and that can hurt your athletic ability. Sports dietitian Louise Burke PhD of the Australian Institute of Sports suggests inserting a few “training low” sessions into the training program where the focus is on making “aerobic” gains. You would want to target the sessions in the week where quality, intensity, or techniques are not as important.

 

You can train low by having either low blood glucose or low muscle glycogen; both scenarios can happen during a second training session in a day. Note: Adding caffeine to a “low” training session can enhance power by about 9%, but this still does not match the power generated by fully glycogen-loaded muscles plus caffeine.

 

Training low is not much fun. For most ordinary mortals, staying well fueled on a daily basis is a smart investment. I suggest you fuel your muscles on a daily basis with quality grains, fruits and vegetables. By being well fueled, you'll be able to work hard and enjoy improving your performance.

 

Best wishes,

Nancy

 

 

(1) Hansen A, C Fischer, P Plomgaard, J Andersen, B Saltin, B Pedersen 2005.Skeletal muscle adaptation: training twice every second day vs.training once daily. J Appl Physiol88(1):93-9

 

For more information on how to win with good nutrition: Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook

853 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: nancy_clark, carbohydrate_loading, train_low, compete_high, enhance_performance

Nancy—

I’m training for amarathon and get annoyed by having to stop to urinate during my training runs. I drink a lot the day before, and I drink about 8 ounces 45 minutes before I start. I then have to pee at mile 2, then mile 5. The urine is a light color.  I’m tempted to not drink anything…


My answer—

The kidneys need about 45 to 90 minutes to process liquid; nerves might hasten the process! Try drinking earlier, void the excess, and then tank up again. For example, if have a long run on Sunday at 8:00 am. Drink well the day before (stopping by 7:00 p.m, so you don't wake up 5 times during the night to go to the bathroom), then in the morning, have a good drink by 6:00-6:30. That should give you time to get rid of the excess water.

 

Alternatively, if drink well the day before and are well hydrated, you could drink 8 to 12 ounces right before you start the run, so the water will be in your system and not in your kidneys.

 

Experiment and learn what works best for your body!

Best wishes,

Nancy

 


For more information on fluids and hydration:

Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook

Food Guide for Marathoners: Tips for Everyday Champions

1,675 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: hydration, fluids, nancy_clark, urinate_during_exercise

Could eating beets or beet juice before daily training help athlete strain harder and thereby enjoy better competitive outcomes?

 

Speaking at a international sports nutrition conference organized by PINES (Professionals in Nutrition for Exercise and Sport), AndyJones PhD of  Exeter University in the UK reported that consuming nitrate-rich beetroot juice boosts blood levels of the nitric oxide precursor, nitrite, and this helps reduce the amount of oxygen needed during constant-work-rate exercise.

 

Hence, for the same oxygen uptake, athletes who consume beetroot “shots” (concentrated beetroot juice) might be able to exercise at a higher intensity; for example, a runner might improve by 5 seconds per mile.  In general,athletes see about a 1.5% improvement in performance.


However, some athletes respond better to beetroot juice (and other nitrate-rich foods) than do others. Perhaps the initially “strong responders” tend to have a low intake of all nitrate-rich fruits and vegetables and as a result have a lower nitrite baseline?

 

To boost your nitrate intake, consume not only beets, but also strawberries, rhubarb, arugula, and spinach.


Note: Athletes who take beetroot juice should avoid using mouthwash. Mouthwash kills the bacteria in the mouth initiate the converion of nitrate into nitrite and then nitric oxide.

1,181 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: juice, nancy_clark, beets, beetroot, beet, improve_performance

Most dieters want to lose weight quickly. The problem is that plan tends to backfire. You can lose weight fast or lose weight forever—but not lose weight fast and forever. Most dieters regain about two-thirds of their weight loss within a year and all of it within 3 to 5years.

 

If you have lost weight quickly, your body will fight for food as a response to having been starved. You’ll have to white-knuckle the situation for as long as you can (but you’ll unlikely win the war against extreme hunger).

 

If you have lost weight slowly, here are some tips to help you maintain that loss of undesired body fat:

--exercise regularly

--eat fewer fatty foods

--watch less TV

--have strong social support

--sleep more than 5 hours a day.

