Category Archives: Nutrition

The Essentials to Stay Healthy While Traveling

Wakeboarding asks a lot of our bodies, but often times traveling to a competition can do more to your body than actually riding! Riding in a car or plane, eating out, and jet lag can take a toll on your body and affect your performance.

Here are a few ways to help combat the stressors of travel and increase your recovery for peak performance.

1. Drink water. Dehydration is the main component in the ill effects of travel. Air conditioning and heat in cars and planes dry out skin which is your biggest organ. Dehydration can lead to headaches, stiff muscles, joint aches, and poor immunity. The easiest way to prevent dehydration is by PRE-hydrating. The week before travel aim to drink a gallon daily. Bring an empty bottle to fill up after airport security and continue to drink water throughout your travels.

2. Bring tools. Lacrosse balls, tennis balls, rollers, and other mobility tools are helpful to decrease muscle tension and soreness while traveling. Many are small enough to put in your carry-on or backpack. While sitting, use the ball to massage back muscles, shoulders and glutes. Foam roll while waiting between flights or before getting into the car.

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Image: https://breakingmuscle.com/learn/the-4-best-self-myofascial-release-products-on-the-market

3. Stand up and stretch! Take breaks from sitting. Sitting is an unnatural position for our bodies leading to tightness in the hip flexors which ultimately leads to back pain. Walk around the plane during long flights, stop frequently during car rides and stretch out. The front body (chest, abdomen, hip flexors/quads) is the most compressed during travel so focus on opening this side rather than forward folding. Laying with your legs up the wall is also helpful to drain any swelling in the feet or ankles. You may look like a weirdo in the airport or plane, but your body will thank you!

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4. Wear compression. Compression tights are helpful during long flights or car rides to combat the swelling from sitting for long periods and changes in compartmental pressure. Swelling can make joints feel achy and decrease joint range of motion which will decrease performance. Compression can improve circulation and ultimately keep your legs feeling fresh during travel.

5. Pack your own food and take supplements. Airports and rest stop stations lack nutritional options for food so plan ahead! Pack healthy snacks, fruit, veggies and nuts to keep your diet well rounded. Fast food and sugar will decrease your immune system and increase your chance of getting sick!

Supplementation is always helpful to combat illness and aid muscle recovery.

-Vitamin C, B complex and Zinc can support immune function

-Glutamine, fish oil, and boswellia can aid in muscle recovery and inflammation reduction

Happy travels!!

 

 

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Nutrition for Athletes

Arranged Vegetables Abs are made in the kitchen, right? There are ongoing statistics about how much of one’s appearance and athletic performance is based on diet versus exercise or training. What is concrete is the fact that quality of fuel in is going to reflect in the quality of structure built and the performance of that structure.  If you buy the cheapest fuel for your boat, chances are the gas efficiency and the performance of the engine will be less than that of premium fuel. This is an essential concept when talking about nutrition for athletes.

 

The problem in the US today is that most people don’t eat real food. Too much of our diets consist of processed or refined food product. The typical diet is full of convenience items, loaded with fast food and on-the-go treats. While some of these things help to make life easier, our bodies internally pay the price. We become overworked and toxic, taking away from our performance in other areas, like muscular strength or endurance.

Sometimes it takes going back in time and thinking more primal to understand what our bodies were designed to eat. The idea is to follow the menu choices of a caveman. Cavemen were hunters and gatherers. Their bodies evolved to be ready at a moments notice to chase down the next meal, because food wasn’t always available. They were mentally challenged to plan their ways of attack and other motives for survival. They survived on meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit and nuts. This becomes the basis of nutrition for athletes:

1. Lean Meats/Fish

2. Eggs

3. Vegetables

4. Fruits

5. Nuts

6. Healthy Oils

 

The benefits are vast. The higher protein intake allows for proper muscle growth and maintenance, the fiber is high to ensure intestinal health, and the omega-3 to 6 ratio is ideal for prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. Real, whole foods offer a higher amount of vitamins and minerals and keeps the body alkaline, which wards off kidney disease and muscle loss.  Hydration needs to be a main focus as water plays a part in every physiological process. As athletes, it is important to consume enough calories depending on your activity level. Plan ahead by making meals and snacks that are easy for on the go
image: http://www.in.gov

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Hydration: How Important Is It?

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Water is a pretty important thing in our sport. Without it we don’t have one! But aside from the water that surrounds us daily, the most important thing about water is how much we drink. Hydration plays a key role in how our bodies function  and in turn, how we feel. For athletes, the demand for water becomes greater and the consequences of dehydration are much more severe. Because wakeboarding is typically done outside with the sun, heat, and wind, dehydration is much more likely to be a problem.

