Nutrition for Tendinopathy

Nutrition for Tendinopathy

Sports
This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I have had pretty much every tendinopathy (also another form of saying tendinitis or tendinosis) under the sun. The biggest hurdle I had was patellar tendinopathy that caused pain for multiple years and legitimately should have had me questioning whether or not I would ever be able to play basketball again without pain, and whether this would also impact my training for powerlifting forever. One of the best things I think that helped me though was that I have stupid level of positivity and self-confidence. Even two years into the process of having pain every day, being told I probably needed surgery (which does not have a great success rate) and also having certain physios say I probably…
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Nutrition for Reducing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

Nutrition for Reducing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

Sports
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMs) is something that comes hand-in-hand with training hard. If you plan on training hard for an extended period, no matter how you go about it, you are going to experience DOMs at some stage. There is variety in how it presents. For some people, the soreness might peak 24 hours after the session. For others, it might be 48 hours later. Either way, most people would ideally like to reduce the impact of it. At minimum it is just burdensome and annoying, but beyond that it could also impact performance as well. Training The first thing I want to acknowledge is that if you train a muscle group in a way it has not experienced for a long time, you are going to get sore…
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Nutrition for Cramps in Sport

Nutrition for Cramps in Sport

Sports
As somebody who has gone deep down the rabbit-hole of nutrition for cramps in sport, in a bid to help give my clients and edge over their competition, I can confirm that cramps are a complex topic. There is a lot that is not known. There is a lot that does not work. And there are also a lot of people who try to simplify it down to one thing, as if one specific strategy will solve cramps for all athletes. It is clear that cramps are multifactorial. And I would wager that in the coming decades, we will probably have better solutions than we have now. Cramps are also hard to study. They are relatively hard to induce naturally in a reliable way. Of course, there are ways around…
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Supplements for CrossFit: A Dietitians Guide

Supplements for CrossFit: A Dietitians Guide

Sports
Last weekend I was watching The Torian Pro, which is a relatively high-level CrossFit event held in Brisbane, Australia. As I was watching, I legitimately thought to myself “I wonder if all of these athletes are taking beta-alanine?” Because that could give them a serious edge over their competition. This thought process extended to a whole bunch of other supplements. And then obviously it extended to overall nutrition too. And as an interesting note, the winner of the male category Royce Dunne (and therefore qualifier for the CrossFit games) actually does work with a sports dietitian. He, along with ~50 other competitors in this comp worked with The Sports Dietitian Co in the leadup. For me, although The Sports Dietitian Co is technically my competition (just like any other dietitian…
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Glycerol: A Dietitian’s Guide

Glycerol: A Dietitian’s Guide

Sports
Glycerol is a substance that allows for more effective hydration. Typically used before events, glycerol improves the body’s retention of water by reducing urinary output after consuming fluids. As a supplement it has not received a lot of attention by competitive athletes and their coaches as it was previously banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). However, that changed in 2018 when WADA removed it from its banned substances list.  What is Glycerol? Glycerol is a 3-carbon sugar alcohol which forms the backbone of triglycerides.  This fact is actually really relevant to why it was removed from the WADA banned substances list. Endurance athletes that exercise for long periods of time such as Ironman triathletes and ultra endurance runners use fat as a fuel source.  During this type of exercise,…
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Pickle Juice: Good For Cramps?

Pickle Juice: Good For Cramps?

Sports
Cramps. The bane of existence for many athletes and weekend warriors. Despite the many products claiming to reduce cramping, the efficacy of all the different “cures” to cramps is mostly lacking substantial evidence.  However, there is a small amount of research to suggest that pickle juice may actually assist with reducing the duration and intensity of cramps. And may even prevent them! But not for the reasons you might initially think. What Are Cramps & Why Do They Occur? Exercise-induced muscle cramps (EAMC) typically occur in single, multijoint muscles (eg, triceps surae, quadriceps, hamstrings) when contracting in a shortened state. Although some cramps do not affect athletic performance, other times, they can be completely debilitating. With cramps being so common in exercise and having the potential to completely stop an athlete…
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Probiotics for Immunity in Athletes

Probiotics for Immunity in Athletes

Sports
With almost all supplements that athletes take, the goal is for them to directly translate towards them being some variation on bigger, leaner, stronger and/or faster. And while there is debate about whether probiotics can contribute to those aspects, there is emerging research that is relatively compelling that probiotics can help improve immunity. Improved immunity does not directly improve any of those characteristics. But if you are able to train more consistently, and also have less of your sessions impacted negatively by lingering illnesses, it is likely going to have a carry over into improved performance. Why Is This Relevant? Upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) appear to be the most relevant area where probiotics help improve outcomes. Probiotics also have solid evidence when it comes to gastrointestinal concerns, but for…
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Nutrition for Endurance Athletes

Nutrition for Endurance Athletes

Sports
Nutrition for endurance athletes is a broad topic. A lot of similar principles apply between most endurance events, although there will obviously be differences. In this article though, the goal is to cover as much as possible, while also addressing a lot of aspects of nutrition and how it can improve performance. Intra-Race Carbs Glucose is our body’s most efficient fuel source for exercise above a certain intensity. Later I will discuss low carbohydrate approaches. But for now, we will leave that aspect and just focus on the carbohydrate portion of the discussion. Glycogen is the body’s stored form of glucose/carbohydrate. As glycogen levels start getting closer to being fully depleted, performance starts to decline. This phenomenon is something that you can see in race splits. This is a large…
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The Vegan Athlete Diet Guide

The Vegan Athlete Diet Guide

Sports
Veganism can be a tough journey to navigate generally. You add in being an athlete of any kind and the complexity definitely goes up. Whether you are a weekend warrior or an elite athlete, most people want to get the most out of their diet for both body composition and performance.  The Netflix documentary, Game Changers did a pretty good job at convincing people that by simply being vegan, your athletic performance and body composition will magically improve beyond your wildest dreams.  But alas, veganism won't inherently make you a better athlete. To some extent, depending on your previous diet, the increase in plant-based foods that comes with transitioning to a vegan diet may improve your recovery. However, a vegan diet should be strategically designed for each individual person to ensure…
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Intra-Race Nutrition for Marathon Runners

Intra-Race Nutrition for Marathon Runners

Sports
Intra-race nutrition for marathon runners, or really any endurance sport that involves a longer duration, can make a huge difference. It is one of the easiest things that can be implemented to improve race times. It is also an area I do not see many people implementing nearly as well as they could. If you care about competition, this can give you an edge. If the only competition you care about is improving your own race times, then this will still obviously help you do exactly that too. Intra-Race Carbs Glucose is our body’s most efficient fuel source for exercise above a certain intensity. While there is debate over low-carb vs high carb approaches, the above statement is not one that should be controversial. Although we have larger amounts of…
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