Posts in the category Nutrition

Physiology and Nutrition: Strategies for Acute Recovery, Part 2

compression tights for recoveryLast month I discussed the nutritional aspects to help recovery from injury and exercise-induced muscle damage. In this Part 2, I’m going to examine the modalities available to facilitate recovery, timing of their use and what’s best for a dude vs. a woman. The purpose of this review is to allow you to recover faster, garner training adaptations a bit quicker; thus allowing smarter training and fitness gains.

As I mentioned, right next door to my office a new niche recovery lounge has opened up (RechargeSportSF.com) attending to the most under-emphasized aspect of training: Recovery. The focus at places like Recharge is to offer bigger ticket items for recovery such as compression boots, water circulating compression for cooling-compression, cold laser therapy, and some EMS (electrical muscle stimulation such as the MarcPro).

A question often asked is why make these available to the general public? Why not just reserve them for the top end professional athletes whose livelihood relies on specific performance outcomes? Primarily because these modalities work and they should be available to everyone who trains hard, works hard, and then has to face the stress of real life (read: kids, job, family, travel, mortgage, Interbike…).

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IB14: GU Pours Some Root Beer, Plus Other Delicious Flavors

IMG_3039.JPGGU is always cooking up new flavors and their newest may be some of the best yet. While they still aren’t offering IPA flavored gels, the other favorite beer gets the nod with their new Root Beer flavor. The caffeinated gel uses all natural flavoring with the same nutrition as other GU gels and 100 calories per serving. Providing another summertime drink favorite in the form of a gel is the new Lemonade Roctane. Again, using natural flavors but with no caffeine.

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Physiology and Nutrition: Strategies for Acute Recovery (Part 1)

crashRight next door to my office a new niche recovery lounge has opened up (RechargeSportSF.com) attending to the most under-emphasized aspect of training: Recovery. There are several types of recovery: the acute phase (the minutes to hours after training or racing), the day to day/week to week recovery, and, as we saw in the TdF, the recovery from traumatic crashes and broken bodies offered up by the precariousness of the peloton. In this article, I will focus on the acute recovery from a crash or surgery and exercise-induced muscle damage. (Part 2 will explore different modalities and optimal timing).

One of the biggest risks of our sport is crashing; the injuries ensuing -from broken collarbones to muscle crush injuries- are coupled with a long, arduous recovery process. It is well known (and most of us have experienced, at some point in our cycling careers) that the first week or two post injury is the hardest, with regard to regaining range of motion/movement and regaining muscle strength-firing patterns.

Injuries and consequent surgery are associated with hormonal and inflammatory stress responses that trigger a rapid muscle loss. In the first two weeks of disuse from injury, 150-400g of muscle mass can be lost from a single immobilized limb; coupled with metabolic changes that reduce the body’s ability to build muscle. Of additional concern is the functional strength loss from disuse; in general, this strength decline is approximately three times the rate of muscle mass loss. This functional strength loss is attributed to alterations in motor unit recruitment and the loss of skeletal calcium and magnesium stores (necessary for muscle contractions).

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Friday Roundup – Bicycle Bits & Pieces

 wind ham world cup mountain bike race and new lift trials

  • As Windham Mountain Ski Resort, NY, is hosting this weekends’ UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, they’re announcing that they will be opening a lift-served mountain bike park for 2015.
  • Registration is now open for the Nov. 1st Bookwalter Binge Charity Gran Fondo sponsored by the Asheville Bicycle Racing Club and benefitting Trips For Kids of WNC.
  • I Bike Daily is now offering cycling tours in the San Francisco Bay area. Multiple distances are available on these fully supported rides.
  • PowerBar has announced two new flavors of it’s PowerBar ProteinPlus bar: Salted Caramel and Peanut Butter Cookie; as well as an improved Chocolate Brownie flavor.
  • The Rapha Summer Sale is on with up to 50% off their cycling gear including some long sleeve items and bags.
  • Looking for a stylish tote bag to carry your bicycle helmet after your commute? Henry Liz will have some offerings available soon.
  • And there’s this: Self Protection On A Cycle - How You May Best Protect Yourself When Attacked By Modern Highwaymen.

Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix gets Natural Jolt with new Matcha + Lemons

skratch labs excercise hydration matcha + lemons caffeine

Sold on the hydrating performance of skratch Labs Exercise Hydration mix but need a little pick me up to get you through your workout?  Then the new Matcha + Lemons flavor might be the perfect answer to your nutrition needs. Adding ground Matcha Green Tea to the mix introduces a small amount of caffeine at 8mg per 8oz  and maintains the electrolyte profile already found in the mix.

