Tag Archives: vitamins

How to Eat Clean

9 Dec

Balanced-Meal[1]Here’s a nice resource from nutritionist, Amanda Carlson-Phillips.  The article, titled, How to Eat Clean, clarifies what it means to “eat clean,” and emphasizes the importance of avoiding processed foods and choosing nutrient-dense foods that are low in fat, high in fiber, and loaded with essential vitamins and minerals.

Amanda also discusses the benefits of clean eating, and that moderation is the key — not necessarily an extreme, fanatical approach.  She provides some simple tips for clean eating, and examples of “clean foods” from different food groups.

Please also see related article: Eat Clean, Get Lean, Feel Great

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

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The Intelligent Athlete’s Guide to Fueling Performance

20 Nov

avarietyoffoods[1]Here’s a nice resource from Coach Mike Dewar that helps to simplify the best way to eat for performance.

Coach Dewar provides several tips for adjusting an athlete’s nutrition to meet the demands of intense training:

  • Keep it simple
  • Diversify (add variety to) your plate
  • Understand your caloric needs
  • Consume enough protein
  • Performance athletes need carbohydrates
  • Healthy fats fuel long-duration exercise
  • Use supplements wisely

Active individuals and athletes must exceed US RDA guidelines for macro- and micronutrients — which are based on the needs of sedentary individuals — relative to their own metabolic demands.

“Athletes have significantly different metabolic demands than non-athletes. As we develop better fitness, factors such as sleep, recovery, hydration, and nutrition play a determining role in our ability to withstand the increased physiological and psychological stressors of advanced training and life.”

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

How to Eat Clean

6 Sep

Balanced-Meal[1]Here’s a nice resource from nutritionist, Amanda Carlson-Phillips.  The article, titled, How to Eat Clean, clarifies what it means to “eat clean,” and emphasizes the importance of avoiding processed foods and choosing nutrient-dense foods that are low in fat, high in fiber, and loaded with essential vitamins and minerals.

Amanda also discusses the benefits of clean eating, and that moderation is the key — not necessarily an extreme, fanatical approach.  She provides some simple tips for clean eating, and examples of “clean foods” from different food groups.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Eat Healthy: Get More Color in Your Diet

9 Nov

“Eat a rainbow of colors often.  Every meal should include colorful fruits and vegetables because of their fiber and nutrient densities.” – Core Performance founder Mark Verstegen

If you’re like most Americans, your diet is deficient in (or, sadly, devoid of) fruits and vegetables.  But your body needs these colorful foods and the benefits they provide, including improved health and wellness; immune function; and physiologic function.  Fruits and vegetables provide nutrients – vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants – to nourish your body that can’t be replicated in a supplement.  Different colored foods play different roles in the body.  Aim for at least two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables over the course of the day.

The key is finding some fruits and vegetables you like, and incorporating them into your daily routine (think apples slices, baby carrots, etc.).  Try something new… raw, cooked, or added to other foods.  Dining out?  Hit the salad bar and create a “colorful” salad.  There are, literally, hundreds of choices… below are just a few:

RED Fruits and Vegetables

  • Health Benefits: Heart health and circulation; memory
  • Fruits: Cherries, cranberries, strawberries, apples
  • Vegetables: Tomatoes, red bell peppers, beets, radishes

ORANGE Fruits and Vegetables

  • Health Benefits: Loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C; skin and eye health; immune system
  • Fruits: Oranges, peaches, apricots, cantaloupe
  • Vegetables: Carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash

YELLOW Fruits and Vegetables

  • Health Benefits: Digestion, brain function
  • Fruits: Pineapple, grapefruit, pears
  • Vegetables: Yellow peppers, yellow winter squash

GREEN Fruits and Vegetables

  • Health Benefits: Muscles, bones, teeth
  • Fruits: Avocado, green apples, green grapes, kiwi
  • Vegetables: Broccoli, spinach, green beans, leafy greens

BLUE/PURPLE Fruits and Vegetables

  • Health Benefits: may have anti-aging properties and improve memory
  • Fruits: Blueberries, blackberries, plums, figs
  • Vegetables: Eggplant, purple cabbage

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

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Performance-Enhancing Substances

26 Sep

Performance-enhancing, or ergogenic, substances (PES) include a broad range of products – from anabolic steroids and growth hormone to caffeine and creatine.  The two main types of PES are hormones (and hormone mimetic drugs) and dietary supplements.  There are known and suspected risks of steroid use, and the benefits are not well-defined.  Reliance on ergogenic substances may distract athletes from appropriate training techniques and produce side effects that impede athletic performance.  Anabolic steroids are prohibited by most athletic organizations, with the risk of sanctions against the athlete and possibly against the athlete’s team or school.  It is illegal to possess steroids for uses other than medicinal.

Anabolic steroids increase lean body mass and weight.  They can be administered orally or by injection, depending on the preparation.  There are many different anabolic steroids used by athletes, and primary among them is testosteroneDespite the benefit of increased lean muscle mass, there is no definitive evidence that anabolic steroids enhance athletic performance.  Health and performance risks have been associated with anabolic steroids, including increased aggressiveness (which can emerge as recklessness and loss of judgment), adverse effects on lipid levels, liver tumors, and temporary infertility.

Growth hormone is secreted from the pituitary gland, and stimulates physical growth of the body.  Although growth hormone is effectively used as replacement therapy for individuals with growth hormone deficiency, there is no evidence that supplemental growth hormone enhances athletic performance in normal men and women.

There is a long history of clinical use of hormones for treatment of medical conditions, providing substantial data on effects and health risks.  The data on benefits to athletic performance are fewer and inconclusive.  There is virtually no information regarding the safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements such as “steroid replacers” and “growth hormone replacers.”

Dietary supplements may be useful to athletes who have specific nutritional deficiencies or nutritional “gaps” in their normal diets.  Unfortunately, dietary supplements (and their claims) are poorly legislated, and there are few safeguards to ensure that these products are safe and effective.

Data suggest that vitamins are important in disease prevention, especially at higher-than-normal levels of intake.  There is no basis for the use of vitamins as performance enhancers in athletes who are not vitamin deficient.  Excess vitamin use can even cause health problems, especially overuse of vitamins B6, A, and D (although dosage levels would have to exceed 10 times the RDA).  Vitamins C and E are antioxidants, which reduce tissue damage caused by oxidative stress.

Caffeine and creatine are two of the few dietary supplements that are known to be effective in enhancing specific types of athletic performance for some individuals.  The ergogenic potential of caffeine has been demonstrated in several studies, benefitting strength, power, and endurance athletes.

Accurate information from Strength and Conditioning professionals and coaches can have a significant impact on athletes’ perception of performing-enhancing substances.  This information should include the risks and benefits of these products, and ethical issues regarding their use.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER (and do it naturally, safely, and ethically!)

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