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Tagged with 'sports-nutrition'

Running vs. Everything Else

There's one simple thing you can do to look and feel younger: RUN! It’s as close to a miracle drug as we’ve got. Not only will running extend the length of our life, but it adds more life to those years.

Your body doesn’t distinguish one type of aerobic activity from another – your heart, for example, doesn’t know the difference between a bike ride that gets your pulse up to 150 and a run that does the same. Still, there are reasons why running is the top form of exercise to keep the muscles and mind young. And they’re best illustrated in this massive 2017 international study:

Researchers examined more than 55,000 men and women between the ages of 18 and 100.

They determined that regardless of how old you are, whether you’re male or female, how much booze you drink, or whether you’ve ever exercised before…

  • If you start running just one to two hours per week, you can slash your risk of cardiovascular-related death by 45 to 70 percent.
  • Running slashes your chances of dying from cancer by 30 to 50 percent.
  • The clincher: researchers discovered runners lived far longer than those who exercised regularly but didn’t run. Take that, cyclists.

Running and Your Heart

That thumping in your chest is the biggest age-defying benefit your regular running routine is giving you. As we age, our arteries stiffen, and when this happens, major cardiac events aren’t far behind. A decline in artery function significantly effects cognitive decline, and poor vascular health and function also increases your tendency to become more prone to diabetes. Even kidney disease is closely linked to the health of your arteries.

By running regularly, you safeguard yourself from all of this because it maintains and restores artery dilation and elasticity, and restores youth and vigor to the vessels.

Running and Your Mind

Running is actually a pretty cognitively demanding sport. People who run have a higher concentration and greater volume of gray matter, which means better memory, quicker recall, and generally feeling sharper and a lot of freaking smarter. Run through complex environments – a busy city or a rocky trail – and you also strengthen the brain in ways that positively affect planning, multitasking, self-awareness, and motor control.

Running and Your Immune System

If you haven’t noticed, runners get colds and flu less often than nonrunner friends. It’s not a coincidence. Regular running is linked to a stronger immune system, and it may even prevent age-related deterioration.

Running and VO2 Max

As you age, your VO2 max, or the maximum amount of oxygen you can use during exercise, naturally drops; this drastically increases your risk of chronic illnesses. One of the best ways to keep VO2 max high is periodically pushing your heart and lungs with running intervals.

Running and Your Muscles

As you heft your body weight with each step, you’re preserving muscle and bone strength – a huge component of staying young.

The Optimal Running Dose

Is there a right amount to run? The million-dollar question! You might be please to know, it’s not that much. Experts found that running just two and a half total hours per week is enough to reap all its youth-promoting benefits.

Compared to not running, any running is good. And the good news for those logging three-plus hours a week is that, while you don’t get exponentially more benefits the more you run, you also won’t be hurting your health, as some experts had warned in the past.

Running allows your muscles to behave like more youthful muscles. It’s a crazy trickle-down effect, and therein lies the magic. While running itself can product immediate and lasting changes that make the body “younger,” it’s this ripple effect researchers point to as the sport’s most important quality. Having the strength, vigor, and energy to do anything you want – that’s what gives running its value.

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods

Reference: Runner’s World

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It's Time To Re-Visit Your New Year Resolution To "Be Healthier”

Research shows 80% of people give up on their resolutions by the 2nd week of February! The reason? What most people call “resolutions” are really just desires or fun things they wish would happen. The majority of people aren't actually resolving anything within themselves. If you want to be a part of the few that do versus the many that talk, you need to be crystal clear— what specific result will you accomplish? What’s your WHY (reasons come first, answers come second)? How will you do it? What tools, strategies, or resources do you need to make it happen?

If your New Year resolution was: “Be Healthier,” you unknowingly set yourself up for failure. The goal is too broad. Swap it out with a goal that’s specific and achievable.

Here are five, very specific, nutrition-related goals you can actually achieve.

Clean Up Your e-Feed

While Instagram can offer inspiration and recipe ideas, scroll too long and you might find yourself weighed down in comparisons and unrealistic expectations, thanks to impossibly perfect meals and the ripped, lean fitness buffs.

A 2016 study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found the more time spent on social media, the greater the risk of eating and body-image concerns. When deciding who to follow, consider each health- and fitness-related personality or influencer you follow. If their posts leave you feeling unworthy and sad rather than joyful and motivated, tap “unfollow.”