 

Chewing gum can help lean people consume fewer calories, but that is not the case for obese gum-chewers. (Perhaps the act of chewing increases their desire to eat?)

 

To stay on track, successful dieters should plan ahead by predicting everything that could possibly go wrong with their eating plan and develop strategies to deal with the unexpected. For example, if the waiter serves the salad soaked with dressing (the dressing is not served on the side, as requested), the dieter knows he or she can

1) send it back,

2) not eat it, or

3) eat less of it.

 

Eat wisely ad be well,

Nancy

 

For more information on weight management:

My Sports Nutrition Guidebook has a strong section on how to lose weight, maintain energy for exercise, and keep the weight off.

1,780 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: diet, weight_loss, nancy_clark, sports_nutrition_guidebook, maintain_lost_weight

Even if you can not (or choose not to) eat wheat, you can still carbo-load!

The following 3,200 calorie high-carbohydrate diet provides about:

--3.5 grams carb per pound for a 150-lb endurance athlete (8 g/kg) .

 

The menu includes adequate protein (1 gram/lb or 1.8 g/kg) to maintain muscles.

 

The only “special” gluten-free food would be gluten-free oatmeal.

(Standard oatmeal can be contaminated with gluten if processed in a factory that processes wheat.)

 

For help creating your own carbo-loading menu using your favorite foods,

go to https://www.supertracker.usda.gov

 

FOOD

 

CALORIES

 

Breakfast

 

 

 

Oatmeal, Gluten-free, 1 cup dry, cooked in

 

300

 

Milk, 1%, 160z (480 ml)

 

200

 

Raisins, 1.5 oz (small box)

 

130

 

Brown sugar, 1 tablespoon

 

55

 

Apple cider, 12 oz (360 ml)

 

170

 

 

 

 

 

Lunch

 

 

 

Potato, large baked, topped with

 

275

 

Cottage cheese, 1%-fat, 1 cup

 

160

 

Baby carrots, 8 dipped in

 

40

 

Hummus, ½ cup

 

200

 

Grape juice, 12-oz (360 ml)

 

220

 

 

 

 

 

Snack

 

 

 

Banana, extra large

 

150

 

Peanut butter, 3 Tablespoons

 

270

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner

 

 

 

Rice, brown, 2 cups cooked

 

430

 

Chicken, 5 oz, sauteed in

 

250

 

Olive oil, 2 tsp

 

80

 

Green beans, 1 cup

 

50

 

 

 

 

 

Dessert

 

 

 

Dried pineapple, ½ cup (2.5 oz.)

 

220

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

3,200

 

 

For more information on carbo-loading:

Food Guide for Marathoners: Tips for Everyday Champions

Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook

 

Eat well, run well, and have fun!

 

Best,

Nancy                                                                                                                                                                       

1,877 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: marathon, boston_marathon, nancy_clark, food_guide_for_marathoners, carb-load, carbohydrate-load

If you are experiencing amenorrhea and are no longer getting regular menstrual periods, take note. This is abnormal and unhealthy!

 

Amenorrhea commonly happens in women who struggle to balance food and exercise. You are likely eating too few calories, as noted by feeling hungry all the time and thinking about food too much. You can achieve energy balance by exercising a little less (add a rest day) and by eating a little more (add a healthy snack or two).

 

Your goal is to consume about 15 calories per pound of body weight that you do not burn off with exercise. That means, if you weigh 100 pounds, you my need to eat ~1,500 calories to maintain your weight PLUS another 500 to 800 calories to replace the fuel you burned while training. That totals 2,000-2,300 calories for the entire day, a scary amount of food for some women.

 

The most important change required to resume menses includes matching your energy intake with your energy output, so you eat enough to support both exercise and normal body functions. Historically, doctors gave the birth control pill to women with amenorrhea; this forced menstrual bleeding. But taking the birth control pill is a “Band-Aid approach” and does not resolve the underlying problem. 

 

I highly recommend you get a nutrition check-up with a sports dietitian as well as a medical check-up with your doctor or gynecologist. To find a sports dietitian in your area, use the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics referral networks at www.SCANdpg.org or www.eatright.org.

 

For more information: www.FemaleAthleteTriad.org

                               Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook

2,057 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: nancy_clark, amenorrhea, female_athlete_triad, women_runners, no_monthly_period

With the Boston Marathon right around the corner, thousands of runners are doing their last long training runs. This is the time to practice your fueling so you know what to eat during the marathon. Here are some tips from guest blogger Sarah Gold.