Currently shipping to dealers and distributors or available directly from the skratch Labs website, Matcha + Lemons is available in a 20 serving resealable bag for $19.50, or single serving 20 packs for $35. Single servings will also be available at retail for $1.95 each.

Nutrition facts plus ingredients after the break…

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OSMO Introduces Kid’s Sports Drink Mix

OSMO-awesome-orange-kids-hydration-sports-drinkAs the summer heat reaches its peak, OSMO has unveiled a kid-friendly version of their hydrating sports drink.

Made with the same organic freeze-dried fruit flavorings and high quality ingredients as the adult version, it simply offers a heightened Awesome Orange flavor profile and adjusted electrolyte amounts to appeal to what kids like and need. It’s Non-GMO, has no artificial ingredients/hidden preservatives/added color. It’s debuting this week at the Outdoor Retailer show and should be available in stores and online soon. Retail is $19.99 for a 24-serving box, and each packet makes 16oz of drink. Single serves will be $1.99.

So, why not just dilute your standard OSMO? Answers in the PR, below…

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Infinit Nutrition Adds Five Flavors, More Tutorials & Updated Website

infinit-nutrition-new-flavorsInfinit Nutrition, which offers customized sports and recovery drinks alongside stock retail packaged products, has just added five new flavors.

Joining the original Orange, Lemon-Lime and Fruit Punch are Pink lemonade, Grape, Salted Caramel, Mocha and Chocolate. We’re thinking a few of those are better suited to recovery formulas, but to each their own. Their website has been updated to ease the customization process, just slide each ingredient type (protein, amino acids, carbs, calories, flavor intensity, caffeine and electrolytes) to your liking and they’ll blend and package it just for you. Not sure what your body needs? Just check out their updated video library for more information and education.

Curious about how it all works and what’s available? Check our reviews here and here. Their preformulated, ready-to-go products are available in the new flavors, too, you just need to click “Customize Now” rather than “Add to Cart” and change the flavor selection.

Ted King Launches UnTapped, Packages Organic Maple Syrup in Sports Friendly Package

20140717-222403-80643234.jpgA few weeks ago we ran a series of articles on the use of gels by performance athletes, which generated heated arguments in the comments section.

Whichever side of that aisle you stand on, I think it can generally be agreed on that maple syrup (the real stuff, not Aunt Jemima’s) is delicious.

Like honey, the good stuff has a proven track record on pancakes, and in the pro peloton. Famous American cyclist Ted King has been using the all natural performance enhancer for years, and has now partnered with Slopeside Syrup to bring it’s benefits to the masses.

The delicious energy booster treat is “produced simply by boiling maple sap directly from a maple tree. Because it’s unprocessed, it’s rich in vital minerals such an manganese, iron, calcium, and zinc. It also has essential vitamins, is high in critical amino acids, and is bursting with antioxidants required for proper recovery.”

To get the project off the ground, Ted and his partners have turned to Indiegogo. They’ve currently reached roughly half of their $30,000 goal. Want to try the all natural Vermont made recovery syrup (or simply want to keep a few packets around just in case of a breakfast emergency)? You can back the project here for as little as $25

Physiology and Nutrition: Dealing with the Heat

heatwave1

Summer’s hot. And as you get hot, your performance drops. Here’s the how and why, and how to keep your cool.

Human temperature regulation processes maintain a core body temperature over a very narrow functional range despite elevated metabolic rates and exposure to very hot environments. During submaximal exercise, we can limit the effects of the increased heat production through sweating and evaporative cooling. But as intensity climbs, our ability to offload heat becomes limited; in conjunction with a hot/humid environment; we are most likely going to experience hyperthermia. Technically, heat stress and hyperthermia are the overarching umbrella terms for heat illness (heat exhaustion, heat stroke), and are identified as an elevated body temperature due to failed thermoregulation that occurs when the body produces or absorbs more heat than it can dissipate.

During exercise in the heat, the most significant physiological burden is supporting blood flow to the skin: high skin blood flow is needed for heat dissipation. (The average blood volume of an adult male is ~5 liters, and the average female ~4.4 liters, not much to go around!). We often think of a high core temperature as being the limiting factor for performance; eg the “critical core temperature”, but it is more the temperature of the skin that affects aerobic performance. Skin temperature is highly influenced by the ambient temperature and humidity, whereas the core temperature is influenced by the intensity of the exercise (which is partially why a power decline is seen with elevated internal temperatures). Warmer skin induces a greater amount of skin blood flow, decreasing blood volume available for circulation. For example, with a sustained elevated core temperature, an increase in skin temperature will have a concomitant increase in heart rate but the reverse is also true- cooling the skin even with a sustained elevated core temperature will reduce heart rate due to more blood shunting back into circulation(1).

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