Be Real About Carbs

Carbohydrates are the go-to fuel source for endurance exercise, like running. But even marathoners don’t need to gorge on giant plates of pasta nightly. “Carb loading” is over-rated. Instead, make sure each meal contains all three macronutrients: protein, carbs and fat. You don’t have to count grams or calories – just use your plate and internal hunger/fullness cues as a guide.

On most days, fill half your plate or bowl with colorful fruits and veggies, and one-quarter each with lean protein (chicken, fish, legumes) and whole grains like brown rice or quinoa. Important…don’t forget the fats! Use avocado, oils, and nuts for flavor, nutrient absorption, and crucial bodily functions.

If you’re trying to lose weight, go a little lighter on grains, especially on days you don’t exercise as hard. When you have a hard workout, long run or race, bump up the carbs to around half your plate.

Boost Breakfast

Do you literally jet out the door in the morning with coffee alone? Rethink that. Overnight, your body depletes the stores of glycogen in your liver, leaving your muscles starving for energy. I always recommend taking one tablespoon of fish oil or cod liver oil (off the spoon) immediately upon waking up. It stops the liver from feeding your blood stream glucose, which can often begin a blood sugar rollercoaster the rest of the day.

Early-morning runners who fuel up first usually feel and perform better. Even something simple, such as banana, yogurt, or half a nutrition bar can make a difference.

Whether you exercise in the morning or not, breakfast must include 20-25 grams of protein. It’s crucial for keeping blood sugar levels steady the remainder of the day, and it will also help minimize any cravings. 

If you’ve always skipped breakfast, start small and expect it to feel a little gross at first. Your body has been trained to not produce digestive enzymes early in the morning. After a few weeks, your body will get the hint and ramp up your appetite. It’s a great sign for your metabolism when you begin to wake up hungry.

Nail Long-Run Nutrition

Mastering your energy needs during a run pays dividend long after you’ve kicked off your shoes. Getting fuel the moment you need it gives you a jump-start on the recovery process, warding off the #runger that makes you eat everything in sight and may even lead to weight gain. Even if you’re trying to lose weight, skimping on calories during and immediately following a long workout is a bad idea.

For runs 60 minutes or longer, you want to aim for 30 to 45 grams of carbs per hour of exercise. If you’ve never eaten on your long runs before, start small and see what your stomach can tolerate. Experiment with different chews, gels, bars and yes, real foods like bananas, raisins, and dates. Here's a guide on how to incorporate carbs during exercise

For those with sensitive stomachs, you’ll achieve the best digestive success if you start fueling earlier and in smaller doses, spreading out a gel or a pack of raisins over three or four miles. Wash it all down with water since food requires a little fluid to help with digestion.

Make Meal Plans

Look at your calendar each week and identify potential challenges to healthy food choices – your kids’ soccer practices, a late-night meeting, or the night before a super-early run. Then find time slots when you have time for meal prep (say, chopping veggies, boiling eggs, or cooking an extra batch of brown rice).

Match them up, and you can avoid disaster, or at least an impulsive trip to the drive-through. This planning takes more upfront time, but later on, when you’re hangry or tired, you’ll be thankful you did it. You will feel so much better!

Cheers to a new you!

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods

Reference: Runner's World

 

 

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Sports Nutrition Recovery! A Dietitian's Top 6 Supplements

Exercise increases your body’s antioxidant and nutrient requirements. To promote muscle and cell recovery, consuming an abundance of antioxidant-rich foods will make a difference, but to bridge the gap resulting from an inadequate food supply, a good quality supplement regimen is truly needed.

What is your recovery plan?

Supplementation, food, and rest will help you perform your very best week in and week out.

My “Top 6” supplements for a quick and effective recovery from your workout.

#1: Branched-Chain Amino Acids

Three specific essential amino acids – Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine – are collectively referred to as branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), and they make up about 75% of the amino acids that get metabolized during exercise, with Leucine being dominate. The 4th most dominate amino acid is Glutamine.

By taking BCAAs for recovery, muscle breakdown can be prevented quickly, especially with high-volume cardio exercise. BCAAs also significantly reduce muscle soreness and accelerate the muscle growth and recovery process.

These are my favorite products for BCAAs:

Uckele's Pro Physio Stack

Uckele's Physio Recover Strawberry Watermelon

Pure Encapsulation's BCAA Powder

#2: Tart Cherries

Tart cherries are rapidly gaining popularity among elite athletes and weekend warriors to help speed the recovery process. They’re extremely high in anthocyanins and flavonoids, two antioxidants effective at reducing inflammation and other cell damage naturally caused from exercise.

