What’s New? Nut Butters, Nathan, and Compression!

So was asked recently what are some of your favorite must haves!!! Ha, the list is long and varied so thought what better place to start writing about them.

 

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Pocket Fuel 

Let’s start with nut butter!! Always a fan of peanut butter but in the past few years have tried to stay away from peanuts as much as possible. Research has shown that other nuts have increased benefit for your health and now we have so much more to choose from out there, so why stop at peanut butter. But, then I found a product called Pocket Fuel  , Pocket Fuel Naturals was founded in Oregon, by athletes for athletes. To fuel athletes with natural, many are vegan, gluten free, whole real food. There line of nut butters and now cold brew coffee energy shots are amazing. These products have saved me many times before, during, and after workouts. Even first thing in the morning perfect for a treat before a training session on a piece of toast or waffle with a shot of espresso or soy cappuccino.

 

 

IMG_7705Fusion Compression Sleeves

Many ask, do they really work? Won’t I just get hot wearing them. No and no? I am a firm believer in compression sleeves and socks for training and racing. Fusion PWR Tubes compression sleeves are the best on the market without doubt! There have been years of research done to prove the benefit of increased circulation and oxygen delivery to the muscles. Sure, you will always get someone who will find something contrary to wearing them, but I choose to wear them for both training and recovery. Usually not both on a given day. If I train in them I will not put them on immediately after for recovery. If I choose not to use them for training that day, I will use them for recovery following the workout. I will often sleep in the socks but never the sleeves as you can get pooling under the ankle of the sleeve band (better to use the socks to sleep in or for driving/flying). I feel Fusion has developed a top of the line compression sleeve, the fit is right on, staying in place and proving graduated compression. They are comfortable when on for extended periods of time and stay nice and cool when training in hot climates such as Arizona. I don’t go anywhere without a pair of compression sleeves or socks when training hard or racing. Thanks Fusion for providing athletes with the very best apparel on the market.

 

 

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Nathan Sports

What doesn’t this company provide us athletes with these days, thanks Nathan! But most importantly Nathan has provided me a way to hold water and hydration for more than a decade of my life. My absolute favorite would be my insulated QuickShot Plus. For me it is the perfect size for most of my runs, and I can often find a spot to refill it. It is insulated so my water stays cool in the Arizona heat. It hits perfectly in my hand and the pocket can easily hit some money, a key, and any other small necessity. I have many other Nathan products that are part of my must haves as well, which will be reviewed soon!!!! Thanks Nathan for providing athletes so many ways to stay hydrated, in addition to a huge assortment of other products to use out playing on the roads and trails.

 

 

 

Nutrition and Hydration Clinic

Here are some notes from the nutrition and hydration clinic I gave at Sole Sports. We elaborated on many of the topics but here is the outline. Enjoy!