 

When exercising for more than 60-90 minutes,you want to consume easily digested carbohydrates to keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable throughout your run. The following recommendations on what and when to eat during long runs and race day can keep you from hitting the wall.

 

How much to consume?

The amount of carbohydrates needed will vary from person to person (body size, speed, intensity, and training will all effect this), but aim for between 200 to 300 calories of carbohydrates per hour. This can be from a mix of sports drinks like Gatorade and food like Gu, candy, or dried fruit. Worry not about eating sugary candy. We're talking survival, not nutrition! You'll have plenty of time to consume quality calories after the run.

 

What to consume?

The goal is to consume food that is primarily made up of carbohydrates. When running for many hours, such as during the marathon, you will want to vary your food choices to keep you from getting tired of eating the same thing for 4+ hours. It’s easy to get through a half marathon relying only on Gu, candy, or dried fruit, but it’s difficult to keep that up for twice the time. You’re likely to get “sugared out,” meaning your taste buds or stomach may not tolerate the same food for that many hours. Varying both flavor and texture can help you get through the race without feeling like you can’t eat as much as your body needs. So, try out a few different options during your longer training runs to see what your stomach and GI tract tolerate and what gives your body the most energy.

 

Engineered vs. Real Food

The big advantage to engineered food such as Gu, Chomps, Sport Beans, and the like, is convenience. Most come in pre-packaged 100-calorie servings, and they are easy to carry with you. However, real food can work just as well, particularly for slower marathoners who will be pounding the pavement for more than four hours. Here are some common choices among runners:

 

-       Raisins,dates, dried cranberries—or any dried fruit

-       Swedish fish, jelly beans, gummy bears, or other chewy candy

        M&Ms, mini candy bars, Whoppers

-       Pretzels

-       Sugar cookies, energy bars, granola bars

-       Peanut butter and jelly (or honey) wrap*

* If you choose foods that aren’t convenient to carry in your pocket, ask friends or family to stand along your race-day route at points when you know you will need fuel.

 

If you drink Gatorade or other sports drinks, remember that this contributes to your carbohydrate intake. Just pay attention to how much you are consuming so you can adjust your food intake. Diluted fruit juice can work well for some too.

 

When to consume?

Your breakfast will likely get you through the first hour to hour and a half of the race. So, most runners like to start consuming carbohydrates whether it’s from a sports drink or food beginning at 45 minutes to an hour into the race. But, pay attention to how you feel during your long training runs to figure out when is a good time for you to start fueling. Some runners choose to start slightly earlier or later. Earlier signs of hunger (or fuel needs) include thinking about food, reduced energy, mood change, or tired legs.

 

As noted above, plan to consumer 200 to 300 calories per hour.You can spread this out over 15-30 minute intervals, and mix it up between drinks and food.

 

Remember that it’s important to test this out during your long training runs to avoid any race-day surprises!

 

What’s your favorite fuel during your long runs?

 

For more information:

Food Guide for Marathoners: Tips for Everyday Champions

1,656 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: boston_marathon, nancy_clark, eating_during_exercise, food_for_a_long_run

Each year, I present a workshop series on "Nutrition and Exercise: From Science to Practice” along with exercise physiologist William Evans. We invited members of AND, ACSM, NATA, NSCA, ACE, and NCHEC and offer 10 hours of CEUs. Athletes and fitness exercisers are also welcome to attend!

 

 

The dates and cities for our upcoming Friday-Saturday workshops are:

 

Sept 20-21, 2013 - New York City - Columbia Teacher's College
October 4-5, 2013 - Boston -- Yawkey Specail Olympics Training Center in Marlborough
October 11 (one day only) - Providence -- URI Downtown Campus

 

January 24-25, 2014 - Philadelphia -- LaSalle University
February 7-8, 2014 - Pittsburgh -- Allegheny General Hospital

 

Hope you can come! A good time is had by all.

 

Best,

 

Nancy

www.sportsnutritionworkshop.com

1,066 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: nancy_clark, sports_nutrition_workshop, workshop, continuing_education, ceus
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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!

View Nancy Clark RD CSSD's profile