Is There a One-Size Fits All Diet for Athletes?

For those of you “get to the point” people, the answer to the title is no. But, that is not the real point of this blog. Read on, it will be worth your time, I promise. Dietary advice for athletes is everywhere. Bananas make you fat, avocados make you fast, asparagus is high in performance enhancing vitamins, Scottish Highland cattle have the perfect fat to protein ratio, and on and on. (Disclaimer: the preceding sentence Read more…

Supplements for Triathletes: What Works?

The world of endurance sports is being inundated with supplements manufactured with the endurance athlete in mind. It’s easy to get wrapped up in supplementing. Before you know it you’re taking a handful of pills in the morning, a special powder for your water bottles, and another handful of pills in the afternoon. The goal of this series of posts is to help you understand which supplements appear to be effective through solid research, and which may not be Read more…

Red Blood Cell Turnover In Endurance Athletes: How to Apply This Information

Red blood cells are one of the most important physiological components for athletes, especially endurance athletes. These cells are responsible for carrying oxygen to the body’s tissues (including muscles). Without adequate oxygen delivery, muscles cannot perform well. When red blood cells become too low, a person becomes anemic, which is characterized by extreme fatigue. Anemia and “pre-anemia” are somewhat common in long-distance triathletes, runners, and cyclists. This is because of a higher turnover rate of Read more…

Juicer: The Athletes Friend

Endurance athletes demand a lot from their bodies. Hours of training depletes micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and stresses cells. Although some supplements can help replete important micronutrients, research suggests repletion through whole foods is far superior. Whole, unadulterated foods contain thousands of enzymes. At the current time, the complete role of these enzymes in our bodies is not fully understood, however it appears that one role the enzymes play is to make micronutrients more bioavailable Read more…

Cramps: What We Know About Prevention

Cramps are a very common occurance in endurance athletes. Despite plenty of research, the science of cramping is still a bit inconclusive. Despite our desire to pin cramping down to a single nutrient deficiency or event, it does not appear we will find this. So, what do we know? Here is the short version of a couple key concepts in preventing cramps? The Science of Cramping There are different types of cramping. Some are serious (and Read more…

Supplementing Iron In Athletes: The How and Why

In past blog posts, I have briefly touched on iron supplementation. This practice is common among endurance athletes, especially triathletes, cyclists, and long distance runners. It is done because of the high risk of anemia and pre-anemia due to increased red blood cell turnover secondary to training. However, iron supplementation should be done with caution and under the watch of a professional. My general rule of thumb is to avoid iron supplementation until you see Read more…

Folate For Athletes: Don’t Ignore This Micronutrient!

Over the last few years, iron has become a supplement found on the shelves of most endurance athletes. Rightfully so, depleting iron levels leads to pre-anemia and anemia. For more information on iron, see my blog post on the topic (http://scienceoftriathlon.blogspot.com/2012/05/supplementing-iron-how-and-why.html). However, somehow the micronutrient folate has not received adquate attention. Endurance athletes have come to believe that if they are abnormally fatigued and feeling anemic, it is because of an iron deficiency. Yes, iron Read more…

Does Running Make You Fat? – Debunked

Warning…the first seven paragraphs are a preamble. If you just want the tips, feel free to skip to the “Meat and Potatoes” section. Several months ago my wife told me I need to read a blog post one of her friends shared on Facebook. Her friend shared the post with an attached comment of “This really makes sense”. The post was an amateur post by a personal trainer who makes the claim that running makes you fat. Read more…

Medications and Endurance Training: What You Should Know

Recently, a drug rep was in our clinic telling me how their pain medications would be good for the pains commonly experienced by athletes. I immediately thought about the importance of this topic and figured I better share some words on the blog about it. Not all primary care docs, nurse practitioners, and PA’s are familiar with the unique physiology of endurance athletes. It is important to take this into consideration when considering taking certain Read more…

Hey Endurance Athletes, Want Your Testosterone Back?

It’s no secret that endurance training can lead to reductions in testosterone. Theories behind the reduction of testosterone during endurance training previously revolved around the loss of body mass, increased cortisol levels, and changes in luteinizing hormone. However, there is some debate around this, and the mechanism is not 100% clear. Nonetheless, the reduction of testosterone can have a mildly negative impact on recovery from training and a big impact on your quality of life. Read more…