Nutrition
Plate: divide in 4 equal sections
– ¼ lean protein
– ¼ whole grains
– ½ vegetables and fruits (primarily vegetables raw or lightly steamed/roasted)
So what are some great sources of lean protein?
• Skinless chicken breast
• Turkey
• Eggs (go with the omega 3 enriches)
• Bison (other known as buffalo)
• Salmon (go with wild caught)
• Tilapia (low in mercury)
• Lobster, Shrimp, Scallops, Crab
• Tuna … higher in mercury so go easy but a great source of protein. Stick with ahi / sushi grade
Vegetarian Sources:
• Bean burgers / vegetable soy burgers
• Beans (black, chickpea, kidney, soy, and white beans) … are also a carbohydrate
• Tofu and tempeh
Nuts and Seeds:
Almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, natural nut butters
Dairy:
Best sources – skim, 1% lowfat milk, 2% reduced fat milk, yogurt (watch sugar and keep under 10 grams per
serving) cheese (sharp cheddar, mozzarella, swiss, parmesan, goat, feta … approximately 1 oz.)
Whole Grains
Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel, the bran, and the endosperm
Refined grains have been milled, a process that removes the bran and germ. -> process of improving shelf life
and removes much of the dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins.
Look for the word WHOLE
Whole grains: Brown rice, oatmeal (rolled oats), popcorn, quinoa, whole rye, whole wheat, wild rice
Refined grains: Flour / corn tortillas, couscous, most crackers, pita, pretzels, white bread, white rice, corn flakes
Fruits (full of fiber, antioxidants, and nutrients)
Apples
Cherries
Citrus Fruits
Kiwi
Mango
Papaya
Pineapple
Berries
Melon
All fruit juice diluted with sparkling water to cut sugar
Vegetables
Dark Greens: bok choy, kale, broccoli, dark leafy greens, spinach, mustard greens
Reds and Oranges: squash, carrots, pumpkin, red peppers, sweet potatoes, tomatoes
Other veggies loaded with nutrients: asparagus, bean sprouts, beets, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower,
cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, green peppers, mushrooms, wax beans, zucchini
Limit some of the starchy vegetables unless specifically preparing for a longer run or as a re-loading after a
longer endurance effort. (corn, potatoes, etc)
 So what are some meal ideas?
Breakfast Ideas:
1. 2 eggs cooked in olive oil or coconut oil with sauteed kale/spinach and 1 piece of whole grain toast with 1 tbsp
natural almond butter
2. Smoothie: 1 cup milk of choice, banana, 1 c. frozen berries, large handful of raw greens (kale/spinach), tbsp
natural peanut butter, and 1 sc. protein (optional). Blend and enjoy!
3. ½ cup of rolled oats made with milk or water, 1 c. berries of choice, tbsp peanut/almond butter or handful
walnuts AND 1 hard boiled egg
4. Sweet potato baked with 2 tbsp Earth Balance (oil blend with no trans fats, lactose/gluten/casein free) and
cinnamon. Side of fresh fruit.
Lunch Ideas:
1. Sliced turkey with hummus and tomato on whole grain bread, piece of fruit, handful of almonds
2. Raw vegetables, ¼ c. hummus, 7-10 whole grain crackers, piece of fruit, and a low-fat string cheese
3. ¾ c. whole wheat pasta or ½ c. quinoa with 1.5 cups of raw vegetables, ¼ c. beans, dressed with balsamic
vinegar dressing and desired herbs, piece of fresh fruit
4. 2 tbsp natural peanut butter, 1 tbsp simply fruit spread on whole grain bread, raw veggies, and 6 oz. greek
yogurt
Dinner Ideas:
1. 4 oz. grilled salmon or other lean protein, small baked sweet potato or ½ c. cooked quinoa, 1 c. sauteed kale
or steamed broccoli
2. Big green salad with assorted vegetables, ½ avocado sliced, 4 oz. lean protein (chicken, shrimp, steak, ahi
tuna), handful pumpkin seeds, and olive oil based dressing
3. Whole wheat or brown rice pasta with chopped tomatoes, fresh garlic, shaved parmesan, fresh basil and
chicken or shrimp
4. Shrimp, scallop, and vegetable kabobs made on grill and served on mixed greens, ½ a sliced avocado on the side.
Snacks:
• Apple and 2 tbsp almond butter or peanut butter
• Low-fat string cheese and 14-16 almonds
• Raw vegetables and 2 tbsp hummus
• Skim latte and 1/4c. mixed nuts
• Plain greek yogurt with 1 c. berries
What to I eat before runs: (gotta experiment)…
Try to eat some easily digested carbs with a small amount of protein/fat to lower glycemic index.
What to eat after runs (within a 30 minute window): Shoot for 3-4 grams carbohydrates to 1 gram protein
• My favorite recovery drink is Ultragen http://www.firstendurance.com/nutrition/ultragen.html
Ultragen delivers 60g of glucose, because clinical studies show that high glycemic carbohydrates taken
after exercise create a catalyst, which increases the uptake of essential nutrients into exhausted muscle.
In addition, Ultragen offers a synergistic blend of vitamins, minerals, co-factors, glutamine and BCAA’s
specifically designed to modulate the damaging effects of cortisol brought on by intense endurance
training.
Hydration
Did you know that water makes up more than half of your body weight?
Dehydration causes your blood volumes to drop, which lowers your body’s ability to transfer heat and in turn
forces your heart to beat faster, making it difficult for your body to meet the aerobic demand.
Tips for staying hydrated
●Keep a bottle of water with you during the day. Consider carrying a reusable water bottle and filling it from
the tap rather than purchasing bottled water, which is expensive and creates plastic bottle waste.
●If plain water doesn’t interest you, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drink.
●If you’re going to be exercising, make sure you drink water before, during and after your workout.
●Start and end your day with a glass of water.
●When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. The sensation of thirst is often confused with hunger. True hunger
will not be satisfied by drinking water. Drinking water may also contribute to a healthy weight loss plan, as
some research suggests drinking water will help you feel full.
●Drink on a schedule if you have trouble remembering to drink water. For example, drink water when you
wake up; at breakfast, lunch and dinner; and when you go to bed. Or drink a small glass of water at the top
of each hour.
●Drink water when you go to a restaurant. Not only does it keep you hydrated, but it’s free!
When to drink?
Before Exercise
• Drink a min. of 12 oz. in the 60-90 minutes before exercising
• Didn’t plan ahead or wake up early enough??? Drink 8 oz. 20-30 minutes before exercise
Go COLD – drinking a colder beverage lowered body temperatures and perceived effort allowing those to go further.
During Exercise
Exercising less than 60 minutes – Shoot for 4-6 oz. every 20 minutes. Water is usually sufficient vs. an electrolyte
beverage
Exercising 1-4 hours – Shoot for 6 oz. every 20 minutes or 18-20 oz. / hour of a electrolyte enhanced beverage.
Ideally you want to be consuming approximately 300 calories per hour of exercise.
Recommended electrolyte beverages:
Nuun: Electrolyte beverage with ZERO sugars …
EFS: Highest electrolyte profile of any drink. 1160 mg electrolyte blend (calcium, magnesium, chloride, sodium, potassium, and malic acid. Also amino acid profile of 2000mg containing L-glutamine, Leucine, Iso-Leucine Valine
Cytomax: Electrolyte enhanced hydration product containing Vit. C, calcium, magnesium, chromium, sodium, and potassium. Sugars from maltodextrin, crystalline fructose, dextrose, alph-L-polylactate
Can I drink too much water? Yes, when fluid intake exceeds rate of fluid loss from sweating … Symptoms are
similar to dehydration; nausea, disorientation, muscle weakness, etc.
How to carry water: Handhelds, waist belts, backpack style.