One ounce (2 tablespoons) of cherry juice concentrate contains all the goodness of about 100 tart cherries!

Drink tart cherry juice concentrate within 30 minutes after a workout or strength training session to assist in muscle recovery.

Two high quality cherry concentrates:

Underwood Orchards CherryFlex Red Tart Cherry Concentrate

Pure Planet Tart Cherry Concentrate

#3: Whey Protein

Protein is one of the most important post-exercise supplements you can take. It helps repair damaged muscle tissue, speeds recovery, and reduces muscle soreness. Pair the protein with carbohydrates to maximize the full recovery potential. Whey protein is the most effective form to promote post-exercise recovery.

Pick a flavor you enjoy.  

#4: Glutamine

The body metabolizes glutamine (and BCAAs) during exercise so supplementing it after a workout hastens the recovery process. Glutamine functions as a conductor, conducting where the BCAAs go, such as into the muscles for post-exercise regrowth, repair, and recovery.

Glutamine also controls sugar metabolism and is a fuel for the brain and the brush border of the gut, all related to exercise recovery. If you’re one who gets GI issues post-exercise, consider glutamine.

There are many glutamine options:

Seeking Health L-Glutamine Powder

Vital Nutrients Glutamine Powder

#5: Antioxidants

Exercise stimulates free radical production—there’s no way to avoid it. Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals capable of damaging muscles and causing muscular fatigue. The amount of free radical production increases as exercise intensity and duration increases. To help combat damage from free radicals, muscle fibers and cells need antioxidants to scavenge the free radicals and protect the muscles and cells against their damage.

This is a great antioxidant blend for recovery:

Uckele DC Intensive

Individual Antioxidants with strong free radical scavenging abilities include vitamin C, vitamin E, alpha lipoic acid, and flavonoids.

Baobab Powder for Vitamin C

Healthforce Antioxidant Extreme (flavonoids)

#6: Adrenal Recovery

Every person who exercises must support the adrenal glands or your body will have a hard time recovering. Normal levels of cortisol are necessary to build and repair the muscles, and since the adrenal glands make cortisol, supporting them is crucial.

Pantothenic Acid is the #1 nutrient for the adrenal glands for its ability to support a healthy adrenal response to stress.

I love this blend for adrenal support related to exercise recovery:

Uckele Phytogist

Feel your best from workout to workout with proper recovery!

In Health and Happiness,

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods

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The Mental Side of Sports Nutrition

Getting the edge on fitness is not just about the body any more. There is another area that has not gotten nearly enough attention: the brain. It can benefit from the right nutrition just like any other part of the body. Athletes dedicate hours upon hours exercising, all the while consuming nutritional supplements to improve physical performance. Investing in cognitive function is just as important as fueling your muscles.

Are You Overtraining?

Overtraining is now being recognized as a major stress and natural hazard of athletic training, and can result in decreased performance, injury, compromised immune function and psychological depression. Muscles become sore, resting heart rate and cortisol levels increase, and testosterone levels fall. The body has difficulty adjusting, but can recover with a few days of rest. Chronic overtraining can create a disturbance in the ratio between the anabolic hormone, testosterone, and the catabolic hormone cortisol. (1)

Performance-Enhancing Ingredients

Reduce exercise-induced stress, improve reaction time, support neuroprotective properties and promote motivation, concentration and focus.

PHOSPHATIDYLSERINE for Muscle Soreness, Recovery and Overall Well-Being

Clinical trials have shown Phosphatidylserine (PS) supplementation effective for combating exercise-induced stress and preventing the physiological deterioration that comes with overtraining. PS is a type of fat found in cell membranes in the body, and is highly prevalent in neural tissue. In fact, PS is most concentrated in the brain where it comprises 15% of the total phospholipid pool. Studies examining athletes involved in cycling, weight training, and endurance running demonstrated PS might help prevent muscle soreness, speed recovery, and improve well-being. (2)

In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, cross-over design, Monteleone et al showed PS supplementation suppressed cortisol and ACTH responses to staged cycling exercise. Compared to placebo, cortisol levels were 30% lower, demonstrating PS supplementation can lessen the severity of stress responses to exercise. (3)

 A study conducted at California State University investigated the effect of PS on hormone levels, muscle soreness and feelings of well-being when administered to experienced weight-trained athletes. During the two-week training period in which these athletes were deliberately overtrained, they reported less muscle soreness when they were taking PS compared to the placebo. In addition, subjects had an improved perception of well-being when taking PS, which was particularly evident after the first week of training.

