Below you’ll find articles I’ve written and links to other articles I’ve come across that do a nice job clarifying concepts in sports nutrition.
For a comprehensive overview of sports nutrition, check out Nutrition Strategies for Health and Optimal Performance.
Energy Bars: What to look for and real food alternatives
Energy bars are popular with many athletes because they are a quick and convenient source of calories that are easy to eat during workouts or as a handy snack. Although for the most part, real food is often better and preferable nutrition-wise, energy bars can good to have on hand. Traveling, training camps, and races are great times for the convenience of energy bars, since it can be more difficult to have a supply of food close by to refuel your working muscles. Go to Article >>
Understandably, athletes are often concerned about iron, because iron is part of hemoglobin in blood and myoglobin in muscles, helping deliver oxygen to cells. Low hemoglobin can result in fatigue and decreased aerobic capacity, leading some athletes to assume that extra iron will enhance performance. Indeed, some endurance athletes take iron supplements regardless of their iron status, even though excess iron might compromise their health. On the other hand, truly iron deficient athletes might not be aware of their status, and changes in their diet or iron supplements might reduce fatigue or improve performance. But dietary changes aren’t straightforward because iron absorption is a complicated phenomenon. Go to Article >>
One race morning, I noticed my XC Ottawa teammates Karl and Megan drinking beet juice. I’d read some of the research, but now I was intrigued. Apparently they were tipped off by their friend Dylan Wykes. Dylan, along Reid Coolsaet and Eric Gillis will be representing Canada in the Olympic Marathon in London, and all of them seem to have incorporated beet juice into their nutrition plans. So have some top pro cycling teams. The list goes on. Some experts believe doping control will be dealing with many red-colored urine samples from endurance athletes (more on this later . . . .). It was clearly time to investigate further. Go to Article >>
Most athletes realize that proper recovery is critical to athletic success: rest allows your body’s systems to adapt to the stresses of training and hopefully make you stronger and faster. Many athletes are not as aware, however, that you can maximize your training gains, speed up the recovery process, and enhance subsequent performance by consuming the right foods or fluids at the right times following a workout. Go to Article >>
Most athletes know that they should pay attention to choosing the right foods and beverages to help fuel workouts and promote recovery, but when it comes to their overall diet, there seems to be more variability. Improving your diet outside of training can have many benefits. The article provides some tips to help you choose foods that will benefit your overall health. Go to Article >>
Here are highlights of articles I’ve come across that do a nice job clarifying concepts in sports nutrition. The articles link to good writers who use evidence-based information to tell their story.
- Athletes staying away from carbs: what you need to know. (Nancy Clarke)
- Athletes shouldn’t use one-size-fits-all formulas to balance carbs, fat, and protein
- Carbohydrate needs of athletes
- Great explanation & advice on why carbs are critical for top performance in athletes (Training Peaks, Iñigo San Millán, PhD)
- Carbohydrate supplementation during exercise: Does it help? How much is too much?
- Carb loading for endurance event? You probably need more carbs than you think!
- Protein bars->nice summary: convenient, but real food best (taste & nutrition)
- Should you eat protein during exercise?
- Sports Nutrition Guidelines for Vegetarians (Enette Larson, Ph.D., R.D., CSSD)
- Can Athletes Perform Well on a Vegan Diet? (Gretchen Reynolds interviews experts for NY Times/Well Blog)
- Physical fitness and vegetarian diets: is there a relation? (Nieman DC, Am J Clin Nutr 1999)
- Vegetarian ways of eating: Finding the nutrients (Coach.ca)
Other Sports Nutrition Topics
- Caffeine: How Athletes Strategically Use Caffeine
- Coconut water for athletes has few solid benefits: little research, pricey, sugar & sodium levels vary
- Eating before & after working out
- Eating disorders in athletes: intervention shows success at preventing disordered eating
- Gastro-intestinal problems during exercise – good tips on how to prevent them
- Iron Needs of Athletes: Who Needs More, & How to Get it Through Your Diet
- Sugar – undesirable for most sedentary folks, but helpful for athletes if timed right
- Sugar and Athletes: Good, Bad or Evil?
- The Role of Adequate Nutrition For Performance and Health For Female Cross-Country Skiers
- Recovery Nutrition – Sleep, Eat, Train, Recover, Repeat
- Dietary Nitrate: the new magic bullet?
- Supplements: Athletes shouldn’t take supplements-> no performance gains & doping risks
- Youth – Fueling the young athlete (Coach.ca)
- Youth – Eating to compete in high school (Christopher D. Jensen, PhD, MPH, RD)
- Youth – Sport nutrition for young athletes (Canadian Pediatric Society position statement)
- Youth – Sport nutrition for young athletes (SIRC)
- Youth – Nutrition Channel – great ideas for fueling and everyday eating for young athletes (mom’s team)
- Youth – Should tween and teen athletes use protein powders to bulk up? (Leslie Beck, Globe & Mail)
Updated November 13, 2014