What’s up Dr.?

Hi, I have recently been asked by many what supplements I take. Not too many I reply because I hate swallowing pills. As a kid I would cry when I had to swallow a big pill and so Mom would give me peanut butter M&M’s if I agreed to take the vitamins, etc.

Still today I despise having to take big pills and / or too many supplements. So what do I take and recommend.

AM:

I take my thyroid medication (due to hypothyroidism).. only take if diagnosed and ordered by a physician

In addition I take Vit.D (4000 IU) and a couple Adult Multi chewy vitamins (yes, kinda like the gummy bears, I’m a kid always at heart)

PM:

I take iron (due to anemia in past), Vit. C which helps iron be absorbed, and a probiotic to help in better absorption of nutrients.

In addition I take Ultragen after workouts and use EFS for hydration and electrolytes during workouts. I use Nuun during the day if I feel a bit dehydrated, otherwise just drink water.

 

How to Best Recover from Training

Depending on an individual’s physiology, mechanics, and background, he or she will be more vulnerable to adapting to training stimuli and preventing a possible injury. Most injuries occur because of the 3 T’s (to much, to soon, and to fast). Below are what I have found through the years as some of the best tools in recovering from demanding training weeks and hard workouts.

Compression:

At first I was not a believer. I simply could not justify $50 compression socks to run or recover in and thought they just looked funny. WOW, I was wrong. They work, legs feel better and recovery is quickened. Make sure to choose graduated gear (highest compression at ankle), avoid cheap nylon and elastane materials. Make sure to air dry and do not throw in the dryer and AVOID medical grade which may actually inhibit blood flow. Leave medical grade to the medical professionals. The best time to utilize compression gear is on long flights and car drives, during intense or long workouts, and when on feet for extended periods.

  Ice Baths:

Ice decreases inflammation and training increases inflammation. Inflammation is not all bad but if you get to much, you hit some big diminishing returns. So…. cold water immersion. All you really need is a tub, cold water, possibly a bag of ice OR a cold river/lake. After a hard or intense workout, submerge yourself waist down into a min. of 55 degree cold water and stay put for 10-12 minutes. I have been known first to grab a hot drink and at times have put on a hooded sweatshirt and ski hat. it’s your legs that need the chill.

Massage and Trigger Point Therapy:

ie.. foam rolling… a love and hate relationship. Knots and adhesion’s occur as a natural part of training. Massage, trigger point therapy, foam rolling are all ways to minimize and relax the trauma created by training. A happy muscle is not one with knots and trauma but one with fluidity. These techniques also increase circulation which promotes recovery within the system.

Hydration:

Dehydration leads to poor lubrication in the tissue and muscle fibers. It is imperative anyone training stays hydrated as hydration is an important part of homeostasis in the many systems of the human body, muscle function, organ functioning, etc. Also a simple drop off 2-4 % of bodyweight in dehydration can affect performance and lead to impaired recovery post training.

Rest:

There is just no substitute for a good recovery or rest day and decent sleep. We all have different thresholds of required sleep. Some can function and recover on as little as 5-6 hours/ night. I need at least 7-8 hours for adequate recovery. It is at rest that our bodies adapt and get stronger. Without rest, we might as well not even train.

Stretching:

It’s all about the timing. Dynamic stretching before training to increase circulation and improve range of motion. Some good exercises are walking lunges, skips, high knees, and lateral shuffle. After training, one can use static stretching to lengthen shortened muscle fibers that were shortened and broken down from the previous workout.

CORE:

A strong core (all muscles along the spine and involved in the pelvic girdle) is possibly the most effective weapon against overuse injuries which primarily occur in the small stabilizing muscles or tendons & ligaments that support and power the larger muscles during work.

While I could have easily written a long post on each one of these tools in recovery, I have found that it takes a combination of all of them to create a happy and successful athlete. Remember to listen to your body and that Mother Nature is undefeated. 

Happy Recovery! 🙂