ACETYL L-CARNITINE for Mental Performance

Acetyl-L Carnitine (ALCAR) is a compound found naturally in your muscles, heart, liver, kidneys and plasma. It's essential for energy production and fat metabolism, and the average human body contains 20-25g of L-Carnitine, with 95% of it located in skeletal muscles.

Want an extra edge during your workout? Focus on improving your mental agility and alertness. Acetyl L-carnitine has been primarily used by athletes to increase maximal aerobic power and helping burn stored fat, but currently it's being recognized for its ability to improve mental as well as physical performance. (5)

Cognitive brain function benefits associated with ALCAR include an increase in memory and learning capacity along with an improved speed of memory recall and thought processing. Other studies showed subjects’ ability to think more clearly with a lengthened attention span, as well as improved overall concentration and focus. In a double-blind study in two randomized homogeneous groups of both sexes of 15 subjects each, one group underwent supplementation with ALCAR, while the other group was given a placebo. The people who took ALCAR showed statistically significant improvement in their behavioral performances, memory tests, attention tests and Verbal Fluency tests. (6)

Some studies have also indicated ALCAR may help improve sensory perception, especially in the areas of sight and sound. Users also reported their reflexes are faster and reaction times are shorter. (7)

VINPOCETINE for Reaction Time

Vinpocetine, derived from the Periwinkle plant, may potentially increase blood flow to the brain and improve reaction time. One study demonstrated an improvement in reaction speed and performance on a memory test, however other studies assessing reaction speed or attention combined it with other nutrients. Increased reaction speed, as well as increased processing speed, have been seen in a rehabilitative setting with NFL football players (combined with Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Fish Oil, Alpha-Lipoic Acid and Huperzine-A)and elsewhere with Vinpocetine (10mg) paired with Ginkgo biloba(40mg) and micronutrients. (8, 9) 

Another potential use for Vinpocetine may be in the support of traumatic brain injuries or concussions in that it appears to have a role in neuroprotection and reducing neural inflammation. A study using brain SPECT images and a standard neuropsychological test measured blood flow in the areas of the brain related to cognitive function and proficiency related to mood, memory, language, attention, information speed and accuracy. The athletes followed a protocol that included nutritional supplements, including Vinpocetine, Phosphatidylserine, and ALCAR, among others. Within six months, the players were measured again. The results showed significant increases in cognitive scores, blood flow, and self-reported symptoms of mood, memory, and motivation. Many athletes had greater than 50% increases in percentile scores.

HUPERZINE-A as a Cognitive Enhancer

Huperzine-A is an alkaloid isolated from the Chinese herb Huperzia serrata. Studies indicate it's a cognitive enhancer that blocks the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, which damages the learning neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, causing a relative increase in acetylcholine to occur. 

In addition to acetylcholinesterase inhibition, other neuroprotective properties have been identified — reduce oxidative stress, regulate the expression of apoptotic proteins, protect mitochondria, and upregulate nerve growth factor. (11, 12)

Nutrition has always been an essential focus in athletics, but the focus on the effects of cognitive nutrition has been rather narrow, focusing instead on the physical benefits. The Central Fatigue Hypothesis states fatigue is governed by the central nervous system, and not the muscles themselves, suggesting fatigue is actually coming from the brain. (13) 

Cognitive function is influenced by nutrition and the positive effect cognitive sports nutrients have on athletic performance in the form of reducing exercise-induced stress, promoting motivation, concentration and focus, improving reaction time, and providing neuroprotective properties. (14)

Jack Grogan, Chief Science Officer for Healthy Goods

 

1. Fahey TD. Biological markers of overtraining. Biol Sport. 1997;14:1–19.

2. Ralf Jäger et al, Phospholipids and sports performance. Published online 2007 Jul 25.

3. Monteleone P, Maj M, Beinat L, Natale M, Kemali D. Blunting by chronic phosphatidylserine administration of the stress-induced activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in healthy men. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1992;42:385–388.

4. Fahey TD, Pearl MS. The Hormonal and Perceptive Effects of Phosphatidylserine Administration During Two Weeks of Weight Training-Induced Over-Training. Biol Sport. 1998;15:135–144.

5. Broquist, H.P. and Borum, P.R. 1982, Carnitine Biosynthesis. Nutritional Implications. Advances in Nutr. Res.4: 181-204.4

6. Sinforiani E, Iannuccelli M, Mauri M, Costa A, Merlo P, Bono G, Nappi G. Neuropsychological changes in demented patients treated with acetyl-L-carnitine. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res. 1990.

