Beta-Alanine: A Dietitian’s Guide

Beta-Alanine: A Dietitian’s Guide

Sports
Beta-Alanine has slowly become one of the few supplements that have developed a good reputation for consistently producing positive outcomes for performance, up there with the likes of creatine and caffeine. It is used as a performance aid mostly because of its ability to improve muscular endurance. What is Beta-Alanine? Beta-alanine is an amino acid that is not used in the production of protein. It is naturally produced by the liver. The benefits from beta-alanine supplementation mostly don’t come from the Beta-Alanine directly; they come from the increase in muscle carnosine that occurs. When beta-alanine is consumed it is converted into carnosine by joining histidine. How Does Carnosine Work? The main function of interest for carnosine is that it helps to maintain the acid base equilibrium. It helps prevent pH…
Read More
Weight Cuts for Powerlifting – A Dietitians Guide

Weight Cuts for Powerlifting – A Dietitians Guide

Sports
Weight cutting is an area of powerlifting that I see not being done well on a frequent basis. Honestly, I see it as a bit of a gap in the sport where people are missing out on a massive potential advantage. In a lot of combat sports where making weight is a requirement as well, it is at the point where almost everybody undertakes a significant weight cut. If an athlete chooses not to do one, it puts them at a noticeable disadvantage due to the difference in size and muscle mass. Interestingly enough, even though weight cuts can provide an advantage, they haven’t become a part of the culture of powerlifting, which is why I see it as a bit of a gap.   At one end of the…
Read More
The Vertical Diet: A Dietitians Review

The Vertical Diet: A Dietitians Review

Body Composition, Sports
Outside of the niche community of serious strength athletes, The Vertical Diet is pretty unknown. But due to there being quite a few elite level athletes who follow the diet (including Hafthor "The Mountain" Bjornsson) who follow it, there is a large reputation behind it. Another massive influence on this is that the founder Stan Efferding is very charismatic (and jacked) and creates compelling arguments as to why a lot of the aspects of this diet are beneficial for health and performance. As a dietitian who specialises in working with strength athletes (with a focus on powerlifting specifically), I get quite a few questions about The Vertical Diet, so I thought I would go through some of the pros and cons. What is The Vertical Diet? The Vertical Diet is…
Read More
Weight-Cuts for Powerlifting

Weight-Cuts for Powerlifting

Sports
Anything that involves lifting weights and broscience are a match made in heaven. Unfortunately for powerlifters, following potential negative practices during a weight-cut can be the difference between hitting a PR and disappointment. The weight-cut refers to the short-term loss of weight before competition, usually within 7 days. This blog contains a guide on how to safely approach a weight-cut while decreasing the negative impacts on performance. Why a Weight Cut? In theory, the idea of a weight-cut is to temporarily reduce body mass to achieve a certain weight-class. This can therefore replace losing potentially important muscle and fat mass that come with chronic dieting, and help an individual make a certain lift. Short-term weight-cut practices can be very detrimental to performance if done incorrectly. Therefore, it makes sense to…
Read More
Lyle McDonald Q&A on Nutrition and Training for Female Athletes

Lyle McDonald Q&A on Nutrition and Training for Female Athletes

Other, Sports
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I got interested in this field and industry back in high school in the 80's. I had grown up a relatively inactive video gaming kind of kid but started cycling, swimming and doing martial arts and it sort of just grabbed me. That led me to UCLA to get a degree in physiology/kinesiology and it was there I became most interested in the science of training, diet, supplementation, etc. Essentially I was trying to get make myself a better athlete and was lucky to turn it into a career. I got on the Internet when it was basically starting in 1993 and have been around ever since. I've published 13 or 14 books on varying topics in that time. What are…
Read More
Performance Enhancement in Team Sports, Without Extra Training

Performance Enhancement in Team Sports, Without Extra Training

Sports
For some, team sports were left behind before high school. For others, team sport is carried through to adulthood, serving as a platform for socialisation and fitness. For few, team sport is a career. Whether you’re a professional athlete, or wanting to be, it’s good to understand the effect performance enhancing (ergogenic) aids can have on your performance. Before getting too deep, it is important to define what sort of exercise constitutes team sport. For example, the physiological demands on a soccer player are different to those on a volleyball player. Not only do we see marked differences between sports, but also within sports. For example, a rugby forward and back needing different skills sets and types of fitness. The extremely diverse nature of team sport is what makes it…
Read More
Carbohydrate Loading

Carbohydrate Loading

Sports
What is Carbohydrate Loading? Carbohydrate loading or carbo-loading, is a term used to describe a nutrition technique used by endurance athletes in an attempt to prolong optimal athletic performance and delay the onset of fatigue, or, ‘hitting a wall’. The Transformation of Food into Energy When we eat carbohydrate containing foods, they arrive at our stomach and begin to break down. From the stomach, the partially broken down food travels to the small intestine where it completely breaks down into many compounds, one being glucose. From the small intestine the glucose is absorbed into the blood stream. A hormone called insulin which is secreted by our pancreas, accompanies the glucose from the blood to our liver and muscle cells, where it is stored in the form of glycogen. From this…
Read More
How to Fuel and Athlete

How to Fuel and Athlete

Sports
When working with elite athletes, it is not only about eating a healthy balanced diet. Don’t get me wrong of course that is important, but it is equally if not more important the advice you provide considers one main thing – performance! What does that mean? It means optimising intake to ensure your athlete has fuelled and recovered appropriately for their training requirements. An athlete’s requirements could be considered abnormal when you compare them to the general population. After all, an athlete can train for 4 to 8 hours per day, compared to the average person who may struggle to exercise that much in a week! For this reason, it is important recommendations are being made which consider the individual athlete and what their training and performance requirements are. Having…
Read More
Lisa Middleton Q & A

Lisa Middleton Q & A

Other, Sports
Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your career? I work predominantly in sports nutrition and I basically became interested in it just from my own personal interest in sport. I did a lot of sport when I was younger and was just interested in the link between what you ate and how that affected performance. I used to experiment with my own diet and was enthusiastic about learning more. When I was in early high school, probably Year 8 or Year 9, I decided I wanted to work as a sports dietitian. I headed down that path, did a human movement degree at Deakin, and then did dietetics after that and got into nutrition from there. I was unemployed for a little while after I…
Read More
Jessica Spendlove Q & A

Jessica Spendlove Q & A

Other, Sports
Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your career? I grew up in Sydney and did a lot of sport when I was younger, particularly swimming, that was my sport of choice. There were many hours in the pool and lots of training before and after school. While I was Swimming, I actually saw a sports dietitian (Helen O’Connor), and it was at that point I thought, “This nutrition thing is pretty interesting, maybe that’s what I want to do with myself.” By the time I finished high school, I was really interested in sports nutrition and decided that’s what I wanted to do. I went to Wollongong University and did my undergraduate there, which was a Bachelor of Science in nutrition. When I finished that,…
Read More