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According to the US Geological Survey, “Up to 60% of the human body is water, the brain is composed of 70% water, and the lungs are nearly 90% water. Lean muscle tissue contains about 75% water by weight, as is the brain; body fat contains 10% water and bone has 22% water. About 83% of our blood is water, which helps digest our food, transport waste, and control body temperature. Each day humans must replace 2.4 litres of water, some through drinking and the rest taken by the body from the foods eaten.” This means water is one of the most important components to nutrition!

Because water is used to regulate body temperature, lubricate joints, move waste, and dissolve nutrients, water plays an important role in our daily bodily functions. The effects of dehydration can be felt many ways:

  • fatigue
  • dizziness
  • sore joints
  • headaches
  • poor concentration
  • muscle weakness
  • dark urine
  • excessive thirst
  • decreased metabolism

The unfortunate thing about dehydration, is that when you begin to feel the effects, dehydration has already set in. This makes it even more important to be properly hydrated ahead of time. It is recommended to drink 8 8oz glasses of water daily. As this is just a general rule, for athletes, this amount should be higher. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they are dehydrating in themselves, and beware of extra sugar and calories in sports drinks and juices. The best way to hydrate is with regular water!  Remember to carry water bottles with you, especially to the gym, outdoor activities, and especially on the boat or at the cable when riding!

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Supplementation for Athletes

Everyone knows the easiest way to get essential nutrients into our bodies is from what we eat and drink. So what if what’s in our diet just isn’t enough? Gaps in the diet happen. Travel, stress, and excessive exercise all can deplete our bodies and if they aren’t properly refueled can lead to slower recovery time, decreased resistance to sickness, fatigue, and overall decline in general health. Supplementation can bridge those gaps.

As athletes, our bodies take a beating from the constant rebuilding of our muscles. To properly rebuild that muscle, however, you must have the essential building blocks or nutrients to make healthy tissue. Making sure we have all those building blocks available is what leads to faster recovery time, vivacity, and strong , healthy tissues.

Supplements come in a variety of shapes and forms. It is essential to purchase your supplements from a trusted source to ensure you are really getting whats in the bottle. Whole food supplements are typically the best choice, making the nutrient the most bio-available and ready to utilize in the body. The common misconception, however, is the lack of “nutrition facts” on the side of whole food supplements. Instead of saing 100%  DV of Vitamin C, it will read buckwheat, beet juice and carrot root. Move your view from reading percentages and think about eating real food. When you eat an orange, you know there is vitamin C inside, but there is no label telling you so. In this post, I will try and guide you in the right direction for choosing the right supplements and ingredients for your needs.

Multivitamin: Multivitamins are important to enhance the diet and ensure nutrients are ready and available to be utilized in the body. The multivitamin doesn’t need to contain 100% of all the daily values, but aim for one that contains both vitamins and minerals. Again, whole food supplements are the best and may need to be taken a few times per day to be absorbed at the best potential. Look for ingredients like beet root, beet juice, buckwheat, carrot root, calcium lactate, magnesium citrate, oat flour, and alfalfa. These ingredients yield a high value of usable vitamins and minerals.

Whey Protein:  Proteins are the building blocks of our DNA, cells, and tissues. Proteins are also essential to the way these cells and tissues function. Adding whey protein into the diet, whether as a recovery drink, meal, or just daily nutrition, is an easy way to support the body as well as satisfy hunger. Protein will sustain hunger longer which can contribute to weight control.

Joint Support:  Glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM are the big three that come in joint support formulas. They have been shown to reduce the progression of osteoarthritis and help control symptoms.  Also look for supplements containing Boswellia, Tumeric, Ginger and Bromelain. These last four ingredients contribute an anti-inflammatory effect as well as an analgesic effect, helping to reduce joint pain.

Omega-3s/EPA/DHA:  Omega-3s are important to help maintain cardiovascular health. Omega-3s reduce inflammation, reduce rates of heart disease, and increase blood flow. These can be found in supplements like fish oil, crill oil, and flax seed oil.

Water: No, water isn’t exactly a supplement. But, it should be consumed everyday in large quantities. Water makes up 70% of the body so there needs to be plenty of it available to replenish the tissues. Muscles, tendons, ligaments, and discs all can become dehydrated, lose elasticity, and become more prone to injury. Its easy, and its free!

Like what was said earlier, the best way to get the proper nutrients is through eating whole foods, but if your diet isn’t enough, these go-to supplements are the way to go to make sure you’re getting what you need as an athlete!

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