7. Passeri M, Iannuccelli M, Ciotti G, Bonati PA, Nolfe G, Cucinotta D. Mental impairment in aging: selection of patients, methods of evaluation and therapeutic possibilities of acetyl-L-carnitine. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res. 1988.

8. Amen DG, et al. Reversing brain damage in former NFL players: implications for traumatic brain injury and substance abuse rehabilitation. J Psychoactive Drugs. (2011)

9. Polich J, Gloria R. Cognitive effects of a Ginkgo biloba/vinpocetine compound in normal adults: systematic assessment of perception, attention and memory.Hum Psychopharmacol. (2001)

10. Amen DG, et al. Reversing brain damage in former NFL players: implications for traumatic brain injury and substance abuse rehabilitation. J Psychoactive Drugs. (2013)  Effects

11. Effects of huperzine A on acetylcholinesterase isoforms in vitro: comparison with tacrine, donepezil, rivastigmine and physostigmine. Published online 2007.

12. Progress in studies of huperzine A, a natural cholinesterase inhibitor fro Chinese herbal medicine.  Published online 2006.

13. Acworth I, Nicholass J, Morgan B, Newsholme EA. Effect of sustained exercise on concentrations of plasma aromatic and branched-chain amino acids and brain amines.  Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 1986;137(1):149-53.

14. Lemyre P-N, Treasure DC, Roberts GC. Sport Psychology. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology. 2006;28:32-48.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Eat to Remember: 10 Brain Foods For Runners

If you’re a runner, you already know the importance of food to fuel your muscles during a workout. But food also improves your brainpower, equally as important during a workout. Call it ironic, but people who follow a heart-healthy diet also help their brain and reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 50% compared to those who don't follow a heart-healthy diet. 

Nutrition Advice for Healthy, Hungry Runners

1 BEANS

The slow-burning carbs & fiber in beans fuel long runs and keep you regular. Beans are also high in antioxidants to fight inflammation, which is important for keeping your brain healthy.

2 BERRIES

Berries may decrease neuron loss and improve memory.

3 COLORFUL VEGGIES

The bright color of veggies indicate a food is rich in antioxidants, which help protect brain neurons from age-related decay. You have this dietitian’s permission to eat as many vegetables as you want, everyday!

4 GREENS

Leafy greens are rich in folate, which researchers have linked to slower rates of brain decline. Eating one salad per day is an excellent goal.

5 NUTS

Walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, and pistachios are rich in fiber, healthy fat, and vitamin E. Good fats are an important source of energy for the cells in our brain, which along with exercise can stimulate new brain cells and improve memory. A handful of nuts on a daily basis is what your body wants.

6 OLIVE OIL

Olive oil is high in healthy monounsaturated fat and protects the blood vessels throughout the body, including those in the brain. A six year long study found people who ate more olive oil had less heart disease, cognitive impairments and less instances of developing dementia than those who ate a low-fat diet. Include olive oil daily.

7 POULTRY

Research suggests the vitamin B12 in chicken and turkey may play a role in fighting age-related decay in the brain. It’s OK to include 3 to 4 oz. poultry twice per week.

8 RED WINE AND DARK RED JUICES

In moderation, red wine can ward off brain decline, thanks to its polyphenol antioxidants. Unsweetened grape and pomegranate juices can, too. Sip no more than 5 oz. of wine daily.

9 SALMON AND SEAFOOD

The essential omega-3 fats in fatty fish (ie: tuna, salmon, mackerel) are crucial for the development and maintenance of brain health. DHA, in particular, is a valuable anti-inflammatory, and we already know how dangerous inflammation is to our brains.

10 WHOLE GRAINS

The B-vitamins and vitamin E in whole grains, like whole wheat, oats, wild rice, and quinoa, may decrease risk of Alzheimer’s by clearing compounds in the body linked to brain damage.

These foods serve double duty because they assist with fueling and recovery for runners + support your brain. All these foods are part of a diet that's a hybrid of the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets -- it's called MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay), and was developed by researchers who found people eating to reduce heart disease and type 2 diabetes also had lower rates of Alzheimer's disease. Woo-Hoo!

In Health and Happiness,

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods

References:

New MIND Diet May Significantly Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease. March 16, 2015

 

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Eat to Remember: 10 Brain Foods For Runners

If you’re a runner, you already know the importance of food to fuel your workouts. But food also improves your brainpower. People who follow a heart-healthy diet also reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 50% compared to those who didn’t. 

