Beetroot Juice for Endurance Performance

Beetroot Juice for Endurance Performance

Sports
One of the more interesting foods/supplements that has been gaining traction over the last few years is beetroot juice. Often times people, particularly endurance athletes, will spend a lot of time and money on things that do may or may not work in the hopes of a small increase in performance. At the top level, this small increase in performance can make a big difference in outcomes. Most supplements do not live up to the hype, but it looks like beetroot juice could be an exception to that, since it consistently seems to help people improve their performance. That being said, there is a bit of nuance to the topic and it certainly is not a magical supplement guaranteed to help you dramatically improve your time. How It Theoretically Works…
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Supplements for Bodybuilders and Powerlifters

Supplements for Bodybuilders and Powerlifters

Body Composition, Sports
When it comes to bodybuilding and powerlifting, we all know that training, rest and nutrition in general should be prioritised above supplementation. If you are looking to optimise your body composition and performance though, it makes sense to take advantage of any potential benefit you can find. And while supplements might not be necessary to see great results, there are certainly situations where they can help improve your results. This post is going to list common supplements used in the bodybuilding and powerlifting community and how/why they may or may not be beneficial. Creatine Creatine is one of the most well-studied supplements that consistently provides benefits. It is a naturally occurring non-protein amino acid that is found in foods such as red meat and seafood. But typically, people do not…
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Nutrition For Strength Athletes

Nutrition For Strength Athletes

Body Composition, Sports
Strength and power athletes are typically looking to enhance power relative to body weight. This means some sort of resistance training is going to be a big part of their training. As with any type of training, proper nutrition has a significant impact on how well your body responds to and recovers from training. In strength training, nutritional objectives include: meeting caloric needs providing the optimal ratio of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrate, and fat) incorporating specific timing of meals/nutrition   providing optimal micronutrients (vitamins, minerals) ensuring sufficient hydration Energy, nutrient needs, and nutrient timing can differ vastly from person to person or in the context of different sports and training modalities. Just a few of the factors that come into consideration are age, gender, height, weight, level and intensity of training or…
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What is RED-S and What Should You Do About It

What is RED-S and What Should You Do About It

Health, Other, Sports
What is RED-S Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport, "RED-S" or simply "RED-S" is a clinically defined syndrome referring to the impairment of physiological function caused by a deficit in a person's energy intake relative to the energy required to maintain optimal health, homeostasis, growth, the activities of daily living, and sport.  Being in this state of relative deficit is often also referred to as being in a state of low energy availability (LEA). In this state, there is a lower than required amount of energy for the body's normal physiological functions. This can have a variety of health consequences including:  Altered metabolic functionMenstrual disturbances and amenorrhea (loss of period)Amenorrheic athletes have 2 to 4 times greater risk for a stress fractureImpaired bone health (increased osteoporosis risk) Reductions in immune system functionReduced protein synthesis (ie for…
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What Should Powerlifters Eat on Comp Day?

What Should Powerlifters Eat on Comp Day?

Sports
As a dietitian who works predominantly with powerlifters and other strength athletes such as strongman competitors and Olympic Weightlifters, I often get asked about nutrition strategies for competition day. Obviously, your nutrition plan on the day is not going to make a massive difference in comparison to all the work you have done in the lead-up to the event. It can still be the difference between making or missing a lift when it counts though. I know a lot of competitors who just rock up to the event and hope for the best, trusting that they can just eat the food that is available at the meet. And while this can work, for sure, in my opinion it is sacrificing an opportunity to maximise performance. The Goal is to Feel…
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The Complete Guide to Creatine

The Complete Guide to Creatine

Sports
Creatine is one of cheapest and most widely used gym supplements by casual gym goes and athletes alike - but there is also a lot of confusion and misinformation surrounding it’s usage, safety, efficacy, and effects on body composition. Here we are going to break down everything you need to know about creatine so you can find out if it might be something you want to use, or if you already are – how to use it most effectively! What is it? Creatine is a naturally occurring non-protein amino acid that is found in muscle tissue, most commonly in red meat and seafood. It started to rise in popularity in supplement form in the 1990’s. In the human body creatine is combined with a high energy phosphate group to form…
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The Game Changers: A Dietitian’s Review

The Game Changers: A Dietitian’s Review

Sports
When The Game Changers documentary came out on Netflix, I felt I had to watch it. It was almost a job requirement for me, since not only am I a dietitian, I’m also a sports dietitian specialising in strength athletes and I have a bit of a presence on Instagram. This meant that I had a crazy number of questions coming in about the documentary. Nutrition documentaries typically have quite a lot of bias, and do not represent the totality of the evidence well. This is a common theme, because honestly, the fundamentals of nutrition typically are not that interesting for the average person. To really bring in an audience they need to make bold claims. Nobody is interested in hearing what they have heard before. People want new and…
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Collagen Supplementation for Injury Recovery

Collagen Supplementation for Injury Recovery

Sports
At first glance, the research on collagen supplementation from an injury recovery perspective is mixed. I will be the first to admit that when I first looked into it, I brushed it off as another one of those supplements getting unnecessary hype without enough promising research behind it. I hold myself to a high standard as an evidence-based practitioner and I am typically not the quickest person to hop on board newer trends, even if they come out of the gates strong with 1-2 promising studies. Because of this, I was quite dismissive of collagen. This was until another colleague of mine in the dietetics world pointed me in the direction of a podcast that featured Professor Keith Baar, which started the process of opening my eyes and seeing that…
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Citrulline Malate Supplementation for Lifters

Citrulline Malate Supplementation for Lifters

Sports
Citrulline malate is a supplement that is typically used to increase strength and endurance. The main benefit of it is to increase nitric oxide levels, which can improve blood flow to muscles. What is Citrulline Malate? Citrulline malate contains L-citrulline bonded with malic acid. L-Citrulline is an amino acid which gets converted by the body into L-arginine. Arginine is converted into nitric oxide, therefore increasing blood flow. Citrulline malate enhances creatine phosphate regeneration - meaning quicker recovery between sets. Research doesn't appear to support that this happens for L-citrulline alone, so this aspect is attributed to the malic acid. The reason why citrulline malate is used instead of arginine supplementation is that it actually raises blood arginine levels more effectively than arginine supplementation since arginine is more poorly absorbed. Taking…
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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 from…
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