Nature Made vs Man Made

“Should I be taking a supplement?” a question heard by dietitians and physicians on a daily basis. Although some individuals can benefit from a nutritional supplement, they are called supplements because they are meant to add-on to a healthy diet when nutrient requirements cannot be met through healthy food choices alone because of various health reasons.

Here are three reasons why choosing whole foods over supplements is the smart choice (read more).

Carb-loading: Are you doing it wrong?

Christine Lynch from

What does it really mean to CARB-LOAD?

When athletes think of carb loading, they often think of shoveling as much pasta as they can into their pie-hole at a pre-race dinner event. What they don’t realize, is that this tactic is setting them up for a miserable race.  The main goal of carb-loading is to maximize the storage of glycogen in our muscles and liver, as fuel for our race.  More importantly, we want to do this without overwhelming our digestive system in the process.  We’re all desperately attempting to avoid “hitting the wall”, when training or racing for an extended duration (90+ minutes for most).  So, how do carbohydrates help us avoid the elusive wall? Glycogen is made from carbohydrates and stored in your muscles as fuel. “Hitting the wall” simply means that you’ve run out of muscle glycogen and your body is now using fat for fuel.  Sounds great, right? It is, except that you’ll slow down and feel sluggish and heavy.  Welcome to Bonktown.

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Meal Planning: Staying on Track

Poor nutrition can decrease energy, prolong recovery, cause unwanted weight loss/gain, increase risk for injury, and cause a decline in athletic performance. That is why it is important to consume a well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet.

Get your Tips & Benefits of Meal Planning.


How To Eat Before You Compete

Timing, size and nutrient combination of a meal or snack go hand in hand.  Whether eating at home or on the go, the pre-event meal should be high in carbohydrate, moderate in protein and lower in fat.  This power-fuel combination is easy to digest and gives the athlete the confidence needed to fulfil their call of duty!

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Stress Fracture Nutrition: Prevention & Recovery

Abrupt increases in training duration, intensity and/or frequency of physical activity without adequate periods for rest and recovery can lead to micro cracks or stress fractures.  This is because the rate of bone healing or recovery is unable to keep up with the rate of breakdown that is caused by the repetitive stress placed upon it.  Proper recovery requires rest from intense training along with proper nutrition.

Although not all stress fractures are related to dietary practices, there is evidence that poor nutritional habits and dietary deficiencies can be contributors.  Whether you are recovering from a stress fracture or want to prevent a fracture in the first place, consider the following dietary recommendations to support you, your bones and active lifestyle.

The Energy Balance Component

Stress fractures are more commonly found in those who consume low calorie diets.  Low calorie intake can lead to multiple nutrient deficiencies and altered hormone status leading to an increased risk of poor bone health…stress fracture.  A well balanced diet adequate in calories, protein, vitamins and minerals is critical for optimal health and exercise performance.

Power of Protein

Protein makes up half of bone by volume!  When a fracture occurs, the body recruits proteins as building blocks to make a new structural bone protein matrix.  This is why it is important that you meet your protein requirements.  Aim for 10-20 grams of protein before and after your workouts.  Some sources of high quality protein foods include lean meat, fish, low fat dairy products, and beans and lentils.

Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin D

Calcium, magnesium and vitamin D are critical to bone formation and function. Chronic low calcium intake combined with inadequate energy intake is associated with decreased bone mass leading to an elevated risk for stress fractures.  Recommended daily calcium intake ranges from 1000 mg to 1500 mg, depending on the individual.  Just three servings of milk products each day may be enough to support bone health.  Milk, yogurt, low fat cheese, sardines, almonds and fortified orange juice are great investments for your bones.

Magnesium is a major contributor to the structural development of bone, and it helps with muscle contraction.   Current recommendations are 400 mg/day for men and 300 mg/day for women. Excellent food sources include pumpkin seeds, black eyed peas, bran cereals, and 1% fat milk.

Vitamin D plays a powerful role in helping your body absorb calcium.  There are only a few food sources with vitamin D (fish, liver, egg yolk and fortified milk).  Because it is not likely that you will meet your requirements for vitamin D through dietary sources alone, supplementation of 1000 to 2000 IU/day may be recommended.  For best absorption, take your supplement with a meal or snack that contains fat.

The Chocolate Milk & Bone Health Connection…

If you ever needed more reasons to enjoy chocolate milk as part of your post-workout recovery regime, here it is!  Chocolate milk is jammed packed with the nutrients required to support and heal your bones.


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