Nutrition Advice for Healthy, Hungry Runners

1 BEANS

The slow-burning carbs & fiber in beans fuel long runs and keep you regular. Beans are also high in antioxidants to fight inflammation, which is important for keeping your brain healthy.

2 BERRIES

Berries may decrease neuron loss and improve memory.

3 COLORFUL VEGGIES

The bright color of veggies indicate a food is rich in antioxidants, which help protect brain neurons from age-related decay. You have this dietitian’s permission to eat as many vegetables as you want, everyday!

4 GREENS

Leafy greens are rich in folate, which researchers have linked to slower rates of brain decline. Eating one salad per day is an excellent goal.

5 NUTS

Walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, and pistachios are rich in fiber, healthy fat, and vitamin E. Good fats are an important source of energy for the cells in our brain, which along with exercise can stimulate new brain cells and improve memory. A handful of nuts on a daily basis is what your body wants.

6 OLIVE OIL

Olive oil is high in healthy monounsaturated fat and protects the blood vessels throughout the body, including those in the brain. A six year long study found people who ate more olive oil had less heart disease, cognitive impairments and less instances of developing dementia than those who ate a low-fat diet. Include olive oil daily.

7 POULTRY

Research suggests the vitamin B12 in chicken and turkey may play a role in fighting age-related decay in the brain. It’s OK to include 3 to 4 oz. poultry twice per week.

8 RED WINE AND DARK RED JUICES

In moderation, red wine can ward off brain decline, thanks to its polyphenol antioxidants. Unsweetened grape and pomegranate juices can, too. Sip no more than 5 oz. of wine daily.

9 SALMON AND SEAFOOD

The essential omega-3 fats in fatty fish (ie: tuna, salmon, mackerel) are crucial for the development and maintenance of brain health. DHA, in particular, is a valuable anti-inflammatory, and we already know how dangerous inflammation is to our brains.

10 WHOLE GRAINS

The B-vitamins and vitamin E in whole grains, like whole wheat, oats, wild rice, and quinoa, may decrease risk of Alzheimer’s by clearing compounds in the body linked to brain damage.

These foods serve double duty because they assist with fueling and recovery for runners + support your brain. All these foods are part of a diet that's a hybrid of the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets -- it's called MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay), and was developed by researchers who found people eating to reduce heart disease and type 2 diabetes also had lower rates of Alzheimer's disease. Woo-Hoo!

In Health and Happiness,

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Live Superfoods

References:

New MIND Diet May Significantly Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease. March 16, 2015

 

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Fried Egg Sandwich: The Perfect Recovery Food

I’m in week 10 of 18 for my marathon training! On Nov. 6th, I will run the NYC marathon, along with 55,000 other runners! My body is holding up with all this training—just some minor aches and pains, but most of all I’ve come to appreciate a delicious, well-balanced recovery meal.

My Recovery Breakfast

I do all my runs first thing in the morning, so afterwards I’m hungry! One of the easiest, quickest, most well-balanced recovery breakfast meals is an open-faced fried egg sandwich. I melt cheese on top of the egg as it cooks. Next, add spinach, mustard and avocado atop a piece of whole grain or gluten free toast. I eat two of these to ensure adequate calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat.

What Is Glycogen?

Glycogen is the storage form of glucose in your muscles. When an athlete's glycogen supply is low, muscles lack the energy to perform their best. If you train daily or compete, you must maximize glycogen storage. Athletes can double the amount of glycogen their muscles can hold. 

REFUELING TIPS

Carbohydrates (CHO) AFTER Exercise

Consume carbohydrate-rich foods and beverages within 30 minutes after your workout. Waiting more than 90 minutes to eat results in significantly less glycogen stored in the muscles. This may negatively impact performance during my next workout.

Target carbohydrate intake for cyclist and runners exercising for 60 minutes or longer is 1.0-1.5 grams (g)/kg lean body mass.

Protein Ingestion AFTER Exercise

Don't forget the protein! It aids in repairing damaged muscle tissue and stimulates development of new tissue. Protein also enhances glycogen replacement in the initial hours after hard exercise. Aim to consume 10-20 grams of protein in your recovery food/beverage to assist in glycogen uptake. The eggs and cheese certainly accomplish this.

Think of eating after exercise as "reloading your muscles" for a training or competition the next day. By refueling your muscles, you will be able to perform longer before feeling wiped out. Rapid replenishment of muscle glycogen after exercise is the fundamental nutrition goal for all athletes.

Happy Running!

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods

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