What I Learned from a Sports Nutritionist

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I just spent the past hour typing up a new blog to tell you what I learned from my session with a sports nutritionist. Somehow I hit a wrong key and lost everything. So, here I go again . . .

Reason for appointment: Increase protein intake; reduce or eliminate leg cramps; increase lean muscle mass.

Resources: 2-week nutrition report generated from the nutrition tracker and a 2-week activity report generated from fitness tracker. These are an invaluable resource.

What I learned:

1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Sources: flax seed or oil, fish oil, cod liver oil (yeah, I made a face at this one, but it now comes in flavors like strawberry, lemon, orange). In my pre-school years my mother forced us to take a spoonful every day (Mommy Dearest??). I used to cry and fuss and throw a fit, but she always won this battle. Omega-3 is good for reducing inflammation, maintaining proper blood clotting, keeping cells fluid, reducing other dangerous fat in your bloodstream, prevents cancer cell growth. Don’t go without it. I’m adding 2 T of flax seed to cereal, yogurt, salad, etc. You can bake with it—use as substitute for some of the flour. The oil is good too, but without the benefit of fiber. Use it in salad dressings; it loses its benefits if it’s heated so you can’t cook or bake with it.

2. Protein. Increase to 69-90 g a day. I am waaayy under that. Eat at least 20 g per meal each day. It builds healthy tissue, transports substances in body fluids, has antibodies, aids in digestion, regulates hormones. Post heavy exercise—eat 10-20 g with 50-100 g carbs within 15 minutes. Continue every 2 hours until next meal. She also recommended protein powder as an easy way to get enough protein. But reports are coming out that there are unhealthy amounts of heavy metals in almost all of the brands that were tested if taken as recommended on the package. I’ll use powder only on occasion and only if it’s organic. Greek yogurt is an excellent source (yum!!).

3. Calories. Eat more – possibly as many as 1700 a day. More importantly, don’t focus on calories. Focus on getting the right balance of proteins/carbs/fats. The calories will take care of themselves. (I will do this with caution and a close eye on the scale.)

4. Vitamin D. Supplement diet with 2,000 IU daily now. Next dr. visit; get levels tested (specifically, D3). Many, many people are deficient or borderline. Vitamin D regulates calcium and is necessary for bone mineralization. Researchers are investigating the links between deficiency and diseases like lupus, diabetes, MS, depression and many more.

5. Magnesium. Consider taking a max. of 250 mg per day. Magnesium relaxes muscles, but that’s not the only thing it relaxes. In higher doses, it’s a laxative.

6. Calcium. Begin taking 1500 units of calcium citrate. Calcium citrate doesn’t require stomach acid to break it down for absorption so it can be taken any time of day. Take at least 2 hours before or after taking iron as they interfere with one another’s absorption.

7. Strength training. Continue. This, with more protein, will help grow a leaner physique.

8. Sweeteners. There are lots of substitutes—stevia, agave nectar, Whey Low, etc. She didn’t have a strong opinion about these since I eat very little processed food. She recommended I continue whatever I’m using now (mix of half stevia, half sugar or honey).

9. General diet. Continue eating fresh fruits and vegetables and lean sources of protein.

10. Iron. Continue with supplements.

I’ve already added the flax seed to my diet (yum--it has a slightly nutty flavor) and today I ate 77 g of protein. In fact, I’m going to have some dessert later tonight because I’m still a couple of hundred calories under goal. I may like these diet changes!

A lot of what I learned yesterday confirmed my confidence in the SparkBlogs and Articles. The nutritionist backed up a lot of the information I've gathered from SparkPeople.

And now I am headed out to take Daisy for a stroll around the neighborhood. She loves to strut her stuff after a day at the spa getting groomed.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Great info!!!!

    Here's a couple of things I would like to share with you as well:

    The body can only absorb calcium in 500 mg doses at a time with the rest being "eliminated" from the body. I advise my clients to take one 500 mg 3 X a day so as not to waste their money..or their supplement and tax the liver.

    The protein article by CR was based on a person who would drink 8 scoops of protein powder a day. It's a meal replacement not suppose to be an individual's daily food. Also there are questions as to the labratory's ability to test the products accurately. Time will tell whether the report in that particular magazine is accurate. Lean Dessert assured me that their product is safe. I spoke with a rep a few days after the article broke. That's my choice and what I advise my clients to add in to their daily intake if they find their protein is on the low end. Generally speaking, I find most women are on the low end of their protein and adding one scoop a day to yogurt or water should be safe.

    Sounds like you got some really great advice. Thanks for sharing with us!!!

    3186 days ago
  • RENA1965
    Trust sparks nutrition tracker also mimic the generated meals putting your own stuff into get the ratios right.. I used a professional concept and it fits perfectly into sparkspeoples..
    Also eat within the recommended calories.. Log your exercise it will give you the calories you need without worry of over eating..
    Rena emoticon
    3186 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/28/2010 9:47:45 PM
  • ACTIVE_AT_60
    2WHEELER - great blog. Lots of wisdom. A couple of things/comments

    Greek yoghurt is a great source of protein and calcium. I strain regular no fat yoghurt - it is almost the same.

    Vitamin D - I am surprised by her recommendation without a level. I was put on 1000 units - with a low level. It is fairly safe, but your need in the summer is less than the winter.

    Iron - there are lots of food high in iron. I feel it is healthier to eat you out of the deficiencies than take supplements. http://www.all-creatures.org/health
    /ironcont.html - word of caution - iron supplements tends to constipate you.
    3186 days ago
  • BOBBYD31
    valuable info, thank you. yes much of that information is on spark also which is a great resource. did she give you % for carbs, protein and fats? ok i looked at your food tracker and you are way below your calories, did she say anything about eating more on of the calories you burned for the day or just keep at an average of 1700.
    thanks again.
    now what happened with the toe???? i broke mine monday night and have a tri next weekend.... could be fun
    3186 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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